This is a beautiful book. Not in an every-word-is-precious way, but in the way it approaches and deals with a topic where the protagonist is usually dehumanized. Colleen Hoover takes on domestic violence, yet has created a book that is hot, full of love and breezy in a way that’s difficult to achieve with this subject matter. It also made me well up with a sort of sad happiness and that hardly ever happens.
Lily’s just buried her father. Her asshole violent father. Needing some fresh air she retreats to a city rooftop high above Boston and whilst there meets a guy. Ryle. A super sexy neurosurgeon, who’s smoking a joint cos he’s all stressed. They play a very interesting game of Naked Truth and he admits he’s very attracted to her and wants a one night stand. Ryle is hot stuff.
Except he doesn’t date. His life is too busy and he doesn’t have it in him to be a boyfriend. Lily doesn’t do one nighters, so despite the startling chemistry, she walks away.
Several months on and she’s realizing her dream of opening a florist shop. Her new staff member happens to be sister to – you guessed it – Ryle. And now he’s found Lily again, he won’t take no for an answer (in a hot way.)
In the background to all these shenanigans, Lily reads us her diaries. Usually I find this sort of writing a real pace-slower, but it sort of worked as the story of Lily and Atlas was told. He was her first love at age 15 and the sweetest boy ever.
Her parents relationship was also laid out in this diarized series of letters to Ellen DeGeneres. Yep, the chat show host. Tbh I skipped a fair amount of the Dear Ellen bit and moved to the action, so this didn’t really hold me up any as I learned all about Atlas, a homeless boy living on Lily’s street.
Of course, at some point in the book the two stories have to collide – and they did. Bringing a drool-worthy, post-military Atlas back into Lily’s life. There are elements of a love triangle, but fear not, there’s no cheating. The focus is more on examining the root cause of human frailty. And on making the right choices.
Hoover does something clever, too. She produces an abuser for whom I felt so much pity. Who I cared about and respected by the end of the novel. This book took me through an emotional rollercoaster.
Click to purchase: Amazon
It Ends With Us
by Colleen Hoover
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Atria Books