Where do I even start?! This is probably one of the best books I have ever read. That’s not a dramatization either. I feel like I can’t really give you a good synopsis without spoiling anything, so here’s the link to the Goodreads description: It Ends With Us.
I will say for sure, that I haven’t read anything better in 2016 yet. This book was so good, but it’s not that surprising that I loved it, because Colleen Hoover wrote it. The last Colleen Hoover novel that I read was Maybe Someday and I thought that was amazing, but I think It Ends With Us definitely exceeds it. The themes in the novel were so relevant to so many women, and even men, or anyone in relationships. It offers a brand new perspective, counter to the stereotypical view on women and abuse by their husbands. I thought the main character Lily was one of the most epic heroines that I’ve probably encountered in literature. Just when you think her life can’t get worse, it somehow does, and she remains strong throughout the entire duration of the novel.
I’ve seen some reviews that have mentioned that there is a love-triangle in this novel, but if you’re a person who really hates those, don’t write this book off. The love-triangle is not at the forefront of the plot. This is a book that I thought the love-triangle was both necessary and done extremely well.
I finished this book in two days because I literally just could not put it down. It’s so eventful and the writing is so gripping, that you just have to speed-read it. The characters were all so flawed and real, as was the romance. This was not a typical romance story in anyway. I haven’t read anything even similar, and I love how different it was, because not all romances are always as they’re often portrayed in movies and in novels.
Overall I give It Ends With Us 5/5 stars, for presenting a relevant issue in such a real way, and for being so emotionally charged.
Some of my favourite/notable quotes from the book:
“Fifteen seconds. That’s all it takes to completely change everything about a person. Fifteen seconds that we’ll never get back.”
“In the future…if by some miracle you ever find yourself in the position to fall in love again, fall in love with me.”
“All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t the mistakes we make. It’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.”
“There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.”
“Imagine all the people you meet in your life. There are so many. They come in like waves, trickling in and out with the tide. Some waves are much bigger and make more of an impact than others. Sometimes the waves bring with them things from deep in the bottom of the sea and they leave those things tossed onto the shore. Imprints against the grains of sand that prove the waves had once been there, long after the tide recedes.”
SPOILER SECTION – Do not read ahead if you haven’t read the book, or don’t want to be spoiled.
Ryle. This character was so flawed in so many ways. On the surface, he seems like the perfect guy, good looking, educated, and determined to be even more successful than he already is. However, once you get to know him and his past, you understand that he is deeply scarred from an event that occurred in his childhood, and that is now a challenge he is faced with as an adult. He physically abuses his wife, but I almost feel bad for him, because he does feel sincerely sorry for it, and his anger is something that he can’t really control. Usually, the men who abuse their wife in literature, and in movies are always portrayed as being just evil, the reader or the viewer doesn’t get to necessarily sympathize with the abuser or his past, or even get to see past the negative qualities and see his good qualities, like this book allows you to do. I thought that was a really interesting perspective to add into this novel.
Additionally, this book covers another interesting perspective, the stereotype that women who go back to the man that mistreats them are weak, or even just unintelligent for doing so. Lily witnessed her mother’s abuse as an outsider, and always had this stereotype, and even built up some resentment for her mother, because she wouldn’t leave her father. But, when she finds herself in a similar circumstance, she understands and realizes that women who go back aren’t necessarily weak, and that it’s a harder decision than it seems. I found it interesting getting to see Lily contemplate if her love for Ryle could one day forgive him for what he did, but I ultimately thought she made the right decision to divorce him, because she had more than her feelings and emotions to think about, she had her daughter’s. I think the fact that as a child she witnessed her mother abused by her father, really motivated her decision because she never wanted her daughter to go through the same thing. The title of the book “It Ends With Us” was uniquely interwoven into the ending, by Lily saying those words to her daughter regarding the cycle of abuse that usually occurs, making her incredibly brave to break this cycle!