There might be content in this review that hints towards a spoiler. I tried to avoid that as much as possible, but I don’t know how much detail is considered “common knowledge”, considering the book’s popularity on social media. :)
It Ends With Us, a roughly 400-page novel written by Colleen Hoover, is a thought-provoking drama that is filled with all of the emotions that come with domestic violence. To no fault of the author, I went into this book expecting a deep novel filled with poetically written sentences that felt dreamlike to read. I was anticipating something like, The Song of Achilles, a book that has brought me to tears more times than I’d like to admit. After all, the hype BookTok provided; I expected a little bit more. I should have reigned in my expectations because the book itself was a really enjoyable read. If I were to rate it, I would give it four stars. I have no real qualms with the book itself, the writing style was just disappointing.
It Ends With Us starts off in a relatively shocking manner. The main character, Lily Bloom, is sitting atop a roof, thinking about suicide. Notably, she’s not thinking of her own suicide, mainly just death in general. It is on this very rooftop where she meets one of the love interests in this story, Ryle Kincaid. At first glance, he is charismatic and thoughtful. He even gets her off of the ledge after telling her about someone who had died from falling from the very roof they were sitting on. The two characters, Lily and Ryle, start a brief banter, and come up with the concept of “naked truths”. These truths, which are to be told honestly, and received calmly, become a focal point of this relationship – both the growth and the decay.
Throughout this story, Lily references letters she wrote to Ellen DeGeneres when she was younger. It is through these letters that we learn about Atlas Corrigan – her first love. Atlas was a homeless boy who Lily met through almost mere circumstance. During their relationship, though, they never really label themselves as “official”. Nevertheless, the two of them do help each other in dire circumstances. Atlas, for example, saves Lily from her abusive father by keeping her protected in her bedroom. Lily saves Atlas from the wintertime Maine cold by letting him stay the night with her in her warm house. However, the two of them eventually part ways in a bittersweet turn of events.
In order to prevent spoilers, I won’t delve into much more detail in regards to the characters or the plot, but I will say that It Ends With Us, though not necessarily the most beautifully written book I’ve ever read, has several lines that I think are award-worthy:
“All humans make mistakes. What determines a person's character aren't the mistakes we make. It's how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.”
“And as hard as this choice is, we break the pattern before the pattern breaks us.”
“I think that’s one of the biggest signs a person has matured—knowing how to appreciate things that matter to others, even if they don’t matter very much to you.”
All things considered, I think that this book is certainly a worthwhile read. I have recently also read another book authored by Colleen Hoover, November 9, and I plan on doing another book review on that one soon!
Written by; Arran Davis
Edited by: Ricardo Corpus