‘It Ends with Us’ is described by New York Best-selling author, Anna Todd, as a “brave and heartbreaking novel that digs its claws into you and doesn’t let go, long after you’ve finished it” and I could not agree more. In this book, Collen Hoover touches upon still somewhat taboo topics of conversation in a heart wrenchingly personal way. This is a story of love and loss, duty to the heart or duty to what is right, and the navigation of convoluted, yet strong, emotions. 

At the beginning of the book, we are introduced to Lily Bloom, having just come back from her father’s funeral, on a random rooftop in Boston. She happens to meet Ryle Kincaid, a driven and calculated surgeon who she subsequently strikes up a romance with. However, Atlas Corrigan, a ghost from her adolescence, gets in the middle of this relationship and threatens to change the trajectory of her life like he did once before. Through a myriad of events, Lily must explore her past to find the answers she needs to overcome her problems in the present. 

All I can say is that I did not expect what Hoover had to offer. Instead of being a fan-fiction adjacent romance with a female protagonist in a love triangle with two heavily processed tropes for male love interests, Hoover gives us a plot based in the beauty of real life. This book entails dark themes such as suicide, domestic abuse, sexual assault all laced through a realistic and true-to-the-mundane-parts-of-life Boston setting with muti-layered characters.  

The main trope of this book is “There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.” And this can truly be seen throughout the book. There is no good or bad, black or white as good people are capable of hurting people in unimaginable ways. On the flip side of that, People that are ‘inherently bad’ are also capable of bringing joy to their loved ones and still somewhat follow a skewered moral code.  

Hoover delicately and beautifully writes each character with complexity that can easily live off of the pages as real people, however still incorporates excitement and melancholy that the normal everyday person may not experience or at least talk about. Lily Bloom is Hoover’s most perfect example of this. Like many protagonists before her, Lily is relatable and likeable, but as the book continues, she demonstrates the greatest resilience as her story unfolds - showing that she is tougher than she seems. She is not the bright eyed, naïve, 23-year-old we think we are introduced to at the start, but she Is a woman who has experienced immense adversity and continues to grow from it all while being vulnerable and true to herself. 

All in all, if you plan on reading this book prepare to tear up. Or sob. Whatever is comfortable!