Ratings: ☕☕☕☕☕ (5/5)
Trigger warning: abusive relationship, domestic violence, sexual assault
SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST
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, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.
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.
“Shouldn’t there be more distaste in our mouths for the abusers than for those who continue to love the abusers?”
It Ends With Us isn’t a book that changed me, nor is it a book that taught me things that I didn’t already know. But it is a special book, nonetheless, not just because it is incredibly well-written, has complex characters who are painfully imperfect, and a plot that is–to quote Hoover herself–brave and bold. This book is special, because this book is important.
Abusive relationships is a subject that needs to be discussed more often, especially considering that even now, though we do hate and condemn abusers, almost all of us have asked this question at least once: “Why didn’t she leave him the first time he hit her? Why did she give him a second chance? Why didn’t she walk away?”
The answers to these questions are actually really simple, but to understand them is the hard part, and this is what Colleen Hoover tried to do with It Ends With Us. She did not simply answer the above questions with her eloquent writing and endearing characters–who despite all their good qualities–make profound terrible mistakes. She helped us understand why it is so hard to walk away from a toxic relationship–because sometimes, the abuser is not a misogynistic, sadistic monster but instead a charismatic, loving, compassionate, driven man with an unforgivable flaw.
I have never read any book by Hoover before, but her writing in this book blew me away. Despite the simplicity of her narration style, her writing evokes strong powerful feelings of every emotional spectrum in her readers. This is a story that will make you smile because of the cuteness of the romance, it will make you giddy with happiness, and it will leave you in tears and fits of anger because not all love stories end well.
This is not a romance about true, unconditional love but rather about the inconceivable dangers of unconditional love . Unconditional love is a beautiful thing in the sense that it teaches you to love someone regardless of their flaws, but Lily’s story–a story that is unfortunately a reality for many many women and men out there–is proof that there are some flaws that can never make up for all the goodness a person may hold in their heart.
It Ends With Us may fall into the NA Romance category, and it maybe fictional (with a several elements from the writer’s own life), but it’s also a book that raises awareness. It is definitely a book that every adult should read regardless of whether or not they enjoy the genre, and I highly recommend it to everyone.
Which was the last book that made you cry because of the difficult choices the characters had to make? What are your thoughts on unconditional love?