“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.”
Published in 2016, It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover follows 24-year-old Lily who 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. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle, 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. But his complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas — 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.
Oh. My. God. Talk about a rollercoaster of emotions! A beautifully powerful read, It Ends With Us had my feelings going all over the place. It had me laughing, reminiscing, feeling hot under the collar, and then breaking down in a mess of tears.
Hoover captures everything about this book so magnificently – the overwhelming feeling of love you can experience in your teenage years, the complex turmoil you experience when looking back at that relationship years later, and the intense inner struggles you face when contemplating your position in a relationship.
Lily is such a fantastic character. She’s brave and strong and completely pulls you into this story. But Ryle’s character is also developed brilliantly. Just like Lily, I went through phases of loving and hating him and wanting to give him more and more chances, as Hoover uses her own personal experiences to show the conflicts you face when loving somebody that hurts you.
Every theme was handled so perfectly, providing so many powerful messages about not everything being black and white, the different ways we react to trauma, and the importance of prioritising your own emotions.
What makes a book an instant favourite for me is when I want to get out my highlighter and archive certain quotes in my memory. And there are so many lines in this book that I absolutely loved, especially the comments linking love to waves in the ocean.
“Maybe love isn’t something that comes full circle. It just ebbs and flows, in and out, just like the people in our lives.” / “Just because we didn’t end up on the same wave, doesn’t mean we aren’t still a part of the same ocean.”
The final line is absolutely brilliantly, but I definitely want to read more about these characters! I’ve now read two books by Colleen Hoover and both have been five stars for me, so I can’t wait to pick up another soon.