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It Ends with Us: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – July 28, 2020
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"It Ends with Us isn't an ordinary love story. It will break your heart while filling you with hope, and by the end of this gripping, pulse-pounding novel, you'll be smiling through your tears." -- Sarah Pekkanen, International bestselling author of Perfect Neighbors
"It Ends With Us is a brave and heartbreaking novel that digs its claws into you and doesn't let go, long after you've finished it. No one delivers an emotional read like Colleen Hoover." -- Anna Todd, New York Times bestselling author of the After series
"What a glorious and touching read, a forever keeper. The kind of book that gets handed down.", USA Today
“It Ends with Us tackles [a] difficult subject . . . with romantic tenderness and emotional heft. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author's note at the end that explains Hoover's personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read. Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.”, Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"Fans of Hoover's emotional stories, conflicted characters and intense romances will gleefully devour her new novel. If you're a Hoover newbie, this is a great place to start. It Ends with Us is a perfect example of the author's writing chops and her ability to weave together uplifting, romantic and somber plotlines. No matter your level of fandom, readers will love and respect protagonist Lily and learn something from her struggles.", RT Book Reviews (4-starred review)
“Best-selling Hoover’s latest valiant and compelling . . . novel packs her trademark emotional punch . . . The power and pain of the relationship will stay with readers even as Hoover offers hope.”, Booklist
“Colleen Hoover brilliantly tackles a very tough subject matter with brutal realness and honesty that left us stripped completely raw . . . Confidently a 2016 Top Recommendation and Must Read.” , Rockstars of Romance
"It Ends With Us is one of the most powerful books of 2016 and one of the most raw, honest, inspiring, and profoundly beautiful stories I’ve ever read. It’s one of those books that EVERYONE should read.”, Aestas Book Blog
“Emotional, unforgettable and extraordinary . . . Colleen Hoover deserves all the accolades this story will bring . . . remarkable, different, honest, heartbreaking and at times agonizing reading. This is not an easy book to get through but by God, it’s rewarding . . . one of the best reads of this year.”, Totally Booked Blog
About the Author
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I'm going to start this review off with this statement: I didn't cry while I was reading this book, but I did cry several days later when I was looking back on Lily's story. That shows how emotionally charged this story is, along with the true power behind Colleen's writing. I'm not going to give away any spoilers because you need to go into the book blind. If you want to know what happens, there are definitely some reviews out there that tell you the big twists and turns. But take my advice and don't spoil this book for yourself. It will lose a lot if you go in knowing exactly what to expect. So seriously, don't do it to yourself. Just let the beauty of Colleen's writing sweep over you and sink in.
“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.”
This is honestly not only one of the best reads of 2016, but also one of the most (if not the most) empowering. I want to give this book to every man, woman, and even teenager (it's definitely a NA/adult read) and tell them... READ THIS NOW! Do you want to know why? Because this book carries with it a very strong message, one that shows strength and courage that many people might not have at the time, but after reading will understand and gain. I honestly don't know if there has ever been a time when I was prouder to be reading the heroine's story due to her choices. Ultimately though, Colleen Hoover wrote a book that everyone can take something away from. Colleen always writes such unique stories, and this one is certainly no exception. But the one thing I will say is that this is truly her best book yet.
“Just because someone hurts you doesn't mean you can simply stop loving them. It's not a person's actions that hurt the most. It's the love. If there was no love attached to the action, the pain would be a little easier to bear.”
Lily's story is one that I never wanted to stop reading. If I know that I'm going to need to read a book in multiple sittings (which was the case with this book), I usually try to find a good place to stop. One in which, nothing major is happening and nobody is facing some drastic/perilous moment. Well you see the problem with this book is the fact that there is literally NO. GOOD. STOPPING. POINT! None! There was never a part where I felt safe in letting this book sit overnight because I knew that the story and the what if's would play endlessly in my mind. So I stayed up and read it all in one sitting because I simply couldn't stop. Lily was someone that I connected to right from the get go. I knew as soon as the book started that I would like her, and that never once stopped while I was reading. However, I didn't realize how much her character would affect me while I was reading. As I said before, after I was finished reading, I couldn't have been prouder of her decisions. The strength she had throughout the story to go through what she did, but also her resolve and conviction just made me constantly cheer her on. Lily is truly one of the most admirable characters that I have ever had the pleasure of reading about, and that admiration goes extraordinarily deep.
