Let me just start this book review by saying this is a fucking sad book. I started reading it after oatmilkleader recommended it on TikTok, because I wanted to read a sort of light romance book. Hard LOL because this book ain’t no “light romance”. But let me elaborate.
I think I’ll split this book review in two sections: “what I liked” and “what I didn’t like”. But before I do so, I feel it’s vital I give you a trigger warning – or rather, trigger warningS.
Firstly, this book review includes spoilers. If you’re considering reading It Ends With Us and you are just looking for a quick “Yes or No” no spoilers book review, the simple answer is yes, you should read this book. It’s an amazing book. HOWEVER, please, please also read the second trigger warning below, before you start reading it.
So, second major trigger warning, this book talks about domestic violence and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. I am, actually, a bit annoyed that there was no trigger warning before I started reading It Ends With Us, because, even though I enjoyed it, I didn’t particularly want to read about these topics in this moment in time.
It is crucial that authors include DV, SA and so on in fiction literature and I am very proud of the author for doing so (especially when apparently the inspiration for writing this came from her own personal experience). This is how we can raise awareness and eliminate stigma around abuse and violence.
Having said that, it hits me so wrong there was no warning that this book contains “scenes” of sexual abuse and domestic violence. This is dangerous and can trigger people who might have PTSD from similar events.
I had to re-read the description, after I finished reading this book and before I began writing this review, because I thought maybe it was mentioned and me being me missed it; but, no, there is no warning in the book description.
This has happened to me only once before, when I bought a book thinking it was chic lit (from a chic lit author) and it turned out the heroine was a fucking SA survivor and the whole book evolved around that. [the book I’m talking about is The Brightest Star in the Sky, by the way, you can read my full of frustration Goodreads review here].
Anywho, enough with the trigger warnings. If you’re still here, let’s crack on with the book review.
What I Liked
I really liked Colleen Hoover’s writing style. The book begins with Lily and Ryle’s meeting and evident sexual tension and oh my goodness is it not captivating! It has you hooked in from the very first pages. I love books that do this. The writer manages to keep it smooth, fast paced, interesting. Not once did I feel bored.
The (mental) scenes she paints are so vivid (especially the sexual ones and the abuse ones) that you feel you’re in there with the characters living and feeling what they are feeling and living. I read this book in a day and a half, it was that captivating.
I enjoyed the characters’ development (apart from Atlas see next section), even though I did not necessarily agree with their choices. For example, when Lily found out she was pregnant, I was literally rooting for her to have a TOP and live her best life with Atlas. But, that’s not my book and I’m not the author, and that’s not what Colleen wanted for her heroine, and I respect that.
Also, as I mentioned in the trigger warnings, I am so pleased with Colleen Hoover for raising awareness on domestic violence. I still think I would not have read this book had I known DV is the key message (for various personal reasons), but I do believe this book portrays it in such a good manner and is a must read.
The way the author manages to narrate Lily’s side is phenomenal; she shows us her struggles, her love for Ryle which is shadowed by his abusive behaviour, her inner conflict the first time he hits her. And, also, same goes for Ryle’s side, she manages to show us, through Lily’s eyes, how an intelligent, handsome man can be so flawed and battle with his inner demons.
Lastly, I liked the ending (albeit a bit predictable), I was glad Lily decided to divorce Ryle and that she ends up with Atlas. 👩❤️💋👨
What I Didn’t Like
So, let’s break down everything I didn’t like about It Ends With Us. First of all, it was a bit predictable. I mean, when Ryle and Lily make up and he promises he’ll change I could see where this was heading.
When they were in the kitchen and he asked her to read the article about Atlas’ restaurant, he started fingering her and was pulling her hair too forcefully, to the point it was hurting her, it was obvious the almost rape was coming.
Other than that, the book did have a lot of unexpected turns. I mean, the vile nature of the very attractive Ryle was surprise alone, even though I did get a hint of anger issues when he was towering and yelling at his sister. Yet, I did not expect outright abuse.
The other bit I really disliked, was how little info we get about Atlas. I would have liked more background story on him. What happened to him after Lily’s father beat him up? I would have liked more details on how he opened his restaurant, more information about his relationship with his family now. Also, I would have liked a bit more of storyline towards the end. Something more that than we haven’t spoken in months and suddenly, I bump into you and oh, yeah, you’re the love of my life! Like, more context please! 💁🏻♀️
Lastly, some things I didn’t like were more on a personal level. For example, I related to Ryle 100% on his opinions about marriage and children. I thought, finally, how refreshing that a main character is not all about the fucking cliché of marriage and children. I was so dissapointed when he completely changed and asked Lily to marry him and told her he wants to start trying for a baby. 😒 But, like I said, that’s coming from my personal childfree millennial mindset.
The second issue I have with this book, again, based on my personal life, is that -without wanting to give away too much- I work in a hospital. So, the descriptions of Ryle sleeping in his scrubs, or walking around with them still on, or the notion he did a 48-hour shift and then, somehow still had the energy to knock on 29 doors looking for Lily begging her for sex was cringe AF to me. Like, guys, working in a hospital is not fucking Grey’s Anatomy, that’s not how being a neurosurgeon in real life is. 😅
Same goes for the storyline of my water broke, 10 minutes later contractions started, 2 hours later I had a baby. Take it from me, that’s not how it happens in real life, and especially for first time mums. But, these are issues I have with all books or shows that talk about anything medical, can’t really help it. 🤷🏻♀️
Other than these points, there’s not much else I disliked about It Ends With Us. It is a pretty great book, one of the best I’ve read the past years, and I’m so glad I found it through BookTok (book TikTok in case you’re unfamiliar with the term🥰).
Have you read this book? If yes, what did you think about it? If not, will you read it now, after my book review? Tell me in the comments!
Until next time!♡
PS. While doing research to write this review I found out that there is a sequel to this book‼️ It’s called ”It Starts With Us” due to be published in October 2022!🤩
featured image from here