A Very Spoilery Chat: It Ends With Us Review

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Content warnings for It Ends With Us provided at the bottom of this post, for those who would find them useful. You can find further details on content warnings here.

Summary of It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

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 where she grew up–she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. And when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life seems 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.

bookshop.org

My Spoilery Thoughts on It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

I underestimated Colleen Hoover. Truly. She’s just so prolific that I suppose I pegged her for a churn-it-out kind of author, and I had never bothered to read her before this one. My friend who I do most of my buddy reads with, actually, is the one that put me onto It Ends With Us. I didn’t agree to a buddy read in a timely enough manner, so she went ahead and then recommended it again. That got my attention — I like a pre-vetted read by someone I trust. (Don’t we all?) And now I see what the hype is about.

This is going to be a spoilery chat (hence the title), so buckle in for some strong opinions and horrific misspellings straight from the notes app on my phone. (If you haven’t seen the mess that these posts tend to be, you can also check out my spoilery chats on Beautiful World, Where Are You, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, and Queen of Air and Darkness, among others.) If you haven’t already read It Ends With Us, continue at your own risk.

The Setup

I strongly disliked this book in the beginning. I was rolling my eyes so hard it’s a miracle I didn’t DNF this one. It’s a bit of a double edged sword, however, because I ended up appreciating that contrast in the end. I thought it made the fall all the more poignant. I’m happy I continued, because I think the beginning might have been purposefully misleading about what kind of story this would be — which perfectly encapsulates the reality of domestic violence and abuse within romantic relationships.

I’m torn. On one hand, I loved the overall arc of the book after having finished it, as previously stated. On the other, I don’t like justifying the “push through it” mentality. I suppose though that Colleen Hoover has enough of a loyal following to know that not many are going to DNF it. (And to be fair, not everyone has the same aversion I do to too-good-too-be-true narratives.)

perfect moments

I love a good Princess Diaries 2 moment. You know, when Mia gets to see her royal digs for the first time and her closet is absolutely ridiculous? That’s the feeling I got from quite a few scenes in It Ends With Us — indulgence. When Lily sees the apartment Ryle has bought for the first time? Heaven. Her luck in gaining a best friend and coworker who happens to be crazy wealthy and is her husband’s sister? Dreamy. Almost too perfect, some would say. And again, I would usually be turned off by the sickly-sweetness of it all, but Hoover manages it.

my verbatim reading notes

This is the part where I copy-and-paste my review notes into the post, no filter or corrections. I do this kind of note-taking for every book I read, knowing that I’ll be posting about it in one way or another. It is the quality (and sometimes rant-like length) that determines if the read will be a regular review or a Very Spoilery Chat. Case in point.


okay scientifically the first part is true, that’s not a new thought

her record scratch moment lol pls stop

why do i already dislike her

“broad shoulders” can’t wait for the “handsome in a plain way” comment i know is coming

weird meeting but okay

right she’s not a stoner but also not a narc. gotta make sure to strike that balance lol

oh sorry he’s “beautiful” gon gag

she dreams of owning a flower shop stop it

“i have a masters” no u literally do not, ur 23 stop

too much drama ugh

why does he care so much. it’s weird

okay the eulogy thing isn’t clever and she’s a brat

no i’m gonna vom

“love has never appealed to me” ugh of course he says that

y’all gonna end up together. stop it lol

okay nope he’s problematic

second guy gonna be first boy ain’t it

loooool

so problematic honestly

he called her the most beautiful THING i’ve ever seen

why hasn’t she worried abt brother death before. i swear that’s what this is gon be. ryle caused his death

okay everything is perf and we’re 70% thru, where’s the rest

okay, i think my analysis is that hoover is bad at setup, good at complex emotions

“stares at her appreciatively” appears twice in epilogue, cmon copyeditors

epilogue better not ruin it

the note is wonderful. i admire her so much 

beginning felt deceptive — hoover acknowledged this is new to her, and that tracks — feels like she gets more into her voice as she goes , it shifts?

conclusion

I’m a fan. I am definitely convinced that I need to read at least one more Colleen Hoover book, just to see if this kind of writing is the norm for her. Who knows — maybe I’m a CoHo convert.

Wishing you all the best reads,

CW: Mental illness, rape and sexual assault, excessive violence, abuse (physical, mental, emotional, verbal, sexual), child abuse, death or dying, kidnapping and other events that might be consider traumatic, pregnancy/childbirth, miscarriages/abortion

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