This book will always have a special place in my heart, and not just because it is a hard-hitting, super intense, romantic read… but because it was the first Colleen Hoover book I ever read.
And I was not prepared.
PS – Justin Baldoni is planning on making this book into a movie, and I was obsessed with his first movie, Five Feet Apart, which shed light on Cystic Fibrosis – and I loved it SO much.
Let’s talk a little bit about how It Ends With Us and I met, shall we?
I was browsing the Goodreads Choice Awards and decided that I would read any book that won the Romance award, no matter what. I wouldn’t read the synopsis or reviews. And it didn’t matter if I didn’t know anything about the author or the book.
I love romance and popular books enough to take the chance.
So, off I went, to Audible and I downloaded the audiobook and I went in blind.
I. Went. In. Blind.
I knew nothing about Colleen Hoover and how she tends to throw gut-punch curveballs into her books.
I was all in with Lily and Ryle. I thought he was so charming and the way he pleaded with her in that tongue-in-cheek kind of way was so adorable and cute, I shipped them hard from the beginning.
I thought this was a typical romance. I was wrong.
All the minor “signs” that Ryle gave about his true nature didn’t even register to me. Heroes are aggressive and assertive in novels all the time – this was no different.
And then he hit her the first time.
And suddenly, I was Lily.
I’ve never been in her situation before, thank goodness. But instead of being the judgmental person I probably would have been if I wasn’t so invested in their relationship, I would’ve immediately thought, “GET THE EFF OUT.”
But I didn’t.
Because Ryle was the romance hero. I fell in love with him right alongside Lily. He’s charming. He’s sweet. I ran through all the adorable things he did previously and it didn’t compute that this was the same person.
And I did what Lily did. A horrifying thing: I started trying to justify it.
He had a really important surgery coming up. He was probably a little drunk. He was in pain. It was a reflex. He didn’t mean it.
All toxic self-talk.
And I realized what Colleen Hoover had done. She put someone who otherwise never had to deal with this type of abuse directly in Lily’s shoes.
As the book went on, as things got worse, I was just as scared as Lily. I saw no way out of the situation… how could I?
But Colleen did something else amazing… she lit a glimmer of hope. In Atlas.
I loved Atlas from the beginning, too. And as the book went on, I feel deeper for him. And I hurt for him, too. How hard it is to be on the outside of an abusive relationship. How hard it is to try to save someone you love from such a toxic, scary, life-threatening situation.
This is how I met my book. This is how I met one of my all-time favorite, auto-buy authors.