I’m going to do my best to keep this portion of the review without spoilers (though I make no promises when answering “Is It Ends With Us based on a true story?” below).
The novel is expertly crafted in telling the story of the main character Lily Bloom, a 23-year-old spirited young woman living in Boston.
She meets Ryle Kincaid, a 30-year-old gorgeous neurosurgeon one night when hanging out on a rooftop of a random building. The chance encounter sticks in both their minds.
They reconnect quickly when they meet again months later when she is opening her own business (a flowers shop- with a name like Lilly Bloom, it was always fated).
Their reconnection is swift, all-consuming, and a little scary in its intensity.
But that’s young love, right?
Parallel to this story is the one Lily tells via diary entries of her first love Atlas, a young homeless boy she met in high school who she helped out.
Her abusive father often came after her mother, and Atlas returned that helped her on more than one occasion (and in a lot of different ways).
These two love stories go through some massive arcs as Hoover winds them around and through each other, making you fall in love with all the characters in a way that invests you fully in their lives.
As in life, their circumstances and choices sometimes leave them without any pain-free options, and it stings.
“Preventing your heart from forgiving someone you love is actually a hell of a lot harder than simply forgiving them.“
– Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us
Without giving too much away, I will say that Lily has to reckon with the choices her mother made about Lily’s abusive father when she was faced with similar circumstances.
As sad as the situations described sometimes are, they are told with Hoover’s trademark candor (or to use a term coined in the book, by telling naked truths).
Despite the heart-wrenching story, to me, the book is a hopeful one of breaking cycles, finding your true love story, and recognizing that just because things look different than you planned, it doesn’t mean they can’t be wonderful.
Overall this is an emotional read of a romance novel with a strong message. If you’re a fan of Colleen Hoover’s novels, or if you are even just a fan of sadder love stories, It Ends With Us won’t disappoint.
Once you’ve finished the book, make sure you check out these It Ends With Us book club questions to discuss the novel with your reading group!