“Life is a funny thing. We only get so many years to live it, so we have to do everything we can to make sure those years are as full as they can be. We shouldn't waste time on things that might happen someday, or maybe even never.”
I mentioned it briefly above, but this book has a very powerful message, and this message is actually carefully woven into the story from page 1. You obviously don't realize it when you start reading the novel, but it's there when you look back after finishing. And this is also why I'm going to reiterate the importance of going into the story blind, because just as unexpected and emotional it is for the reader to read and witness what Lily goes through, it is even more unexpected and emotional for Lily. This is where this book truly shines, because you as a reader feel like part of the story. There's a very slow burn while reading, one in which we get to know characters and see the develop in the ways that we as humans get to know each other...but then Colleen rips that metaphorical rug out from under all of us, and shocks us with one revelation after another. But you know what? That's exactly how life is sometimes...sometimes you never see things coming in a million years and you have to figure out how to deal with these radical changes you never thought would happen.
“It stops here. With me and you. It ends with us.”
Where this book really got me though was the meaning of the title. Throughout the entire time I was reading, I kept wondering what the title meant. Because come on...this is Colleen Hoover and literally EVERYTHING has some significance (no matter how small). And when I got to the part of the story where the title finally made sense, guys let me tell you...this had an impact on me like no other. I just sat there with my book in my hands staring at the page for a solid 5 minutes. It is the perfect title for the perfect book.
“Fifteen seconds. That’s all it takes to completely change everything about a person. Fifteen seconds that we'll never get back.”
I connected with this book in my own way, and for that I am extraordinarily thankful to Colleen Hoover for even writing this book. The author's note at the end was just as powerful and amazing as the rest of the story, but it shows just how personal this story was for her to write. I applaud Colleen for writing this book and not "making things easy" for the main character or glossing over the "bad parts." This is an incredibly realistic book that makes you realize many things and leaves an imprint on your soul. It's important to remember that everyone must make extraordinarily difficult decisions in their life, and not everyone will agree with them. If this book even empowers one woman to take steps in making an important decision, the Colleen Hoover did her job. And I count myself lucky to have had the honor of reading this story because I am a changed person because of it!
Happy reading :)
I have a confession to make here, folks:
I dismissed Colleen Hoover years ago and I haven't read anything from her since.
It's true. Three or four years ago I went through a string of so-so to bad Colleen Hoover books, and I decided to just put her out of my mind. I ignored her new releases, and I lumped her into my mental pile for authors who are "not for me."
Recently, one of my friends wanted to buddy read this book. I thought, "Gah, pay full price for a book I'm not going to like?" However, I sucked it up and sort of grumbled about it, but I decided to give it a go.
And this book blew me away.
The Colleen Hoover I last read wasn't writing books at this caliber. This was a whole different level.
For one, there are none, and I mean NONE, of the tired romance tropes presents in this book. In fact, this book was a little more woman's fiction than romance, if I'm being honest. While I guess it can still be classified, genre-rules-style, as romance, it is more about Lily's life experiences and the lessons that she learns about herself than anything else. There is a romance present, but I don't think it is the main focus of the story. While I'm not typically a women's fiction fan, I think that if this book took any other trajectory, it wouldn't have been as powerful.
I typically don't read reviews before starting a book. In fact, I didn't even read the blurb for this one, or if I did, I forgot it before starting to read. I liked that. I think going in blind with an open mind and minimal expectations is the way to go. Though the twists and turns aren't 100% unexpected, the author very much succeeded in pulling the rug out from under me on more than one occasion.
I'm usually not a fan of books where people say, "Wow, that made me think. This book is a thinker." I usually just roll my eyes internally because I assumed that the readers are being played like emotional pawns. I know, I'm judgy. But in this case, yeah, I was thinking a whole hell of a lot. It made me reevaluate how I perceive others and their relationships, and it made me rethink my biases. People are always know-it-alls until they are in the situation themselves, and then it doesn't seem quite as simple.
