THE STORY: Lisa: I went into this story completely blind. I do this quite a bit, honestly, and it almost always pays off. But with this book especially, I think going in blind is the way to go. If that’s not your reading style, I’ll give you just a bit of background.
Lily hasn’t lived the easiest life. After graduating from college she moved to Boston where she opened her own business. Things were finally looking up for her. All of her hard work had paid off. She runs into a local neurosurgeon and immediately feels a connection with him. Ryle, especially wearing his adorable scrubs, is easy on the eyes and such a charmer. He’s also a player and only wants one-night-stands. He refuses to get into a relationship for several reasons, one of them being he just doesn’t have the time outside of being a doctor to be in a real relationship. The sparks start flying and Lily realizes she’s quite interested in Ryle… that is, until a blast from her past, Atlas, reappears, and brings up allllll kinds of confusing feelings.
Becca: Yes! I 100% agree with Lisa, if you can go into this one blind then I recommend that you do! It was absolutely incredible to experience each moment and have no idea what was going to happen next!
I don’t want to say too much and spoil the story for anyone. I will say that this book does span a large part of Lily’s life. We see her as a teen and also as an adult, it was very well done and I enjoyed the blend of past and present.
THE CHARACTERS: Becca: Oh these characters… where do I begin?! I absolutely loved Lily! She had been through so much in her life, yet she persevered and followed her dreams. She was strong and fought for what she believed in. I loved learning about her past and being with her in the present. I felt as though I knew her, I understood and empathized with very thought and every emotion.
When Lily met Ryle, I fell for him as instantaneously as she did. He was strong, confident, funny and of course sexy in scrubs ;) Their relationship was a whirlwind that wrapped them up so quickly and I was in it with them! When things got tough for them, I felt every moment as harshly as they did.
When Atlas (the blast from Lily’s past) appears it throws this whole story in a different direction. Of course, we meet him with young Lily and then again later in the book. Atlas has this smooth, quiet confidence about him. He comes from absolutely nothing and makes something out of himself. I admired and respected him and I fell for him big time!
I know some of you are probably sniffing out a love triangle and freaking out. In my opinion, that is NOT what this is. Some may call it a love triangle on a technical basis, but it really is not and I urge you not to skip this one for that reason because that term is to cliched for what this book actually is.
Also the secondary characters in this book, Lily’s parents and Ryle’s sister and her husband are truly imperative in this story. They are just perfect and add so much to the story.
I do not think that there is another Author out there who can make me fall in love with characters quite so hard. CoHo develops her characters so well that I feel as though I know them! I had so many feels for these characters that my heart couldn’t handle it! In the past I have loved many CoHo characters (and I still do) but none made me feel what these characters did and none made me feel quite so much that I was a part of their story. Trust me when I say these are characters that you want to meet.
Lisa: That’s so, so true, Becca! I agree that CoHo has an amazing ability to make us fall in love with ALL characters, even the not-so-easy-to-love ones.
I’m honestly not sure I would categorize this as a love triangle. I know others have, but I disagree. (view spoiler)
My favorite characters in this story were, as Becca mentioned, the secondary characters. Specifically Ryle’s sister and her husband, who are wonderful additions to this beautiful story. I also enjoyed the family dynamics and how everyone had each others’ backs when it was most important.
TO SUM UP: Lisa: WOW! Just… wow! This has got to be the BEST book Colleen Hoover has written to date. The stark honesty and impacting nature of this story will punch you in the feels. Hard. I’ve never experienced an abuse story to quite this level. I was blown away by this story and left a babbling ball of nerves and tears. A book hasn’t touched me this deeply in quite some time. I also learned quite a bit from this story. We’re always so quick to judge in instances of abuse… but there’s so much more to the story than you see with the naked eye. Don’t judge. Don’t assume facts that aren’t true. And, most importantly, don’t ever think it can’t happen to you or someone you know. Such a strong story that is sure to impact every reader that opens the cover in one way or another. I’m leave completely blown away by this story, as well as hopeful, which is such a wonderful thing. Colleen, you’ve done it AGAIN!
Becca: I know some of you may think that I always say this and yes I am a true CoHo fan, but this is by far her best work ever. It Ends With Us is so raw and full of emotions, but most of all it is honest. I cried… A LOT! And I am not talking a few tears or a quiet wimper… I am talking ugly crying that I couldn’t contain. The message it delivers is a powerful one and I know that this is a book that will stay with me forever. Please make sure that once you are done you read the Author note at the end, it will give you an even better view of this book afterward.
Colleen Hoover, you slay me with your words. You break my heart and then put the pieces back together. You are an amazing writer and I believe you are a gift for readers like myself. Keep doing what you are doing and I will keep reading everything that you write.