BXTCHES Gotta Warn: While I have not read every word Colleen Hoover has every written, don’t worry you can hang me by my big toe later, after It Ends With Us, I kinda realize why that is now. There was no doubt in my mind that this book was going to undo me, it is Colleen Hoover after all, my obstacle is figuring out how to put my emotions into words that will do them justice. It shouldn’t be that difficult, right? There’s only 26 letters to choose from. . .well I guess we’ll see how it goes.
It Ends With Us will be told solely through the POV of Lily. Now, usually I’m a dual POV fan. . .but after finishing the entire book, I do think I understand why CoHo chose to only allow the reader residence in one brain (and after reading the story, I suspect you will as well).
I finished this book the night before last and even though I tried to get the fingers flying across the keyboard, it was hard. So, while trying to find sleep, my brain was trying to find the right words. . .while taking a shower, my brain was working overtime processing. And the only thing I took from any of my alone time (because let’s face it. . .sleep and showers are the only alone time moms actually get and even that’s a crapshoot) is I still don’t know what to say, but here I am now and I am going to give it my best.
Lily is our leading lady in It Ends With Us and her story kicks off the very same day that she buries her dad. Sounds pretty life changing, right? Well, it was, just not in the way one would think or would be expected. She wasn’t sad to see her dad crossover to the other side, because she grew up as an only child in a house where the norm wasn’t family dinners around the dining room table discussing your day, the norm was having to watch your mother suffer at the hands of your father. So when Lily’s mother asks her to stand in front of everyone that believed Lily’s father was a good man and just say the best things about him. . .Lily was at a loss for words and said nothing.
Back home in Boston and trying to put the conflicting day behind her, Lily finds herself on the roof of an apartment building, one that she doesn’t reside in, but one that she is envious of. While trying to find a moment, her peace is forcefully interrupted by Ryle Kincaid. Ryle, a neurosurgeon who had a pretty craptastic day himself, someone who is just trying to enjoy his herbal high and withdrawl from the reality that he can’t save every single life. So, a conversation strikes up between two people who are attempting an escape from life for two different reasons. They discuss a lot. . .Lily’s childhood. . .Lily’s passion. . .Ryle’s disposition towards relationships. . .Lily’s disposition towards one-night stands. Hint: He’s against relationships, she doesn’t do one-nighters. All in all, the newly struck up, albeit temporary, friendship offered them both what they needed for the night. . .a bit of a rescue. And even though Ryle confesses, very bluntly, to Lily that he would really like to fuck her, hence the relationship/one-night stand convo, they go their separate ways, without any sort of information exchange.
At this point, I should probably share some “Lily Learning”. While a teenager, Lily started herself a diary, however her diary wasn’t a traditional “lock up your secrets” type of journal. She wrote letters to Ellen. . .yes, Ellen Degeneres. And it’s via these Ellen Diaries that we learn about the teenage Lily. The most significant being the abuse her dad delivered to her mother and the ones about a boy named Atlas. While I won’t go into every detail about Atlas, I will tell you that Atlas was not only Lily’s first love, but he was a homeless boy who Lily befriended and lended a much needed hand to, at a time when he needed it the most. It is really through these entries that we discover what shaped Lily into being the woman she became.
Months after Ryle and Lily’s meeting on that rooftop, Lily has finally brought her passion and dream into fruition and it’s through that dream that she runs into Ryle once again. Ryle can only take so much as Lily the friend and eventually he decides to give the ole relationship a try, much to Lily’s excitement. Even with two very busy schedules, Ryle is a neurosurgeon and Lily is starting up her dream business, things are going very well.
Much to Lily’s shock, she runs into Atlas once again. . .c’mon now, you didn’t think he was going to just be part of her past did you? I won’t tell you anymore, you will have to unlock the greatness that is It Ends With Us yourself. Just know, it will take you down a very unexpected path, so brace yourself.
There are several very significant supporting characters within the pages of this story. Lily really believed that after the way she delivered her father’s eulogy, it would take a chunk of time for her mother to forgive her. . .and while reading her diaries, I wasn’t too sure of how the relationship was between a teenage Lily and her mother. I never questioned whether or not Lily had love for her mother and vice versa, it was just a difficult relationship to piece together, mainly because the father was the pillar that stood between them, so after the funeral, her mom does begin to play a bigger role in Lily’s life. Ryle’s sister, Allysa and her husband Marshall, play more than just a supporting role (in my eyes, anyhow). The relationship that grows between Lily and Allysa (especially) is not only one of BFF’s or one of a boyfriend’s sister and his girlfriend, it is really much deeper than all of that and really becomes a relationship that Lily or Allysa can’t live without.
Of course there is some mattress dancing in It Ends With Us and while this BXTCH gets happy when the action really heats up. . .that’s not what this book is about, actually that’s not entirely true. The sexual tension prior to a Lily + Ryle was very thick and very hot. . .and when they finally decide to relieve the tension, it is most certainly steamy. What I should’ve said is that the greatness of the storytelling is bringing every aspect together to where it’s not just the sex that’s going to have your heart rate increasing.
It Ends With Us is going to test your emotional limits. It will make you laugh, it will make you smile, it will make you cry, it will piss you off, it will force a couple of deep breaths here and there and here again. It will have you thinking that CoHo is the greatest thing to ever happen and then you’ll turn the page while muttering “Goddammit, Colleen Hoover”.
Unlike other readers, I wasn’t able to finish this book in one day, I wasn’t even able to finish it in two days. Here’s the thing, I’m not a big fan of horror movies, not because I think they’re crap movies, I actually think they’re great. I don’t usually watch them because of how they make me feel. That’s not to say I won’t watch them, I do, especially at the appropriate time(s) during the year. What brings it all back to center is I have to watch some sort of comedy after I watch the offending horror movie. In fact, as a teenager, I was at my older sister’s house and we all decided to watch one of those fucking scary movies from the eighties and I kid you not, we actually watched “The Brave Little Toaster” after because we were out of our minds with fear. You’re probably wondering why in the hell this BXTCH is talking about scary movies, well right before I started It Ends With Us, I got a wild hair and decided to re-read (for like the 100th time) the Rock Chick series (Kristen Ashley) and good gracious I was so glad I did, because like watching horror movies, I needed a counter balance of sorts. I needed to feel the other side of the emotional spectrum. I was the reader who needed to take mini breaks from Lily’s story and when overwhelming emotions began to sweep over me, I was able to turn to Indy Savage and take a much needed breather. The best way I can describe the feeling to you is actually a quote from the book, one I didn’t include in my “Favorite Moments” because this quote may sum up It Ends With Us like no other line could’ve.
“My heart is pounding like it wants out. I wish I could give it a way out. I’d set the mother-fucker free right now if I could”
So, it is with complete sincerity that I can say. . .Fuck you, Colleen Hoover. Fuck you for making me question everything I thought I would feel, fuck you for making me re-evalutate my reactions and fuck you for opening my eyes and really forcing this BXTCH to view the world through the eyes of Lily Bloom.
P.S. I really mean “Fuck You” in the nicest, most wholeheartedness way imaginable.