The author made one right decision after another with this story. I think that is the key to its success. The author made a relatable, human character in Lily, and gave each supporting character their positives and negatives. There are no villains here. No easy answers. Colleen Hoover also made an insanely smart decision to have only Lily narrate the story. There was no other choice, really, but it gave readers a laser-focus on her, which is where our focus deserves to be.
While this book has a positive ending, it is also a story that can be described as gritty, difficult, hopeful, powerful, and crushing, all at the same time. It is a long story, but it has a fast-pace with plot elements thrown in at the right times to keep interest engaged. I couldn't put the book down from the moment I got into the groove, and I read this story all night until the last page. The dedication is also important to read, but make sure you do it after you've finished the story and not before.
Colleen Hoover impressed me so much with this story. It made me rethink a lot of things, but most of all, it made me rethink how I judged Colleen Hoover years ago. I won't dismiss her so easily again.
Top international reviews
This book put me through the ringer, and I'm still feeling the aftershocks. I love books that make me question my own beliefs and really give me pause to stop and think. It Ends With Us is one of those books.
I have no personal experience of the subject matter but I have always had sympathy for anyone going through such a situation. It was no surprise that I really felt for Lily and shared her pain, grief, heartache, and confusion. I found myself constantly stopping to imagine how I might feel, how I would act, if I was in a similar situation, and I honestly don't know how I would deal with it.
What shocked me, what was entirely unexpected, was how much I felt for Ryle. Don't get me wrong, I wanted her to do what she did, and he was definitely in the wrong, but he wasn't a really nasty person. He was hugely flawed, damaged, and he couldn't control his emotions, but there was no doubt in my mind that he loved her. Probably too much which is where his issues stemmed from.
When I reflected on the initial scene where they met (so so good - the dialogue was unbelievably brilliant) I could see how self-aware he was. He indulged in one night stands with no strings and he didn't have relationships because he knew he was incapable of same. He should have stuck to that, but then we wouldn't have had a story.
I loved the letters to Ellen and the retelling of her time with Atlas. It was heartwarming and gut-wrenching at the same time. I really felt their connection, and I was rooting for them and then I became conflicted because Ryle was so perfect at the start and I felt their chemistry and their love and then...
Gosh, my heart is pounding again. And that twist - oh my Lord, I was cut up all over again when that happened.
I don't think I'll every forget this book. The last one that ripped my insides apart was Bright Side by Kim Holden (so good - go read it if you haven't already.) Different story but it delivered the same powerful emotional turmoil.
My only complaint is that I wanted more of "present day" Atlas but I'm greedy like that! A little novella now would be great, Colleen, hint hint!
I loved the personal note Colleen included at the end, and the personal connection she had to this story shines through.
It is quite simply masterful. Absolutely superb. She nailed the emotions and managed to end it on a positive note and I'm going to be feeling all the feels for a lot while.
Highly Recommended, but make sure you have a box of tissues because you'll need them.
Let me start by saying I had no idea what I would find written on these pages and I hadn't read the blurb or anything any one else written. I bought this book because I fell in love with the cover. Yes just for the cover.
After beginning this book I learnt that the subject matter was one that is extremely close to my heart and one I have been through myself. Colleens words are on point, powerful and thought provoking. This is a story that once finished will never leave your heart and will for me always be a favourite. Colleens words are beautiful and raw, they are brutally honest and beyond perfect for telling this story. There were parts where in real life I couldn't find explanations for that Colleen explained them perfectly and the reasons for Lily making the decisions she did are the reasons we all make or made those decisions and they aren't decisions any one would understand unless they themselves are in that situation. For a hard hitting subject matter, It Ends With Us is beautifully told, nothing is shied away from and Colleen brings an understanding to the subject that few people understand. I do not have enough words to say how much I loved this book, even though it broke my heart and then pieced it slowly back together, even though there were times I could have killed some of the characters, this book is just perfect.
