Review: It Ends With Us (& Giveaway!)

It Ends With Us Book CoverIt Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover, published August 2016 by Simon and Schuster.

Read: August 2016
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary/Romance/Issues
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 376
Get It Now: Wordery

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Goodreads 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.

Don’t forget to enter my GIVEAWAY to win a paperback copy of It Ends With Us (INT)!

SO many thoughts for this one! Where to begin?! Let’s start with the basics – I LOVE that cover, and I’m very pleased that the UK cover is the same as the US one. I was getting really fed up with getting the raw end of the deal when it comes to CoHo covers! A side note – I pre-ordered this book with The Book Depository, and I should have known better. Yet another pre-order that didn’t work in my favour (find out why I give up on pre-ordering). It arrived over a week late, as they had no stock. I can’t even. Now, on to the review 🙂

*WARNING* – MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD

I gobbled this book up in one day (albeit a hungover Sunday, so plenty of time for lazy reading, and over-sensitive emotions). As all CoHo books are for me, this was a highly anticipated read, and Hoover upped her game with online promotion. It felt like snippets, initial reviews, and promo material were constantly in my newsfeed. I’m not complaining as such, I just feel like all of the noise over-hyped this book for me, and seriously raised my expectations. It’s probably safer for me to un-follow Hoover on social media each time she has a new release out, as going in blind is always best with her novels. Because of all the hype, there were a couple of times I felt a little underwhelmed by the story (but then again, that could have been the hangover talking!), but overall I really enjoyed this read.

This novel has two stories running concurrently – we get the present day story of Lily, flower shop owner, and girlfriend of super broody Ryle (the guy who just doesn’t do girlfriends until Lily comes along), as well as flashbacks to teenage Lily and her first love, the super supportive and kind, Atlas (really, Colleen? Atlas?!). Hoover always manages to add a unique story-telling twist to her books, and in this case the flashback chapters are written to Ellen DeGeneres in a diary format. Hoover handles multiple story-lines and multiple timelines expertly, so that was in no way a problem. I did have a minor problem with some areas of the novel that were trope-heavy. My cynical side is beginning to sneer at elements of romance novels that are really unrealistic and/or far too good to be true.

However, as I’ve come to expect from Hoover and her originality, there are other areas of the novel that are all-too-realistic, painful, and emotionally hard-hitting. Just as in life, CoHo is NEVER black and white. She gets the nuances of life, and spins a story around you that is so vivid, and so emotional, that you truly struggle to comprehend what you would do if you were in the position of her characters. Hoover excels herself in It End With Us when it comes to “the grey areas” – character morals and ethics, what’s right and wrong, what can be forgiven, and what can’t. She forces her characters to make some really tough decisions, and in the process forces her readers to engage with the story on a whole new level. My strength of character was tested by this novel.

There was a sub-plot that I felt was a little unnecessary. It seems to have been used to provide a reason/excuse for a character’s behaviour, but I think for its gravity, it should either have been given much more time, or none at all. I get that we are heavily influenced by our experiences in life, but sometimes people just behave like a shit, and we don’t need to psycho-analyse their history. However, massive Brownie Points also need to be awarded. As someone who reads a fair amount of Young Adult and New Adult books, I’m pleased to say that Hoover has finally broken the mould for authors everywhere – no one in this novel let out a breath they didn’t know they were holding. 

Colleen has an online merchandise store, and considering the super-fan that I am, I’ve never made a purchase. Until now. Whether it’s incredibly smart marketing (which I’m fine with), or beautiful coincidence, Colleen usually manages to include something in her novels that she can make tangible for the readers (the music from Maybe Someday, the artwork from Confess), in this case a new t-shirt has been released that I HAD to have, and each purchaser also receives a Boston magnet. This is significant. Shipping has always put me off, but while I was there I also ordered a signed copy of one of my favourite books as well (Ugly Love with the US cover!).

This book is very personal to Colleen, a note at the end of the book explains the real-life experiences that were the inspiration for the story. It raises so many emotions in the reader, that it’s difficult to give this book a rating, or to rank it among her others. I had to take a few days to digest it before I felt I could pull together a review. Overall, I’m not sure I would count this as my favourite of her work, but it is an incredibly well-written and worthwhile read.

