Friday, 22 July 2016

Review: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

IT ENDS WITH US
by Colleen Hoover
Genres: Contemporary, Adult
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: August 2nd 2016
Source: ARC from publisher for review
Rating: ★★
Amazon - Barnes & Noble
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up. She graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant and has a total soft spot for Lily; and the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his no dating rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan, her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all too human characters, “It Ends with Us” is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

It breaks my heart a little to say this, but I think it's time I broke up with Colleen Hoover's books. Her first few books are some of my favorite books of all-time, but her latest have been very mediocre and not to mention, frustrating. I went into It Ends With Us with an open-mind, but I still found the book to be trite and I felt a little bad for feeling so meh about it given the context and background of the story.

Let me get one thing out of the way. Colleen Hoover is talented. Ridiculously so. There's absolutely no doubt about that. Her writing is beautiful and evocative and she's an author with a ton of potential. However, I sincerely believe she hasn't explored her full potential yet. Maybe it's because she's writing too fast, but despite the topics that she's been handling lately, her books haven't been as strong as her debut series. My biggest complaint when it comes to It Ends With Us was how over the top it was. I get that people in real life have all kinds of issues, but if you're not going to give equal and considerate attention to each issue that you're tackling in a book, then it winds up just being messy. In It Ends With Us, EVERY single character had something seriously messed up happen to them. And I do mean EVERY. There's the homeless suicidal boy, the abusive parent, the boy who shot his brother in the brain when he was 6, the infertility issues and so much more. It's TOO much. It's almost as if the author decided to add all these topics to make the book forcefully emotional, like she tackled all of them just so readers find it an emotional tearjerker. If it had focused on the one big issue, it would have been a much much more powerful story, in my opinion. I have read books in the past that were simple in their writing but were all incredibly emotional and made me cry because of how subtly and beautifully they handled the one main topic that they explore. Taylor Jenkins Reid and Melina Marchetta are examples of two such authors who do this brilliantly.

And I don't know guys, this book read very pretentious to me. I'm finding this to be a trend in Colleen Hoover's books lately. I mean just look at those names. Atlas? Ryle? Lily Bloom? I mean seriously? Some of those names are supposed to be funny, but they were very distracting and took away from the story for me. And then there are the letters to Ellen DeGeneres. The protagonist is a huge Ellen fan and addresses all her journal entries to Ellen. I'm a big Ellen fangirl, and I loved that Lily loved Ellen too, but ehh the journal writing felt a bit much for me. Oh and my personal favorite? Spoiler so highlight if you want to read: Lily names her daughter Dory after the freaking fish in Finding Nemo. Am I the only one who thinks this is just weird?? There was also the cheesiness factor which was amped up like nobody's business. I can tolerate some amount of cheese, but this author takes it to a whole new level. The scenes between Lily and Atlas, especially were nauseating. Atlas who is homeless and secretly moves into the abandoned house next to Lily is just about to kill himself, when  he decides not to because he sees the light in her bedroom and she looks like "an angel" who has come to save him or something. Is this supposed to be romantic??? Don't get me wrong, they had some really good romantic scenes, but the whole story was bogged down by cliched lines.

I'm also very annoyed at how misleading that summary is going to be for some readers. This is NOT a love triangle. Details in the following section contains spoilers, highlight if you want to read:
I'm not sure why this book is being marketed as a love triangle, because it isn't one. In fact, this needs to come with a trigger warning because it tackles domestic abuse. It just feels like another "ooh let us try to shock the readers by not mentioning one of the relationships is abusive". I'll admit the abuse part of the story was handled well and it was clearly a very personal story to Colleen Hoover, but yet, I also felt like it disappeared with all the other issues. Honestly, I'm not even sure what Atlas' role was in this book. He seemed to be there as a consolation prize for Lily at the end once she got away from her abusive relationship. Sure we get to see them as teenagers falling in love, but we don't really get to see them reconnect afterwards and I was disappointed with that. Ryle being abusive was very clear from the first scene he was introduced. I do like how Colleen Hoover went about with his portrayal. It was subtle and felt very realistic. That's why I think this could have been really really good had it only focused on the domestic abuse that Lily underwent. 

So yeah, this review isn't very cohesive, I apologize for that, but my thoughts are definitely a mess when it comes to this book. If you're a Colleen Hoover fan, don't worry about my rating and review. Considering the fact that 99% of all the other reviews are 5 star ratings, I have no doubt that It Ends With Us, like every other book by the author, will be a tearjerker hit among her readers. I know this makes me sound like an utter snob, but I expect much much more from her books and just slapping together a bunch of tough issues isn't enough for me to want to give a book a high rating.



Have you ever had to break-up with an author before? Are you looking forward to this one?
Let me know in the comments below!