General Rating: If you’ve ever wondered how a girl could find herself in an abusive relationship, read Colleen Hoover’s It Ends with Us.
Skip factor: 1%. Only a little at the beginning when I thought it was a romance novel.
Who should read: Women and girls of any age.
Summary: I’ll admit this begins like a love story, but doesn’t most domestic violence?
For the first quarter of this novel, I questioned why people raved about it. If I hadn’t loved Lily, Ryle, and Allysa so much, I might have set it on the nightstand and forgot it. I’m that “not into” romance.
But, I held out and am thankful. There is something so realistic about this book that I am still thinking about it weeks later.
Lily’s father has just passed away and she’s venting alone on a Boston rooftop over her speechless eulogy when she crosses paths with Ryle, the neurosurgeon. Lily is sweet, independent, and hard-working. Ryle is good-looking, intense, and hard-working. They part ways but neither can stop thinking of the other.
Serendipitously (and because they live in the same downtown area) Lily becomes best friends with Allysa, Ryle’s sister, and a relationship between Lily and Ryle seems meant to be.
But wait, who is this homeless guy, Atlas Corrigan, from Lily’s past?
My dedication to not spoiling a book with a review makes me end this summary right here, but briefly, Lily is the child of an abusive father and can’t understand how the mother she loves could allow herself to fall in love and remain with an abuser.
She’s about to find out.
I must say this. Hoover gets this so right that I didn’t hate the abuser. There are two men in Lily’s life and, at times, I cheered for them equally. Both seemed like decent human beings. And isn’t that true life? No one wears a big black A on their forehead to let the world know they are abusing someone. They hide it. Regret it. Atone for it.
Read this one girls. You’ll love it.
Writing: The writing is just plain excellent. So good that I debated whether to call it character or plot driven.
Read this author again? Yes, I’ll read anything she writes.
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CJ Zahner is the author of The Suicide Gene, a psychological thriller; psychic thrillers Dream Wide Awake, Project Dream, and The Dream Diaries; and Chick Lit novels Friends Who Move Couches and Don’t Mind Me, I Came with the House. Zahner’s dream series novels were inspired by first-hand experiences. See the video of her 9/11 premonition here. Download her Beyond Reality Radio podcast here. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, BookBub, or LinkedIn. Purchase her books on Amazon.