It Ends with Us — Colleen Hoover

Just finished reading It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. I went into this as more of a fact finding mission. My Instagram algorithm had me think everyone had this book down as their holy grail and I wanted to find out why. I was quite prepared to snub it but instead, I’m actually quite glad this book exists. Some spoiler warnings apply, because the whole twist of this book is that the protagonist Lily falls in love with a hunky neurosurgeon Ryle. He’s completely perfect until he instantly isn’t as he strikes her so hard she becomes unconscious.

What I thought was going to be a steamy romp is actually quite a satisfying exploration of domestic violence. It’s a YA novel, I had to keep reminding myself, so it’s hardly going to be an intense psychological exploration of abuse and the prose was expectedly hyperbolic. But truly, for its intended audience it was completely fit for purpose. Unlike less able writers who reach for the stars and fail, Hoover is true to her style and crafts a novel that teaches its younger audience a valuable lesson. Even I, in my cynicism, found myself falling for Ryle’s impeccable charm. So much so, that when his true personality was revealed, it took me by surprise (:o!). So much so, that when Lily forgave him, I really wanted to believe it wouldn’t happen again. Hoover is able to manipulate her readers, just like abusers do their victims.

Unlike previous literary phenomenons that have romanticised coercion and possessiveness, It Ends With Us shows its impressionable audience that abuse comes in many forms and that love is not tantamount to forgiveness. If one can overlook the undeniable downfalls of the novel (namely its convenient plot twists, contrived dialogue and obsession with Ellen Degeneres) then they are rewarded with a book that actually has a valuable moral to divulge. 3/5 (yep, really)

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