It Ends With Us Book Review

It Ends With Us Book Review

Alex McDowell, Writer

Content Warning, Viewer Discretion Advised

Themes of domestic abuse

On February 29, 2016, Colleen Hoover released the book, “It Ends With Us.” This book has gained lots of attention and popularity. Especially since it blew up on Tik Tok.

The book begins with Lily Blossom Bloom has just finished college and moved out to Boston to start up her business when she accidentally meets top-of-the-line neurosurgeon, Ryle, on a rooftop. After really hitting it off, they part their ways, expecting to never see each other again. Simultaneously, Lily begins to read her old diary letters, unfolding the story of her teenage love with a homeless boy named Atlas, and the experience witnessing domestic abuse from her father towards her mother.

I personally didn’t enjoy reading the book purely because of the way that it is written, the writing style, tropes, etc. It feels very juvenile and corny to me. Honestly, it feels like a 13 year old who went to writing school wrote this, or a really well written Wattpad book. Initially upon finishing this book, I completely shot the writing down because of that “Wattpad vibe” and labeled it as horrible because of this vibe. But now after letting this book marinate, and listening to other peoples’ thoughts on it, most people love that about the book, and that’s perfectly okay! I’m glad that you found something that you enjoy and you know what you like, that style is just not personally for me. 

Despite that, I still think the writing was just really bad. The plotlines are really weak, predictable, and the set up to them feels a bit forced at a lot of points in the story. The characters of the story felt really flat and didn’t seem to have a lot of depth. Some things in the story just don’t make sense. Every couple of chapters there is a timeskip over the course of a couple of months, and it became really troublesome to keep up with how much time had passed. 

It feels really disconnected. For example, it is placed in Boston, but there are little to no references of things or experiences native Boston, or even the fact that it is placed in a big city. You could imagine that this takes place downtown in our own city and it wouldn’t make that much of a difference. Yet, the characters are always talking about how “Everything is better in Boston” and mention the fact that they are in Boston all the time, but we never experience Boston. The fact that Ellen DeGeneres–Yes, I’m being serious– is the only pop culture reference throughout the entire book also really contributes to that. And might I say, Hoover was using Ellen like a lifeline. Ellen being the only pop culture reference and being one of the main focal points for the story made it feel really out of touch with the real world. The abnormality of it being Ellen DeGeneres purely distinguished it as fictional for me. For such a hard topic, I think it would’ve been more effective to make it more lifelike so it could hit harder, but it could be argued that having it feel so disconnected makes it an easier pill to swallow, and having it be that way also lets you put yourself in the character’s shoes and relate to it more.

All of the things I listed really add up over the course of the book, so currently I give it a 2/5 stars, whereas upon first finishing it, I gave it a 1/5 stars. I feel like I didn’t give it as much credit as it deserved, and despite all of my complaints, I still very strongly recommend that you read this book, which seems quite surprising if you don’t know the meaning. The meaning of the book is something that is really important and needs to be heard. The way the meaning of the book is portrayed is done pretty well and Hoover does a really good job of placing you in the character’s shoes to understand the situation. I still think the portrayal could’ve been written better, but the overall meaning was still very powerful. It was a great idea, just poorly written and executed.