It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover ~ SPOILERS + TRIGGERS

All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t the mistakes we make. It’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.
— It Ends With Us

I devoured this book in two days!! Had I not had other priorities I would have finished it in a few hours. After reading November 9 {You can read my review here } I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I am a Colleen Hoover fan and I will be reading more of her writing. Another thank you to the book community for exposing me to another great author!!!

Fair warning before you pick up this book, there are MAJOR triggers; domestic violence, abuse and rape. I sort of have a hankering for stories that highlight trigger topics. I think I've shared that with you here before. Of course, I don't love the dynamics of these topics obviously, but I love when authors are fearless in including them in fictional stories. These things are happening in real life and I don't want to be a reader that's always reading books with topics that make me comfortable. I want my thinking challenged and I want to understand different perspectives even when they don't align with my own. This book completely ripped me apart!!!! Every warning sign was there; every red flag but the hesitation to walk away is always present even when taken for granted. Here's the 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, 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.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

The observation I made about Lily, the main character, at the very beginning of the book was that she was fragile. A product and witness of an abusive home, her ability to heed to warning signs was vacant. Her first encounter with Ryle, the protagonist of this story, on the roof of the building she lived in, was volatile. Ryle was angry and kicking an indestructible chair. Hint number one. He was a tall, well built neurosurgeon with a temper. Lily was smitten by him, as any girl would be. Insert warning sign number 2 ~ Ryle's incessant desire to let Lily know he wanted to be "intimate" with her. Not quite that subtle if you get my drift.

While I appreciate an up front and blunt gentleman, Ryle was a bit obsessed with wanting to sleep with Lily to the point of begging. He framed it as a "need" so that he could "stop thinking about her." Like what? He wasn't suggesting a relationship or a dating situation. He was suggesting they have sex so that his feelings for her would go away. He was eerily persistent. They eventually lost contact, but reconnected when Lily opened her floral shop and hired an ebullient girl named, Alyssa. Alyssa, by far, was my favorite character. She was quite rich and didn't need to work, but did so to keep herself busy. She and her husband Marshal, were a fun loving couple; snarky, coy, funny and sarcastic together. She was really responsible for getting Lily's shop organized. She was well rounded and Lily's closest friend, but she was also Ryle's sister. 

Alyssa was quite aware of her brothers rage and throughout the story showed her genuine concern and love for both her brother and Lily. Another character I loved was, Atlas. Atlas would eventually become Lily's life line.  Lily was in love with Atlas in their younger years. He was her first. He was homeless and desolate and Lily took him in cared for him. Fast forward to their adult years and Atlas would return the favor. Ryle and Lily would spend much time with subtle flirtations, several intimate moments all filled with cues that something was NOT on the up and up. However, she married him anyway in a quick Vegas wedding. And like Lily's mom who was physically, emotionally and verbally abused by Lily's father, Lily was following in her footsteps; excepting intolerable behaviors and confusing "control" with love. In one of Ryle's rages, he hurt Lily to the point she needed to be hospitalized after discovering that the gentlemen that owned the restaurant they patronized was in fact the guy Lily was in love with many years ago, Atlas. While in the hospital she discovered that she was pregnant with Ryle's baby, a daughter. At this point, she actually made the decision that it was not safe to stay with him or even be near him. She forgave Ryle after being away from him for a while, but she knew the cycle needed to end with her daughter.  


I really enjoyed this book alot. It completely wrecked me!!! For me, this was a typical case of the relationship and inner workings of the victimizer and the victim. Even in the end she couldn't bring herself to be truly angry with or hateful towards him. Throughout the story, she kept repeating his good qualities to herself; trying to convince herself that even in his victimizing role that he, himself, was a victim of circumstance. Ryle revealed to her the source of his rage, he accidentally shot he and Alyssa's older brother when he was six year olds. I am a person who truly believes that, yes, someone's environment can shape who they are, but it does not deem them incapable of making better choices. There is never an excuse for abuse or the vile and disgusting act of rape no matter the background. 

I loved that Hoover touched upon the topic of rape within a marriage. It is beyond me to think there are cases where women have been raped by their husbands and their were no repercussions or punishment. I am unforgiving in this area so it was interesting to read from the perspective of a character who is. This story was just brilliantly written. There are no hero's and no happy endings. I can appreciate that, there was no fairytale romance ending; only Lily's will to move forward and make a sound decision to break a cycle of abuse with her own daughter. The only aspect of this book that prevents me from rating it five stars were her long journal entries to Ellen Degenres. Although I appreciated the insight into her younger self, the entries seemed to be page fillers. I would've liked to learn about her younger self and her beginnings with Atlas in pieces throughout the narrative.

Even with that this book is a MUST READ!!!

My Rating: {4.5/5}