I was going to review a different book but this one is so fresh, it felt like I needed to do a whole lot of word vomit as soon as possible. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover was not something I expected. I thought it was going to be some romance novel of a love triangle that’s all too perfect and convenient. Well, it still has those “oh, that’s convenient” moments.
Summary, ALREADY Major Spoilers Ahead
Lily Blossom Bloom, ridiculous name, but at least she’s self-aware. She’s the protagonist. The book opens with her sitting on a ledge on a rooftop. “Oh, that’s convenient” moment incoming, a hot guy (because knights in shining armor are never ugly btw), Ryle, joins her on the roof top who’s also letting off steam. Now, I hated the intro. I almost wanted to stop reading. They’re both strangers and I feel like she’s telling her all of her life to him just because his voice sounds like butter. Her description, not mine. Like, you literally just saw him dismantle a chair and you decide it’s okay to tell him about your life? Uhh, yeah okay. And on page 20, Ryle tells her “I want to f* you” as one of his naked truths. Yikes. That was cringe-town right there, and yet, Lily falls over the place for that. Does this happen in real life?
Fast forward 6 months, yay to realism, we find our protagonist prepping to open up her floral shop. I know, I still giggle over Lily Bloom’s. I need to know what Colleen thought when she decided she’ll have a floral-named protagonist who loves flowers. But I digress, a girl stumbled through Lily’s just-bought-space and asked for a job. She loves Pinterest, would help her with just 10 bucks an hour and seems like she doesn’t really need a job, she just wants something to do in life. Oh, that’s convenient!
Cue rich girl brother come in to see where her sister went and guess who it is? The man on the rooftop who totally wants to bone Lily from 6 months ago! Isn’t that convenient?
Do I Do You, Do I Not, That is The Question
So the story goes on and Lily builds a friendship with Allysa, the rich I-don’t-really-need-a-job girl, and consequently, Ryle. They have this love-hate-do-i-do-you-do-i-not thing going on. Because Ryle hates commitment and Lily wants commitment. Of course. But they so want to get into each other’s pants. Until Ryle got jealous of Lily’s not-boyfriend, so they eventually decided they’d trial this relationship. Which actually isn’t too ridiculous. They met halfway and that’s a nice starter, I guess. More cheesy lines and some good ol’ hot (love?) lust-making after, they made it official. But not before Lily accidentally met her first love, the one who took her virginity, the one who got away, while she was having dinner with the mother and Ryle. Whilst all of these were happening, I forgot to tell you about Lily’s diaries/letters to Ellen DeGeneres, which give us flashbacks to her life when her dad was still alive abusing her mother. And those times when he met Atlas, her first love. So while we’re warming up to Ryle, we also build a past connection to Atlas. Nothing comes out of the meeting, though, except for the fact that Lily still cares about Atlas. Lily and Ryle went on to marry in Vegas just after 6 months of dating. Because he finally found the light and wants to commit his entirety to Lily.
The First Hit, Not The Last
So, I forgot when this happened. Before or after the wedding, I’m not sure. But, an incident in the kitchen provoked Ryle and hit Lily. Causing a cut on her eye. As you would expect, Lily got afraid given that she had an abusive father. She’s torn but Ryle consoles her and apologizes and promises it will never happen again. Of course it did. Then we learn why Ryle has violent tendencies, something related to what he was telling Lily on the rooftop that fateful night. He decided to tell Lily, as per Allysa’s request, so Lily would understand (?). Uhm…
Following the first hit, Lily, Ryle, Allysa, and her husband had dinner in the same resto where Atlas was working. Atlas saw Ryle’s hand wrapped up in bandage and Lily’s cut. He concluded Lily was being physically abused and confronted her. That started the whole Ryle-Lily-Atlas love-but-not-really triangle. It’s complicated.
Ron Rates 4.5/5
As much as I’d like to tell more, I beg you to read it yourself because the story, once you get past the ridiculous conveniences, is actually good. It is particularly hard for me to swallow the truths the author is conveying. Especially, personally knowing women whose reality is this book. Lily’s frustrations over the fact that the love of her life is hurting her. Her brokenness over the fact that she loves a man who has good qualities but who, unfortunately, is also a monster. Her thoughts and actions were all written with so much care for men and women alike who are going through this. And also, for those who don’t understand why people just don’t leave.
The author’s note at the end was incredibly heartbreaking. We learn that it’s inspired by her experience in having an abusive father. And how Lily’s decision in the end is something she’d like Lily and most abused men & women to decide upon, just like how the author’s mother did. Bravely choosing oneself, bravely ending the cycle.
It is one of my greatest fears to be in an abusive relationship, and I hopefully won’t have to be brave like Lily. I learned more about myself and I do believe It Ends With Us is an important poignant piece to ponder over.