It’s Friday, bibliophiles! The 2016 Olympics kick off tonight in Rio, and I can’t wait to leave my office for the weekend and curl up to watch the festivities… with more books to read, of course. You’ll have to bear with me on this latest review, because I just can’t form words right now. I’m talking about It Ends With Us by the one and only Colleen Hoover and I’m just left dumbfounded. I’ve been waiting for the release day on this for months, and as soon as I got my paws on my copy, I set aside everything else (well, except work), and devoured this story.
A fellow reader said it best when she said this book left her immobile. It’s the morning after I’ve shut the back cover and I’m still utterly speechless, I’m not even kidding. I’ve been walking around in a fog all morning and I’m trying to form adequate words to bring a proper review to this story, but I just don’t think it can be done. Instead, I’m going to go off the cuff and hope for the best. My heart is heavy for so many reasons after having set this one on my “finished” shelf.
Lily Bloom states that all it takes is fifteen minutes to completely destroy a person, and that’s exactly what these pages did to me. It Ends With Us just shot to the top of my favorite CoHo books, and it’s not going to waver from number one. A day spent with this story and these characters, and now I get lessons and a message to carry with me throughout the rest of my life. That’s an amazing concept. Yes, several stories do that for me, but this is one of those rare books that just seep into every fiber of your being.
For such a small cast of characters, they’ve certainly left their mark on my soul. There’s Lily, the girl who is just trying to find her way, Atlas, the unlucky yet beautiful boy from her past, her best friend, Allysa and her husband, Marshall… and then there’s Allysa’s brother, Ryle Kinkaid. At the core of the story is love, but not romance. This group is too raw for it to be that way. There are glimpses of romantic love, the honeymoon period of a relationship, the fairy tale everyone wants, the happy ending they think they have, but then there’s underlying elements and conflicts of darkness that just made this so real and relatable.
Ryle and Lily have a connection that is so good, and so deep, but behind closed doors, things aren’t always magical or blissful for the pair. Atlas was the first love who just couldn’t be forgotten, and kept haunting the couple’s life. Ryle also had hidden demons from his past that he just couldn’t shake to make him the man he wanted to be for Lily. Allysa and Marshall are madly in love, but they have their own struggles, and on top of everything, they have to keep their eyes on what Ryle and Lily aren’t telling them. Atlas is also there, wandering in and out of Lily’s life, and making her contemplate everything she thought she could ever want.
I respect the hell out of this book, and Colleen, to write something that doesn’t give us the big, fancy wedding, white picket fences, and 2.5 kids. Life doesn’t work that way anymore. I appreciate every single word that this story told to me, and I can’t begin to list the lessons I’ve learned about relationships (friends, family, partners, even business), love, love lost, the ups and downs of marriage, the monsters hidden inside people we think we know, etc.
I don’t want to say too much and give away the purpose of this book, or the impact it will have when you pick it up. The best thing I can say is, go into it blind, and let it hit you without too much outside influence. Regardless, you’ll be blown away, and feel emotionally drained for awhile afterwards. This is an absolute must-read, and Colleen, Thank you a million times for this story. I bow to you on this one, because I will never be able to convey everything these pages meant to me or could continue to mean to me in the future.