You know that moment when you open the book you’re about to start reading, and you read the first sentence, and you just know that this book is going to ruin you? This book is going to change your life?
That’s what happened to me when I cracked open my kindle and closed my eyes with my finger hanging slightly above a personal doc. (One that I wasn’t sure I had the strength to read.) Well my damn finger took on a life of its own and before I knew it, the sneaky little fucker clicked on the book and well… I was now going to begin reading “It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover. It had been sitting there for months. I had an ARC copy but something was telling me before I ever read the beautiful words contained inside, that Colleen was going to weave together a story so painful, so truthful, so me, that I needed to be in the right frame of mind to even read a single word.
Whelp. Day 1 consisted of my reading the dedication, crying and shutting my kindle down. This wuss was going to need wine and more Kleenex to read this bitch. It was dedicated to her father and I knew that the words to follow were going to mirror my life in a way that no other Hoover book has before. (Which is saying a lot!)
Days 2/3 it sat staring at me from instead my kindle every time I turned it on. The dedication still there. That page left unturned. I couldn’t do it. Towards the end of Day 3, I looked down at my Do Epic tattoo and finally turned the page. I mean, how bad could it really be, right?
That night I read until I was ready to pass out. I loved Lily and I was determined to know everything about her. I wanted her to reconnect with Atlas but where was he? What happened to him? I also wanted to know more about Ryle the sexy neurosurgeon. But, that was all before the kitchen incident. I was to the point where I was passing out from sleep but as soon as that scene happened I was wide awake. Here’s why. My family is okay now. But it hasn’t always been. My father was an alcoholic and an abusive one at that. Most of the time it was my Mama who got the blame but sometimes it was me and my siblings. What Ryle did to Lily in that scene over her laughing at him, (a nervous laugh at that! I nervous laugh all the time.) brought back so many bad memories for me. I’ve always been the type of person to focus on the good. I’d rather think that the world is made of rainbows and unicorns because I’ve seen how bad things can be. I’ve lived with a person who became a MONSTER while drinking. To say this scene made me cry, is an understatement. This scene tore me apart. I had to take a chapter break. It was a good thing that I had been tired before I read it, because I was going to now take a sleeping pill to turn off the memories and try to pick-up IEWU again in the morning.
Day 4, I was determined to finish this book. Because I knew that he kitchen scene was only the first and there’d be worse things to come. I now knew that she needed to give up on Ryle and focus on Atlas. Yes, it has been years but he’s never hurt her. Atlas is a protector, and as a reader I could see how much he always wanted to take care of Lily. This beautiful broken boy who had nothing but still brought her gifts, even if he had to make them. The boy who for an hour everyday smiled while watching Ellen. He was who Lily needed to find.
As I kept reading the more I found myself crying. I couldn’t read a few pages without crying so hard, I couldn’t see through my tears. Memories that I thought had been buried came out of the woodwork. Times of being hit for no apparent reason other than I was talking too loud. My sister got it worse than I did. But like I’ve already said, Mama was the main target. I don’t know why I’m writing this or why I’ll post it but it feels cathartic in a way. Moving on.
When the whole blow-up happens after the journals, newspaper article and magnet. I feared for Lily’s life. If she didn’t get away from Ryle, I knew he was going to hurt her in a way that he’d never be able to take back.
When she ran to Atlas, all I could think was… Finally!
But I understood why she didn’t want to start anything with him while still dealing with this whole mess with Ryle. It wasn’t just herself that she had to think about anymore. It was her and her baby. She needed to make the decisions that were best for her. Did I agree with all of them? I’ll say yes. Because I believe that Ryle will never harm their baby. As long as he’s getting the help he deserves, I believe that he’ll be a good father. But I don’t believe that he would’ve changed enough for Lily. So in the end, I wanted Lily to run back to see Atlas. I’m okay that it just ended. For me, it was a happy ending. Lily ended up with Lily. The strongest heroine I’ve met in a while.
Thank you Colleen for writing this brave, soul baring, heartbreaking, beautiful story.
Children of abuse, (like me) woman of abuse, (like Mama) men of abuse and every single person out there needs to read this and understand its message. Violence is not the answer. I’m lucky enough to say that my dad has given up drinking, he’s been sober for nearly 20 years now. So a person can change. If they work on it and feel like it’s worth the sacrifice. I’m grateful that mine did. Others aren’t so lucky.
I’d give this book a hundred stars if I could.
Wanna know more about it? Click here It Ends With Us