Title: It Ends with Us
Series: Standalone Novel
Author: Colleen Hoover
Release Date: August 2, 2016!
SYNOPSIS:Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.PURCHASE HERE:
This book left me completely speechless. It's why this review will be far from eloquent and admittedly a little short. I've been staring at the cursor as it blinks in silence on my computer screen, trying to come up with a review for this unbelievably complex, astonishingly real, and heart wrenching novel. I can't decide what I want to tell you and I think that's because I really don't want to tell anything at all.
I went into It Ends with Us with a clear head and absolutely no idea on what was going to happen. It's best that way. This novel is one of those reads that simply knocks you out cold. It's a heavy handed, physical blast to the feels (aka: emotions). You cannot catch your breath while reading. It's settles you into an easy reading pace, makes you feel good, cocoons you in it's warmth, and then when you think you're happy and safe, you're not.
It EVISCERATES you.
It tears you down piece by piece until you're left confused, torn, broken, thinking, "I can't believe this is happening. I don't believe it. I don't want to believe it."
I still can't get over it. I still can't process the fact that it threw me so off center. And when I describe this book to people, I keep repeating, "It's heart breaking, but hopeful." And I know that doesn't seem really comforting. It doesn't tell you much at all.
But here's the thing, I don't want to get into Ryle or Atlas or Lily or the characters in this book. I don't want to break them down piece by piece. I don't want to plant seeds or ideas in your head. I don't want to influence your reading experience. I want you to go in. I want you to READ. I want you to EXPERIENCE it with the same innocence and naivety that I did.
I want it to sucker punch you.
I want it to ruin you.
I want it to heal you.
I want you to LIVE this through Lily's eyes, heart, and mind just like I did. And I feel as though saying anything to you, about anything, is a spoiler. And that is why this review is so pathetic. It's why this review is a short, hot mess.
"There is no such thing as bad people. We're all just people who sometimes do bad things."
It Ends With Us is a devastating, evocative story of forgiveness, empathy, understanding, and impossible choices. I had to set this book down and step away from it more than once, I had to take moments to cry and feel and breathe. I had a visceral reaction to every page, a physical ache to forgive the unforgivable, emotional distress over witnessing such devastation, grief over all that is lost. Friendships are born and broken in these pages, lives are saved and destroyed, lessons are learned, souls are crushed, hope is restored and dashed, the people you least expect to hurt you do, the people you least expect to save you will. I felt the raw intensity of falling in love, of falling apart, every note of humor and joy and despair so acutely. I felt this book in a way I know I will never forget.
"Maybe love isn't something that comes full circle. It just ebbs and flows, in and out, just like the people in our lives."
Ryle Kincaid, Lily's present day love interest and successful neurosurgeon, is arrogant and sexy and driven and I fell for him instantly. Atlas Corrigan, the kind, affectionate teenager from her past, is beautifully broken and I loved him immediately and intensely. It was difficult to fathom a future for 24 year old florist, Lily Bloom, that didn't include both of these men who were so dear to her at varying points in her life, and my heart hurt knowing we couldn't have them both. Colleen Hoover vividly and humorously juxtaposes the past with the present, threading the heaviness of Lily's youth with the lightness and humor of her diaries to make for an emotional storyline peppered with both devastation and wit. When the two parts of her life converge, the boy from her past who had nothing and the man from her present who has it all, Lily must decide what it all means for her future.
"If there was no love attached to the action, the pain would be a little easier to bear."
Going in, I believed this was merely a romance about a woman who'd have to make a choice between the two men she'd loved after their paths unexpectedly collided, but I soon realized that It Ends With Us is so much more than I could have ever predicted. This story shattered me. I loved every character thoroughly, connected with them in different but equal ways, and that's why the events in this book are so inconceivable. There was no predicting the course of events that would occur within these pages. Things happened in this story that I never saw coming, couldn't believe were actually happening and everything I thought I knew, thought I believed in, became uncertain. To experience Lily's journey properly, the reader has to first be made to love these characters the way she does, then be blindsided by their unthinkable behavior as she is, and then experience the heartbreaking decisions she's forced to make right along with her... and Hoover deliberately and exquisitely ensures we do just that .
"I think about Ryle. I think about Atlas. I think about how sometimes, no matter how convinced you are that your life will turn out a certain way, all that certainty can be washed away with a simple change in tide."
I'll tell you now that this story is not what you think it is. It's different. It's bigger. It's more. It's romantic, no doubt about that. The undeniable chemistry between Lily and Ryle wars with the passionate history between Lily and Atlas to make for an emotional, tumultuous journey of love and heartbreak. But this story is something else entirely. It's a story of familial drama, of friendship, of healing and rebuilding and finding peace with things that can't be changed. It's about experiencing the best and the worst in people and deciding what's worth the risk. It's a love story... two actually... but to simply call this book a romance significantly dims the brilliance that is It Ends With Us. Colleen Hoover fans like myself will find everything they love about this author within these pages. But readers should set their expectations and preconceived notions aside because, while this story is signature CoHo, it far exceeds anything we've ever seen from her before. Hoover steps outside the box in the very best ways with It Ends With Us, but this isn't just her toeing the line. This is Colleen Hoover making a new box, a bigger box, an extensive, impressive, more polished box. Colleen Hoover just took the old box, the one with Slammed and Maybe Someday and November 9 and Hopeless in it, blew the lid off it, dumped it all inside a huge new box, so all our favorite signature COHO stuff is still in there (the humor, the smart dialogue, the enigmatic characters, the captivating storyline, the heavy themes, the raw emotions.) But now it's a much larger box with a whole lot more stuff in it. New stuff. Beautiful stuff. Powerful stuff. Stuff we've never seen. Things we didn't expect. This new box is glorious and ugly and fantastic. It's a box of CoHo taking chances. It's a box of CoHo getting unbelievably personal while broadening horizons all at once. It Ends With Us is an exciting, fresh box filled with the old classic CoHo and a bunch of other awesome and beautiful things that can't even be named. This new box just blew my mind.
"In the future... if by some miracle you ever find yourself in the position to fall in love again... fall in love with me."
This is, hands down, the best book Colleen Hoover has ever written. Is it my favorite? I don't know how to answer that. It feels wrong to describe the course of events in this book as my 'favorite' anything. It feels wrong to call a book I wish had never been written 'phenomenal.' But I'll call it that because that's what it is. It's the most powerful, beautiful, haunting story this author has ever delivered. It's also one of the most profoundly important books I've ever read. I was deeply effected by this story. I felt everything this author set out to make her reader feel while reading this book. The love, the hope, the devastation, the grief, the fear, the sadness, the loss, the conflicting emotions, all of it. I got it. I was so far in this story, in these characters, on this journey, I don't know how long it'll take me to find my way out. This is not a feel good story. This isn't heartwarming. This is tragic. And it's perfect. Every single detail, every brick in the wall of the structure of this story, was meticulously placed by this author and it was done so magnificently. I don't know if it's my favorite because this story made me feel things I don't ever want to feel again, but the fact that she made me feel THAT WAY means this story was executed perfectly, that it is, under no uncertain terms, phenomenal.
Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, This Girl, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, and Confess. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Please visit ColleenHoover.com.