Writing style: 9/10
Character building: 10/10
My Opinionated Review
It has been several hours since I have finished reading It Ends With Us, and I am still unable to stop the train of emotions that hit me while reading this book. I am so behind my reviews right now, but I need to write this one right this instant. Not because I want to get everything out while it is still fresh because I am certain I will remember this story and all the feelings it brought out of me for a long time. But because it is not only the best book that Colleen Hoover has written to date, but it is one of the few books that affected me so deeply, that I think deserves to be read by every single person on this planet. The only other contemporary book that has affected me this much is In The Stillness by Andrea Randall.
I am not sure if I want to outline all my emotions in full detail, or leave it vague because I went into this book completely unaware of what the story was about, and it was an incredibly rewarding experience. So for those who have not read this book just yet, all I can say is just read it. It follows an incredibly mature, strong and wonderful character Lilly who narrates a tremendously deep storyline with many life lessons, love stories, terrible and wonderful actions, life-changing experiences, friendships, family bonds, and overall, the perfect outline of what is like to be human. It gives much-needed perspective on life and certain actions us humans often need to take. At least it changed my perception on quite a few sensitive topics.
The strength of the book comes from Lilly’s character, and the wonderful writing technique Colleen Hoover uses in telling her story. A first person’s point of view results in the reader sharing the same emotions with the main character. The story’s continuation throughout several years, also giving insight into Lilly’s past through diary entries addressed to Ellen DeGeneres, provides tremendous depth of the story. But mostly, it surprises the reader making them fall in love with all the characters, excusing their wrongful behaviour on several occasions, and seeing the reasoning behind it.
Not only it is an incredibly powerful story, it also is a great lesson. I believe every single person can find something relatable in this book. Colleen Hoover really outdid herself with this one. Although I have loved all of this woman’s work, when I think about some of her books now, I am not sure that the present me would like them as much as the past me. However, I guess with me maturing, I can see Colleen Hoover developing as a writer as well, and giving me exactly what I need with her every piece.
So if you have not read this book just yet, I could not recommend it enough as it is truly life-changing. But be warned of an emotional roller-coaster that is guaranteed to fall upon you. I have read this book during a long coach journey, and I hope not that many people saw me crying for a good couple of hours. So find a comfortable spot, preferably not in public, and read it.
Now for those who have read this book or are not too bothered with some spoilers, I will continue with my ramblings since I do need to get all the emotions that I am feeling out right now.
Abuse and the romanticizing it has been a topic that really gets me worked up for quite a while now. I believe far too many books make the abusive alpha males into people who are supposed to be admired and desired. Whereas some texts show only the really horrible parts of the abuse. Coleen Hoover struck the middle of it, exploring the idea of the abuse when it is not just black and white. She completely changed my perception on abuse, towards the abuser, and especially towards the victim.
I am one of those people who see the victims of domestic abuse as stupid if they do not have the strength to leave this kind of life instantly after such incident occurs. Experiencing abuse myself on quite a few occasions, it was always hard for me to understand how this kind of behaviour can be excused. I have felt the physical abuse from my mother’s boyfriend, and abuse by words from my step-grandfather, and I could never understand how my mother and grandmother could be so weak and not leave those men. Especially since this abuse was directed towards me. I do not know if it affected my development as a person, but I always want to think that I dealt with it in the best possible way. I never took it, I never stayed silent, I was never afraid, and I always felt in the position of power. I did sometimes feel disappointed in the examples the women in my family were setting though.
Now I do understand that it is not that easy. I guess my thick skin and the ability to see reason comes from the lack of emotion towards my abusers. But this book has opened my eyes to the reasons why some women find excuses. Some abusers are not just bad, and with love involved, the good part can easily overshadow the bad. I have seen this example in my step-grandfather. He is an alcoholic, therefore has two personalities: when he is sober, he is good and caring, and when he is drunk – he is the meanest person on Earth. I always hear my grandmother telling everyone how good he is, but I was never able to excuse his bad parts just because he has good ones. I still do not excuse this behaviour, and never will, but I can see why she chooses to see the good instead of the bad.
Regarding this book, it was haunting how relatable I found Lilly’s relationship with her father and her mother. But what confused me profoundly was the way I felt about Ryle’s character. I believe that abuse is never excusable, and yet I found myself trying to find reasons behind his behaviour and hoping for a happy ending for him. I loved that character, and although it is impossible to compare real feelings, I do get it now why many women forgive their abusers. I liked the outcome of the book very much, and believe that Colleen Hoover has written the most touching, realistic, and informative story about domestic abuse, and how it is almost never as white and black as you usually wish it was. My perception has changed so profoundly after I finished reading It Ends With Us, my heart was shattered into a million pieces, and yet I think this book should be read by every single woman on Earth because it shows the true colours of life.
“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.”
It really was a hunting story, it affected me on such a deep emotional level, and confused me in the way that allowed me to grow up some more. More books lie this should exist.
Sorry for my ramblings, but sometimes getting everything out is a necessary step you have to take. I am certain I will remember this book for a long time, therefore my thoughts will always by here to be read whenever I need it.