It Ends With Us | Colleen Hoover
Release Date: August 2, 2016 | Atria Books
Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary
I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.
If you're apart of this community and don't know who Colleen Hoover is, riddle me this: What have you been doing with your life? Colleen, " CoHo " for those of us who think we're her best friend, is one of new adult's top authors, delivering popular titles such as my personal favorite, Ugly Love, Maybe Someday, November 9, and much more. She's known for creating unforgettable characters with dynamic relationships, as well as her gutsy twists that are sure to pull a heartstring or two, but does this mean that some of her books aren't a miss for me? Certainly not. While I absolutely loved UL, I DNF'd Slammed just after 30%, and after finishing off Maybe Someday a few months ago, I felt a bit indifferent about it. After being a little letdown, I figured that maybe the invisible author didn't quite have the " Midas touch " as I initially thought . .
and then I was struck by It Ends With Us.
Buzzworthy. Being Traumatized by Zenith's hype and it's failed attempt to live up to it had me so freaking hesitant to start another popular title. The hype around Colleen's titles are always at an all-time high, but it seemed like the buzz was on fire when it came to her new upcoming release. Tons of reviews swarmed in with high praises deeming this, " Her Best Book Yet, " which talking CoHo language basically means " this shit slays harder than Beyonce's edges, " which is definitely a whole lot of shoe to fill. I tried to go in with a neutral mindset, but by the time I started I was way too excited, (like I just seen Zayn Malik naked excited), and unsurprisingly my expectation level had reached 1000. Now you guys know I have to keep it real, so I'll be one of the first to admit that this story isn't without flaws, but not only did Colleen close this book out with such finesse, she managed to deliver a genuine, gut-wrenching, eye-opening message, that is beyond important for women but young and old to receive.
Going into this story blind definitely worked into my favor. I had zero idea as to what the story was even about, only that I wanted to love it, and for the most part I did. After the end of the first chapter, I noticed that CoHo took a completely different approach with the concept this time around. It has a very ' heavy ' vibe to it, so going from Maybe Someday, (a cutesy title IMO) to something slightly darker, was for me, a very nice change. In this novel, the story follows Lily Bloom, as she navigates life as a normal 24-year-old. She moves to Boston, meets this older guy, (gross) a neurosurgeon by the name of Ryle. She hits it off with pretty well, things move into high gear at a pretty fast pace, (including the relationship. I need to buy her a ' slow-the-hell-down button ') flashbacks are told, cute boy from the past makes his debut, and there, right freaking there, is where shit goes from, " oh, this is kinda cute and annoying, " to " oh fuck what is going down?! "
For some odd reason, I never cared too much for the leading females in Colleen's books. I would like them of course, but not enough to say, " wow I really enjoyed reading about this character, " however, Lily was completely different for me. First of all, she was quirky as hell, which I absolutely adored. She read alot like how I picture Colleen to be, strong, feisty, clumsy, and incredibly hilarious, with a vibe that in real life, I'd be able to connect to. I also enjoyed how flawed she was, how all of them were actually. Ryle was funny, annoying in a cute way, arrogant, and hella ambitious, yet he had a dark side to him no one expected to be brought to light. (Not even me ya'll) Then there's my favorite Atlas, a guy from Lily's past who proved to be the sweetest fictional guy I've ever read about. The dynamics between these leading characters are strong, which helped to support the concept in many ways.
It's one thing to be blindsided by a concept, but it's another to be blindsided by a concept that packs this much of a punch. If " Queen of the Feels " was an award she was fighting to receive with this story, then dammit it's hers for the taking. Domestic abuse is a topic that has been showcased before in fiction, but never have I ever, (to my knowledge atleast) have read a story where the words are actually memories of the author's. There are scenes in It Ends With Us that aren't fictional, making this the most authentic experience I've ever received.
The most frustrating thing about It Ends With Us is that for me it was super predictable. With this type of concept, I need to be on the edge of my seat, and I was . . sort of, it just was watered down a bit since I was able to guess 95% of the plot and it's twists. This also affected the way I connected with the story as well. I failed to connect emotionally with all of the first half and most of the second, it wasn't until an unexpected plot twist came about, that I truly began to feel. (Code-word for cry FYI.) The last 20% including the author's note had me balling like a baby, so to say Colleen redeemed herself would probably be an understatement.
I've noticed this in some of her previous titles, but for some odd reason, most of her relationships feel so rushed. So many things, life changing things, go down between Lily and Ryle within just a couple of months, and honestly it was the most annoying thing ever. Why can't things happen gradually? It wasn't insta-love, but then again it was? Idk, just trust me when I say, shit hit the fan so quickly, I didn't even have time to smell it before it hit me in the face. Colleen also focused so much time on Lily's relationship with Ryle, that she failed to completely develop Atlas. His backstory is both beautiful and inspiring, I just wish she took the time to give him more of a story line within the plot, instead of sticking him in only when it was convenient.
When it comes to storytelling within the NA genre, Colleen is one of the best, there's absolutely no denying her talent. While I had a few problems with this novel, I couldn't help to appreciate her courageousness for shedding light on a reality that she witnessed first hand. Even with flaws, her poignant message still managed to overshadow it all, giving me a truly unforgettable experience . .
And that is why Colleen and her gutsy novel It Ends With Us deserve every bit of praise it receives.
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