This book ripped my heart to shreds.

TRIGGER WARNING: ABUSE

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST.


Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.


Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.


As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.


With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.


I was gifted this book on my birthday by J, and just started reading it last night and finished it earlier today. I want to write this review whilst it’s all still fresh.

“Fifteen seconds. That’s all it takes to completely change everything about a person. Fifteen seconds that we’ll never get back.”

From the very first page, I was completely hooked, and I feel like this is the book that will bring me out of my reading funk. (I want more books.)

The first page drew me in, from wondering what catastrophic event unfolded for Lily to be sitting on the ledge to wanting to know what happens with this gorgeous and charming neurosurgeon she meets. They, Lily and Ryle, meet in the first chapter and don’t see each other again for a few months. It begins as a slow burn before transpiring into what appears as a fairytale-storybook romance, fireworks and sparks all included. But these fireworks and sparks turn deadly, and the romance becomes something that makes you fear love itself.

There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.”

Every emotion leapt out of the pages and I felt it right to my very soul, my heart in my throat as I read on. Many a time, i had to put the book down to regroup and catch my breath, to take care of the emotional turmoil i’d just been on. IT ENDS WITH US brought me to tears a lot, and when the first hit came, I felt fear in the pit of my stomach, knowing that the first time is never just the only time and it will always happen again.

“You’re only human. And as humans, we can’t expect to shoulder all of our pain. Sometimes we have to share it with the people who love us so we don’t come crashing down from the weight of it all.”

I, like Lily, have always said that the second the first hit comes, I would leave. But when you are in that situation and there is love involved, it becomes clouded and terrifying. Because every part of you hopes that it really was just an accident and it won’t ever happen again.

“Life is a funny thing. We only get so many years to live it, so we have to do everything we can to make sure those years are as full as they can be. We shouldn’t waste time on things that might happen someday, or maybe even never.”

At times, I did find myself questioning why victims of abuse didn’t just leave but the older I got I realised it never is just that easy. There are so many emotions and fears and hope that they’ll change, and wishing it was just an accident and it won’t happen again, like they promised. There’s manipulation. A lot of people have these questions at the forefront of their minds instead of hurling their questions and sharp words at the abusers themselves; the victims are always the ones interrogated and under the spotlight.

“Shouldn’t there be more distaste in our mouths for the abusers than for those who continue to love the abusers?”

IT ENDS WITH US gives an amazing insight into the mind of someone in an abusive relationship, crafted so carefully that you think maybe it’s not really abuse, maybe just a one-time thing. The apologies and manipulations are woven through the actions and words of Ryle. It is heartbreaking to read as you wonder what’ll set him off, if the last time really is the last time or if there’ll be more.

“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.”

This story is so unbelievably powerful and moving. The heartbreaking honesty and raw emotion poured out of the book, telling the truth of unshakeable strength and love in the face of such immense pain. Making the right and best choice can be the hardest thing to do, and this is clear as ever as Lily finds her strength and courage. I know from the blurb it appears as though there is a love triangle but that is soo not the case here, and not the centre of the storyline nor what it’s about.

I adore how this book raises such an important issue and explores it in a way that leaves such a lasting, unforgettable impact. The title is echoed in such a significant moment in the book and made me cry more, whilst reading. It was detailed so perfectly that every scene played out in my mind as I read on and I can’t wait to reread the book to find the many more intricate layers.

IT ENDS WITH US is such an emotional, heavy rollercoaster from start to finish. I hated that at certain parts, I found myself wishing Ryle would change and stop being such a shit bastard, not wanting to believe that he wasn’t capable of it. This is reminiscent of the many women I know who may be in the same situations, hoping and praying that their partner will do better.

Picture posted on my Instagram

The devastating connection between Lily and her mother is so sad and so beautiful, the way they could relate to one another and in the end, understand each other in ways they never should’ve had to. Seeing Lily’s past through old diary entries was eye-opening and such a great way to create more layers for her character, making her three-dimensional and real in ways a lot of characters aren’t.

I can’t praise this book enough! 10/10 highly recommend.

That’s what fifteen minutes can do to a person. It can destroy them.
It can save them.”

—Sumaiya, x

Posted by:Sumaiya Ahmed

Sumaiya Ahmed is a student, poet and freelance features journalist, aiming to break down the boundaries of cultural stigma and shame attached to mental health and sexuality within the South Asian culture, and bringing marginalised topics to light. She is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Poised.

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