NAKED TRUTH: This book is very sad, haunting, painful, eye-opener and exceptionally honest. I could easily spoil everything away but I won’t. If you look for lots of reviews, it won’t be hard to find out what It Ends with Us is all about. But don’t judge a book based on its plot synopsis. This book is different than the rest of Colleen Hoover’s book. It’s better to know as little as possible before you read this book, which is why on this spoiler free review, I wouldn’t be talking about the events, I’ll just tell you guys the naked truth on what I truly felt upon reading this.
TITLE: It Ends With Us
AUTHOR: Colleen Hoover
GENRE: New Adult, Romance
PUBLISHER: Atria Books
PUBLICATION DATE: August 2, 2016
DATE READ: August 3, 2020
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
POIGNANT. EMPOWERING. EYE-OPENING.
“Cycle exist because they are excruciating to break. It takes an astronomical amount of pain and courage to disrupt a familiar pattern. Sometimes, it’s easier to just keep running in the same circles, rather than facing the fear of jumping and possibly not landing on your feet. “
Naked Truth: I think I have used the word beautiful a couple of times without really knowing whether I think something is beautiful. But I’ll be straight forward now; this story is absolutely beautiful and unforgettable. It’s haunting in a way that it would probably stick with me for a long time. It made me think deeply and assess my emotions and perception about things. This book almost killed me, but it also healed me somehow. After reading this book, I felt like I wasn’t anchored in the water anymore. I felt like I’ve reached the shore.
I made this review thinking that it’s better not to say anything about the story. I could only say that you guys should read it for yourself. This book contains raw truths in it, and there were times in which I had to stop and breathe and reflect. It was heartbreaking in a way that I just want it to stop because I don’t know if my heart could endure it anymore. But at the same time, it has a beautiful message that I wish everyone could read it. This has been one of the most real stories I have ever read and one of the stories that left a huge impact.
It Ends with Us transcends us to a whole new level of what is imperfectly perfect. It tackled important issues in life and how we make decisions out of that situation. People sometimes make bad choices thinking it’s for the best. And it’s easy for us to judge when we’re standing outside a situation. Like Colleen and the rest of us, I’m also one of those people who spend our lives thinking if we were in that certain situation, we could have handled it better. We could have easily walked away from things that hurt us. But in the minds of the people experiencing it, they have reasons for not leaving. Everything is different. We are just on-lookers, so who are we to judge.
“That’s what fifteen minutes can do to a person. It can destroy them.
It can save them.”
Another thing I love about this story is how mature the characters were. There were times in which you’ll truly get annoyed when the characters made bad choices but, in this book, you will empathize with them; you will see things the way they see them and understood why they have to do it. The progression of the story is well written, and for a certain time, I felt like I was inside it. I realized that sometimes, we do not need a knight and shining armor. Sometimes, our hero lies within us.
As much as I wanted to say more things, I will end my review here, and I will head on to the spoiler-filled review section down below. If you have read this book, feel free to scroll down so we can discuss it.
WHAT ‘S YOUR ALL TIME FAVOURITE COLLEEN HOOVER BOOK?
After I’ve finished the book, I sat and stared out the window for a while. It has been a long time since a book moved my heart because its message was so strong. I never expected that this book would deal with domestic violence or any other sensitive topic. I thought it was an ordinary romance, but I was surprised that it was something more.
- The Story Progression
I like the pacing of the story. We first met Lily and Ryle on the rooftop of an apartment. I like the idea of confessing naked truths with each other, and I enjoyed how Colleen inserted a bit of a backstory on these first few pages through those naked truths. It also introduced to us that there is something more to that back story. After this cheesy first meet up, we could easily see the characters’ personality, especially Ryle.
The story fasts forward to six months later. Lily decided to open a flower shop, and obviously, Ryle and her path intertwined after Ryle’s sister happened to be her employee. And last, we found out that Ryle still thinks about her six months later and wants her. Fast forward, and they “quickly” become a couple to the point that even their marriage happened so quickly without any drama. Now I’ve emphasized the word quickly because yes, indeed, Ryle and Lily’s romance happened so fast it’s I just blinked, and bam, they’re married. At this point, I suspected that Colleen prepared something for us, and whatever it is, it’s going to be heartbreaking.
It turned out that I wasn’t wrong. Because of the presence of the backstory of Lily, we have seen the family set-up she has grown up with. And now that she’s married to Ryle, the same fear grew in her heart, especially when he first hit her. My jaw-dropped because why would a person who seemed like your hero would hurt you? That’s when I realized where the story is going, history will repeat itself, and just like her mother, she would do the same reasoning and excuses that those who’ve hurt us once won’t do it again. But it went on and on and on, and I started to sob. I like this book; the progression of the story is not slow; it’s not too fast. It just made sure that we get to the point; we still have time to feel its depth.
