Before you read this book, please check the trigger warnings. This is probably one of the most intense books I have ever read and, two days after reading it, it still sticks with me.
To be completely honest, I thought Colleen Hoover was overrated. Especially It Ends With Us. Then I decided to try to read seven romance books in a week and, since this book is classified as romance and it was sitting on my shelf, I chose to read it.
I want to start by saying, this review will be different than my other ones. This book deals with a serious topic: domestic violence. And, not having seen the trigger warning, I did not know that. I want to make it clear that you can take a break from this book. I read it in a day, which probably wasn't the best idea, but I was kind of hooked, not going to lie. But, again, it is a very heavy book.
Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.
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, 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 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.
Honestly, I quite enjoyed this book. It started so brilliantly where, as the reader, we see the first introduction between Ryle and Lily. Within the first few chapters, we watch their relationship grow. We see who enters Lily's life and how that influences her relationship with Ryle. And we see the return of Atlas.
This book can be considered a dual POV between twenty-three-year-old Lily and fifteen-year-old Lily. We see the trauma she endures as a kid and what she goes through as an adult. How her past becomes part of a reality for her.
I will admit, Ryle Kincaid was pretty charming at first. And so was Atlas. But throughout the book, you notice your opinion start to change.
In my Literary Theory class my senior year of college, I remember my professor discussing what makes a great piece of art. One of the things we talked about is how much courage it takes to write about something painful, especially if you experienced it. And Colleen Hoover did. It takes so much courage to not only write about her trauma, but to publish it, as well. And I applaud her for that. Because it is such a difficult thing to do.
And I think, for this reason, I am going to change my initial rating, because of that class discussion and because I've had time to think about the book.
I previously rated this book a 3.75. It was good, but I didn't think it was fantastic. I think the book is a little overhyped, but I do understand why it is deemed a good book.
My new rating is ⭐⭐⭐⭐. What makes this a four star book for me is the emotion. The ending really got me. If you've read this book, then you know. Oh my gosh, I got so teary-eyed.
For anyone who has been in a position of domestic abuse of any kind, I want you to know that you are not weak. You are so cherished. This book was a hard one to get through. It made my stomach hurt during some scenes because of how realistic it is. And it makes you think. It's the type of book that will stick with you and I see why a movie is being made.
Guys, this isn't one to read lightly. If this is something you are comfortable reading, then I would recommend it. I wouldn't recommend it if it's something that is easily triggering for you. Again, it is a very heavy book.
Song I Would Associate With This Book
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Leave a comment below. Let's start a conversation!