Book Review: It Ends With Us


Ashley Park

It Ends With Us is a romance and contemporary novel published by Colleen Hoover in 2016 that continues to dominate the young adult market.

The story follows a 23-year old woman named Lily Bloom, living in Boston with a dream to open a flower shop. On a fateful night, she meets a man by the name of Ryle Kincaid. He encourages her to pursue her goal and finally open her shop–a plan she follows through on for the following six months. During that period of time, she doesn’t run into Ryle again, but by coincidence, she befriends his sister and is re-introduced to him. Throughout the pages, the story touches back on Lily’s childhood, including her father’s abuse towards her mother, which left her traumatized and feeling resent towards her parents, and the one friend she relied on and loved more than anyone else. When a ghost from her past reappears in her present, Lily finds herself having to make the decision of her life.

Many times, authors have a tendency to incorporate flashbacks into storylines rather awkwardly and unfittingly. However, Hoover wrote them as journal entries and wove them into the main plot, making it smooth and easy to follow along with overall. She also embedded strong emotions into every sentence, making it easy for the reader to understand the main character’s perspective and thoughts. Because of this, it was easy to empathize with Lily’s feelings. From beginning to end, the story was brought together well, and past events correlated in an easy to understand way with things happening in the present storyline.

Again, the genre of the book is contemporary romance. Most first time readers, including myself, start reading with the thought that the book was more of a light read. This was not the case, however, and Hoover really dives deep into the topic of abuse. Readers sensitive to topics of abuse and violence, as well as sexual themes, and attempted rape should be warned of these aspects making appearances in the plot rather consistently. Because of its raw beauty, It Ends With Us is easily Hoover’s best-selling and most well-known novel. Christy on Goodreads said, “Want the naked truth about It Ends with Us? Reading this book will change your life. It’s so different from any of Colleen Hoover’s other books. You can tell it’s heavier, more personal, just more. This book is deep. It’s profound. It’s a book that needs to be read.”

Personally, romance is one of my favorite book genres, so I found this book to be an enjoyable, quick read. I thought it had a captivating and interesting plot along with a set of complex characters, who with every page turn, I learned something new about. I didn’t expect it to be so heavy, have dark undertones, and have back stories. All these aspects definitely completed the story and gave it a refreshing element that a typical, everyday love story would lack.