- The Backstories
The flashbacks are one of the most powerful drivers of this story. Through that, we could see things in the eyes of Lily, why we felt connected and why we resonate with her because we have seen what she had gone through. Colleen made sure that she didn’t just “mention” Lily’s painful past, but she made us see it and feel it. And the funny thing is, because of the flashback, I fell in love with Atlas Corrigan. In those few diary entries about him, we have seen a bigger picture, and we have developed a heart for him. He is a truly genuine person who deserves the world. I’m thrilled that he became successful.
- It Ends With Us
Before we have started reading the book, we must’ve wondered why “it ends with us?” Throughout reading the book, we realized that it reflected Lily’s final decision in her life. The excruciating cycle of abuse and heartbreak must end with her. She didn’t want her daughter to grow up like her, hating her father to death because of what he did to her mom. If you would think of it, Lily had protected both Ryle and their child. She did not allow her child to see Ryle at his worst so she wouldn’t hate him too. That melts my heart because it’s a selfless act to protect the ones you love the most, even it cost your happiness. I hope that she will end up with Atlas. I want to see a novella!!
Lily: She is calculative and contemplative. I really admire her bravery in facing difficult things in her life. She had been through a lot, and yet she remained strong. I’m really happy with the decision she has come up with; she had considered everything and think of a bigger picture for their future. In this book, we have witnessed Lily’s maturity, from someone who’s afraid to try to someone who made big decisions for her life.
Atlas: A genuine person and a loyal one. He was a broken boy, but because the situation deemed him to do so, he had no other choice but to survive alone no matter how difficult it becomes. Lily has been one of his sources of strength, and he never stopped doing the same for her. He’s a real knight and shining armor whom you couldn’t forget easily, not because he saved your life, but because he gave direction and meaning to it.
Ryle: If you’ll look on the outside, he’s someone you’ll ever dream of having; handsome and a successful neurosurgeon. But like every seemingly perfect character, he has a flaw. He had a traumatic incident when he was a child, and up until now, he’s living it. I think he has an anger management issue in which when his emotions are reached, he could potentially physically hurt someone. It’s easy to understand where he’s coming from like he didn’t mean to do the things he did to Lily. Lily must’ve reasoned out using that too, “he’s just sick, he didn’t mean it,” but even so, healing takes time. I feel sad that he will have to face this alone, but at the same time, proud of the decisions they both made as a married couple.
I’ve enjoyed the romance between Ryle and Lily, but that was short-lived because after I have learned who Atlas is, I felt more moved and connected with their romance. I felt like the romance that existed with Ryle and Lily was a product of strong infatuation, a.k.a. “insta love,” whereas, with Atlas, it’s more real. Some may argue that maybe they didn’t really love each other, maybe they’re just two people who happened to have the same bad situation, and they have just become each other’s hero. That’s true at some point, but if you’ll look closely, the little actions they do showed how much at the back of their mind they still think about each other. Even many years had passed, Lily still kept the gift of Atlas, and she even had a tattoo on her collarbone that signifies Atlas and their love for each other. Atlas worked so hard so that when he meets Lily again, he could finally provide things for her as she did before. It’s the little gestures that count.
One more thing is that Atlas didn’t force Lily to love him. He had to respect her decision to stay with Ryle, but he reminded her that he’ll always be there for her no matter what.
“In the future . . . if by some miracle you ever find yourself in the position to fall in love again . . . fall in love with me.” He presses his lips against my forehead. “You’re still my favorite person, Lily. Always will be.”
I’ve always loved Colleen Hoover’s style of writing. It’s always honest and moving. Colleen admitted that she used to write for entertainment purposes, but this time she wrote to send a message, to help us see things in the shoes of the one being abused. This has been one of her truest novels ever. Every time I read a Colleen Hoover book, I always feel like I’m about to embark on a journey that’s full of possibilities. I’m a fan of fantasy novels, but I always find myself reading a contemporary story once in a while because of Colleen. Her style of writing makes us feel like we are the characters; if not, she always likes to show us what we could possibly do if faced with the same situation as her characters.
I rate this 5/5 stars because I feel like this is a very important book that should be read by everyone. It’s truly an eye-opener, and it has a strong message that will really change how we perceive things.
Thank you for reading this review! See you again next time 🙂
xoxo, Cheena Louisse