It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

“Lily,” he says quietly. “I feel like my life is good enough for you now. So whenever you’re ready…”

I first read this book when it came out in 2016 and it wrecked me. Which is why, like many people, I was very excited when Colleen Hoover announced she was writing the sequel. I think everyone wanted to see what happens next for Lily, in particular when it came to her and Atlas.

Since it had been so long since I first read this, I decided to pick it up for a re-read to refresh my memory before I dove into the new one. I’m glad I did because I still think the message of this book is so important but even all these years later it still ripped my heart out. I can’t even imagine being in Lily’s situation and I have a lot of complicated feelings toward her an Ryle’s relationship. I’m glad things turned out how they did but the whole situation is just so damn sad.

Anyway, below is my original review of the book from back in 2016. Much of what I said back then still holds true but it was a bit of a different experience reading it again knowing how things turned out. In some ways it helped to know what was coming but on the other hand it made some of the earlier chapters hurt more.

Now I’m off to see what happens next in It Starts With Us!

“Lily,” he says pointedly. “There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.”

As I sit here writing this review, it’s been a few hours since I finished reading It Ends With Us and I’ve spent those hours thinking about this book, trying to give my heart a little time to mend. I’ve also been trying like hell to figure out how I am ever going to review this book in a way that will do it any sort of justice while at the same time not giving anything away. This story was unlike any other that I’ve ever read and I feel like this review will be unlike any review I’ve ever written. It’s no secret that Colleen Hoover is one of my all-time favorite authors, I will read anything she writes, I don’t care what it is. Her books are amongst my favorites, I know that regardless of the storyline, I am always in for a treat when I crack open a CoHo book. When this book was announced I was instantly excited and couldn’t wait for August, but then early praise started rolling in and the hype was quickly building and I knew this would be my most highly anticipated book of 2016. I usually like to read the blurb and read a few spoiler free reviews from other trusted bloggers, but I made a decision with this book to go into this one totally blind. I read the blurb way back when it was announced but I had forgotten what it said by the time it actually came out, so this was truly the most blind I’ve ever been going into a book. I had no idea what to expect, other than the few comments I’d seen where people called this book life changing and incredibly powerful. Now that I have finished, I can say with 100% certainty that going in blind is the way to go, if there’s ever an author to trust to guide you through an epic reading experience, it’s Colleen Hoover. I hope that you trust me when I say that she knows what she’s doing. With regards to this book, I believe that fact more than ever after having read the author’s note at the end.

I finished this book with no words and with tears streaming down my face. This book carries such a powerful message that I think any human should read. I am not even going to recap the storyline because there’s just nothing I can say that will properly capture the magnitude and complexity of it without giving anything away. If you do happen to read the blurb, just know that while technically all that’s said there is true, the actual story and the message it holds is so much more and so important. But I beg of you, don’t go looking for spoilers before you read this. For the full impact you really need to live through everything as it unfolds, just as Lily had to do. This book hurt my head and my heart, it made me uncomfortable, both in what was happening and how I felt and reacted. I battled with myself over how I actually felt vs. how I should feel and I struggled with how I would react if I were in Lily’s situation. I’d like to think I’d be a strong as she was, but the truth is, I’m not sure. Colleen did an amazing job of portraying how love can easily cloud rational decisions, if I had such trouble trying to figure out what to do in a fictional situation, I have a whole new outlook on what people who find themselves in a situation like Lily are actually going through.

I know this review didn’t really tell you anything, and this is probably the shortest review I’ve ever written for a Colleen Hoover book but the less you know before going in, the better. Just know that Colleen outdid herself with this one, it’s clear that this was a subject near and dear to her heart, her passion for the subject shone through with every word. And don’t let anything I’ve said scare you off from reading this, it’s heavy, no doubt, and it will hurt you, but in true CoHo fashion, she infuses just the right amount of humor and wit and amusing anecdotes to balance everything out. This is definitely a book worth reading twice, I feel like now that I know how everything plays out that reading it again will bring out all sorts of other subtle hints and clues that I missed the first time around. There’s so much more I want to say, but I’m going to end it here, I hope that everyone reads this book and I hope that it opens your eyes the way it did mine.

‘…sometimes the things that matter to you most are also the things that hurt you the most.’

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