Staff Review – It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

If you follow any type of literary movement on social media, you’ve likely seen Colleen Hoover’s name attached. Hoover’s books have completely blown up on #booktok and her 2016 novel “It Ends With Us” is one of the most-mentioned novels on these lists. It’s now been 7 years since this book was originally published, and suddenly it is reappearing on several top fiction lists and #1 best seller lists. Naturally, I was curious what the big deal was, and decided to check it out for myself. “It Ends With Us” follows 23 year old Lily Bloom. The novel opens with her chance meeting with a neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid. Sparks fly immediately, but they only talk and share many “naked truths” about themselves, including the fact that Lily’s abusive father has just passed away. Six months later, they meet again, and the sparks have much more time to catch this time around. As Lily begins her relationship with Ryle, she looks back on her journals from when she was 15. All those years ago, she developed a bond with 18 year old Atlas Corrigan, a student at her school who was homeless and living in the abandoned house behind her home. Nine years later and in a relationship with Ryle, Lily’s first love comes back into her life as they dine at his restaurant. While Lily thinks she has everything with Ryle, their relationship begins to crumble for heartbreaking reasons.

This novel contains some very serious topics that could potentially be difficult for readers to take in. Domestic abuse, attempted rape, homelessness and toxic relationships are all a very large part of this story. In a (spoiler-filled) section at the end of the book, Colleen Hoover discusses how some of the scenes in the book were inspired by her mother’s life with Hoover’s father. One of the scenes we see is actually taken directly from Hoover’s mother’s life. This was a heartbreaking revelation to read about – reading a fictional story of abuse is hard enough, but knowing that it was all inspired by the author’s mother? That made me think about the story in a whole new way.

This book was a great introduction (for me) to Hoover’s writing, and I can see why so many readers are falling in love with her work. Last year, a sequel was released titled “It Starts With Us”, which follows Lily and Atlas’ perspectives, which I am looking forward to reading. I found Atlas’ character really interesting and I was hoping to learn more about him during this novel, so the sequel should hopefully feed my curiousity! If you haven’t done so already, check out Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us (and It Starts With Us) today!