Lily is a character that will from now on will rank right up there on my list of favourites. She is a character who will forever stay in my heart along with her story. She is not a perfect person, she has her flaws just like the rest of her and maybe that's what makes her so identifiable and relatable, but she will make you fall in love with her over and over again. Between her past and her present you are given so many reasons to love her and her very witty personality, also her love of Finding Nemo! I am not going to go into too much more detail, I will leave you to find the rest out for yourselves, however I will add that I LOVE Atlas! Atlas is just... *swoons* Ryle, ladies Ryle will get your pulses racing for all kinds of reasons!! And his sister Alyssa is so funny!
This book is beyond perfect, Colleen I bow to your amazing talent to form words in a way that will leave a very permanent imprint in peoples souls. It's almost like you are a superhero and your special power is writing words that will bleed ALL emotion out of all who read it. Thank you for this experience. There are very few authors who hit as powerfully as you have!
THIS BOOK NEEDS TO BE READ BY ALL!
I don't think I have cried so much at a book, or had such a massive bookish hangover since I read Noughts and Crosses (Malorie Blackman) when I was 12 years old. This book was so different to what I expected it to be but so much more than I had hoped it would be and it took me 2 whole days to recover before I could even begin to attempt to write a review for this book.
I started this book after getting home from work, absolutely knackered but kept awake by my excitement to start reading this book, and finished it within 4 hours (totally beat Amazon's 7 hours estimated reading time!). It then took me another hour to calm down before I could even think about going to bed and the next morning I feel totally emotionally exhausted.
I couldn't put the book down, nor did I want to. I have to admit to a couple of mini breaks in order to wipe the heavy amount of tears from my eyes and prepare myself for what was coming next, but other than that I read this book in one go.
CoHo has written us some amazing characters to fall in love with in the past, but I don't think I have ever been so proud of a heroine (CoHo's or anyone else's) than I was of Lily in this book. I loved her from page one and my admiration for her and her strength and conviction only grew the more I got into the book. She was real and vulnerable and she managed to find the strength to make the right choice in the hardest of situations. I honesty don't think I've admired a character more, and I feel like she is a heroine not just in this book, but for every girl and woman to look up to and be inspired by.
I want to clear up one thing in this review, and it is the only thing I will say about the story line of this book. Do not be afraid of a love triangle. After reading the description it was exactly where my mind went to, but having read a lot of CoHo books before I totally trusted her, and it was the right thing to do. Yes, there are two male characters in this book, but in no way are they or a love triangle the focus of this book. The story is so much bigger than them and I really hope that people don't get scared away from this book because of an assumed love triangle.
There is a very powerful message that is woven into this book, right from chapter one. It starts subtle, but as you read on you start to realise just how significant these moments are as the story comes together and gives us a raw and honest portrayal of a very realistic story.
I've purposely said very little to nothing about the storyline because everyone should go into this book blind, that way you won;t expect anything. This is very important because it is totally unexpected for our heroine too. We realise at the same time as our MC the situation she has ended up in and this allows us to experience her journey with her, which makes it all the more powerful.
We often hear authors telling us about how much of themselves they have poured into their books, and this book must have had gallons from CoHo, which is proved to us by the honesty of her authors note. I can honesty say that I have only cried at one other authors note before (Sweet Fall - Tillie Cole) but CoHo deserved every single one of my tears.
On a final note I have to say how much I love the title and cover of this book, the reasoning for both becomes apparent as you read the book, and for the title especially has a very strong impact emotionally.
"That’s what fifteen minutes can do to a person. It can destroy them. It can save them."
I don't want to go too much into the plot, because is better to embark on this journey with little to none information.
Lily Blossom Bloom (yes, that's her name) moved from Maine to Boston and after graduating dreams of opening her own business - a flower shop. We navigate between Lily's past and present and get to know what foundations paved the way for Lily to be who she is the current timeline. However, as a 25-year-old, the way to finding herself is only starting.
This book gives you so much to think about because it truly takes to heart one of it's earliest statements: “There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.” That's the leitmotif of It Ends with Us, characters are human and flawed and have so many layers to them that it's impossible to judge them for one mistake.
This book is so beautiful and heartbreaking but at the same time so necessary and satisfactory. It's an absolute must-read for everyone and anyone.
