It’s time for another edition of book club questions, this time featuring It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover!
It Ends with Us is a New York Times chart-topping novel about a young woman who has to make some hard decisions when the man she loves turns out to be not the man she thought.
“There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.”– Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us
Heart-wrenching, tear-jearking, and even at times devastating, this wonderful novel takes you on a real rollercoaster of emotions.
As sad as some moments are though, the book is ultimately one of hope, new beginnings, and a chance to rewrite your story.
“That’s what fifteen minutes can do to a person. It can destroy them. It can save them.”– Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us
Excellent book club fodder, no?
I thought so too. So here are It Ends with Us book club questions to really dig deep into into this excellent novel from Colleen Hoover.
It Ends with Us Book Club Questions
1. The first time Lily and Ryle meet, they start telling each other naked truths. Do you agree that sometimes it’s easier to be completely honest with someone you’ve just met? Why (or why don’t) you think that is?
2. Lily mentions she wants to open her store now while she is still young enough to “get over failure.” Is failure actually something easier when you are young? Why or why not?
3. One of Ryle and Lily’s early interactions was when he knocked on 29 doors in her building to find her. How did this strike you? Was it romantic? Explain.
4. Building on the previous question, how do you think framing changes how we view an interaction in literature? Oftentimes, book characters do something that in a novel is romantic, but that if they did in real life would have someone consider filing a restraining order.
Why does literature often feel different when it comes to romance vs real life?
5. One very influential character in the book is Ryle’s sister and Lily’s best friend, Allysa. How do you think having a character who has loyalty to both of the protagonists changes the tone of the book?
6. Lily’s experiences with Atlas in high school are described as being very formative. Besides their friendship, she realizes from a young age that anyone can end up falling on hard times.
How do think that message fits into the larger themes of the book?
7. Atlas grows up to be a chef with his own restaurants. Do you think that choice of profession was intentional by Colleen Hoover? What significance does it have, if any?
8. The first time Ryle pushes her, Lily is able to rationalize it away, even though she had previously sworn she would never, ever do that. How would you have felt in the moment?
“Just because someone hurts you doesn’t mean you can simply stop loving them. It’s not a person’s actions that hurt the most. It’s the love. If there was no love attached to the action, the pain would be a little easier to bear.”– Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us
9. “It’s easy when we’re on the outside to believe that we would walk away without a second thought if a person mistreated us. It’s easy to say we couldn’t continue to love someone who mistreats us when we aren’t the ones feeling the love of that person. When you experience it firsthand, it isn’t so easy to hate the person who mistreats you when most of the time they’re your godsend.”
How does this quote strike you? Does it resonate with you, make you angry, make you think? Why?
10. When you learn of Ryle’s childhood trauma with his brother who dies, does it change anything for how you feel about Ryle’s character? What do you think Hoover was trying to do with this particular backstory?
11. Everything about Lily’s and Ryle’s relationship happens very quickly, and they are married within 6 months. Does that speed say anything about the relationship overall, or do some successful relationships just operate that quickly?
12. When Lily realizes she is pregnant, it changes a lot of things for her. It is also ultimately why she decides to divorce Ryle.
Why do you think it is that so often things that we will put up with for ourselves, we consider unacceptable for our loved ones? What do you think Hoover wanted to highlight with this reality in the novel?
13. Of all the many heart-wrenching moments in the book, which stuck with you the most? On the other side of the spectrum, which filled you with the most happiness or hope?
Looking for more from Colleen Hoover?
14. How did Lily’s internal journey towards understanding her mother affect you? What message do you think the author was trying to convey through it?
15. Did the book make you want to read any other of Colleen Hoover’s (many) novels? Why or why not?
It Ends with Us book club questions PDF available below for easy printing
Don’t have a book club yet? Why not start your own! Check out my article on How to Form a Book Club for tips on creating the ideal club for your lifestyle.
Did you read It Ends with Us for your book club? What did you think? Leave me a comment below about how the questions and book worked for you!