Quotables

“There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.”

“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.”

“Fifteen seconds. That’s all it takes to completely change everything about a person.”

“Cycles exist because they are excruciating to break. It takes an astronomical amount of pain and courage to disrupt a familiar pattern. Sometimes it seems easier to just keep running in the same familiar circles, rather than facing the fear of jumping and possibly not landing on your feet.”

The Rating

4.5/5

Have you read It Ends With Us, or are you interested in picking it up? What’s your favourite Colleen Hoover read so far? Let me know in the comments!

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18 comments

  1. I’m filled with great trepidation whenever I see it on my bookshelves. I mean, you would think I’m used to CoHo’s ability to reduce me to a pile of emotional wreck, but nooooo. Regardless, I’m looking forward to a day when i have enough balls to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, I was always petrified going into a Hoover book that THIS one would be the weak one that would make me fall out of love with her, but I have to say, she has never let me down. Some resonate with me more than others, yes, but none of them are low rated. The hype surrounding this one just meant it was on a pedestal before I got anywhere near it, and some of the YA/NA tropes are beginning to be a little formulaic (this is definitely a personal thing at the minute, sometimes I’m all for near-impossible romance stories, and sometimes my inner bitter-single comes out and craps all over it!). Although Hoover usually deals with “issues”, this is definitely one of her most real and raw ones. R xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hype for books usually kills the book for me, so I completely understand. I think it was good that I received an early copy and could read it before most people had reviewed it, so it didn’t ruin the experience for me. Otherwise, I would’ve probably been in the same boat as you. I went in completely blind, and I’m so glad I did.
    Lovely review, Rach. This book was definitely emotional and eye-opening. I love how Colleen can make each of her books totally unique.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I tried really hard to ignore the hype for this one, pretty sure there were times I scrolled down my newsfeed with one eye closed as soon as I saw Colleen’s profile come up! It did the trick, because the plot wasn’t ruined for me at all, but it did set a pretence that this is the best Colleen Hoover book ever, and everyone died while reading it, and it is their all time favourite EVER… Yes, there were elements of the story I really liked, and some that were absolutely soul destroying, but there were a few eye rolls from me in there too.

      She still has it though, no doubt. This is one that’s going to linger with me, especially because I think it will make some readers uncomfortable. The “everyone deserves a second chance”, “there’s more good in him than bad”, “everyone makes mistakes, it’s a one-off” mentality. Been there, done that. And it SUCKED because while part of me was internally screaming “Go you silly woman, ditch him!”, the other part of me sadly knows just how hard that can be, and Hoover depicted that internal struggle beautifully and realistically. So much so that I was wavering as well, and I shouldn’t be doing that! I was kind of disappointed in myself, but what an eye-opener! “Brave and Bold” – I can’t wait to get the tee – I hope it fits OK!

      Thanks, B! Have you entered the giveaway? Or did you get a physical ARC?

      This has made me remember how much I love talking about books with you. We really need to do a Babes and Books review soon, going to check the Group and see what we have in common. R xx

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I have never read anything by this author but I keep hearing such good things about her and especially this book in particular. I am looking forward to reading It Ends With Us.
    x The Captain

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  4. I really need to get this one. I’ve read a few of Hoover’s earlier books, like Slammed, Hopeless and Maybe Someday. Maybe Someday is an all-time favorite of mine – I adored it!! But then I read Ugly Love and didn’t like it at all – and it’s like I’ve been afraid to read a Hoover book ever since. I own Confess and Never Never but haven’t read either of them yet. But this book has gotten all the raves – I NEED to get over my issue (whatever it is) and pick this book up!!!

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    1. There are definitely Hoover books I prefer over others, but none have ever been a total miss for me. You have to read Confess, I really loved it! I haven’t finished Never Never just yet, but book 1 had me hooked! I hope you entered the giveaway! R xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The rafflecopter said I didn’t leave a comment so I’m doing it again ♡ Looking forward to reading It ends with us! Thank you for the giveaway ♡ Linda Romer

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  5. Slammed and Point of Retreat are by far my favorite Colleen’s books. Excited to read It Ends with Us, sounds like a really good one.
    Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

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