Ryle is definitely not my favourite character but I surprisingly finished this book with no burning sense of hatred towards him. I was ready to really despise Ryle once the first incident/event happened, but as the book progressed those damn shades of grey became more apparent. The complexity of being in such a situation, and the internal conflict one can go through was depicted so well through Lily – I couldn’t help but feel for her, even as I cringed sensing strongly that the first incident/event wouldn’t be the last.
There is a bit of a love triangle in this but not in the traditional sense so to speak and not in a way that had me thinking hell no, there’s no cheating (physical or emotional). Rather Lily finds herself making difficult decisions that align her path once again with her first love - Atlas.
Still not sure how much I believe the “There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.” But in the context of this book and the characters the author did wonderfully at highlighting those varying shades of grey that manifest in messy ways in lived reality. One of the key reasons that I always say ‘I hope I would do….’, when talking to friends and family, because you just never know what you would do if you found
yourself in such a situation.
The journal entries from Lily’s youth had me loving Atlas.
Throughout this book my emotions were engaged, and at 95% I could feel the tears emerging, stinging my eyes - Lily is one strong, brave woman.
A book that had me absorbed and one I’ll remember, and I so see myself re-reading this at some point.
However, whilst I was absorbed in this book, there are a few things that concern me a tad now I’ve had time to think a little after reading. For example, there seems to be no concern/consideration of the fact that no matter how much he doesn’t want to Ryle may hurt the next women he dates/marries – something his child, Lily’s child could witness, but there’s no sense of how he will stop himself from raising his hands/fists. Shouldn’t this be something Lily would also be concerned about?
Also, the attempted rape – I don’t know as I sit back and let what happened sink further into me, I just don’t feel like Ryle was truly confronted with the horror what he almost did – although when Lily reminds him of what he did and askes him if he would want his daughter to stay with such a man – that scene is pretty powerful.
Part of me does wish the author had made me feel a little less pity for Ryle, although whilst I was a tad sympathetic it wasn't a lot. I’m SO GLAD this book ended how it did, I sighed with relief.
Thank you Colleen for writing a book that will for ever remain with me and given me more understanding on a subject I always thought I knew what I would do in - naked truth - I don't know what I would do if faced with Lily's life !
This book tackles a subject that is heavy but Colleen tackles it respectfully and in her own unique way it's not all doom and gloom there are some funny and up lifting moments especially the moment where the book title makes complete sense.
Naked Truth - Loved every word of this book !
Lovers of angst will relish this book !
It is a heart wrenching story that towards the end epitomises the love a mother has for her child and how that forces hard decisions to be made.
Having gone on to read the authors notes at the end I’m just grateful that I haven’t found myself in this position.
The love between Lily and Ryle is so beautifully described, you fall so deeply for both of them, in fact with all the characters.
It’s just left a massive impression on me, it’s one of those books that’ll think about for weeks... ‘a wave that leaves a big imprint’
Massively cheesy, soppy romantic, implausible, and those names I don't know where she thinks them up from (Ryle, Rylee and Atlas?!)
However, the writing is great again, she somehow manages to suck you in and you feel as though you really get to know the characters.
The story describes the relationship between Lily and Atlas and Ryle with a great way of flash back storytelling with the letters to Ellen.
With Colleen's books there's always a twist/curveball and I did not see this one coming.
It was very close to five stars and only a few niggles stopped me (Alyssa & Marshall bits mainly).
It Ends With Us features two leading characters Ryle and Lilly who happen to meet unexpectedly whilst both being in a bad place mentally. Together they embark on a journey of love, heartbreak & acceptance. I'm not one to give spoilers but if I can give any advice it would be to take a risk and buy it.. you won't be disappointed!
On to the next one haha!
I’m not going to say too much about the plot because if I do it will spoil it. It’s not often a book surprises me as much as this one did. I honestly didn’t see it coming. It was very emotional, very painful and very honest, and I absolutely loved it. All the characters were believable and the book was so well written.
I never had to deal with an abusing relationship and I never understood what makes a person accept that type of treatment. But I started to understand, because I was finding excuses for Ryle all the time, even if I knew that what he’s doing is wrong.
If you want to read a book that’s going to stay on your mind for a long time and is going to change the way you see things, go for it. It’s a great read and the characters are lovely, all of them, even the ones that you would like to hate.