Hello, loves! I hope you are doing well.
On October 18, Colleen Hoover's sequel to It Ends With Us, titled It Starts With Us, was released. This book has been highly anticipated by many people. Disclaimer: I am not one of those people.
On this blog, I want this to be a safe space to share my opinion and where others can share their opinions, as well. Every reader is different. I cannot stress that enough. I am one of those people who thinks Colleen Hoover is overrated. Yes, I said that.
But that is not saying I don't respect her as an author. I mean, she is selling books left and right, so good for her. But I will not be buying, nor reading, all of her books.
However, with that being said, I did buy It Starts With Us. Honestly, I just want to see what the hype is. I want to finish Lily and Atlas' story. So, does it sound a little hypocritical. Yeah, it does. But, again, every reader is different.
After reading It Ends With Us, I gave it four stars because it is a powerful book. I haven't really read many books about domestic abuse, but this one had power. So I gave it a rating I personally thought it deserved. Does that mean I liked it? Not exactly. Again, it is very over-hyped and I personally don't think there should have been a second book, yet here we are.
If you've already noticed, I'm making this article a little differently. This will be in real time, where I will be writing down my thoughts. This will not be a book I read in one sitting. That will be explained later.
10:24 P.M. Saturday, October 22. "I'm done. 😂 I can't read this."
I sent this message to one of my friends, who is also reading ISWU, and I was only on page three. Guys, I cannot. 😂 I already feel like this will be a book I will make fun of while reading.
8:28 P.M. Sunday, October 23. "Atlas will be my favorite. He'll carry the whole book. But I'll continue to make fun of him in the book. Also,I loved how he quoted Finding Nemo."
By this point, I was only on chapter three. I am reading this at a turtle's pace. This book so far is kind of cringe. Atlas is cool, I'll give the book that much, but I really wish it was only in Atlas' POV.
Monday, October 24.
1:34 P.M."Lily's chapters give me major anxiety."
3:26 P.M."Correction: this book just gives me anxiety."
I know to anticipate conflict in this book. If you've read IEWU, then you know what I'm referring to. I'm only on page 72/320 and I have to stop for the day. I find myself always stopping after I read Lily's chapters because it is just too much. And, honestly, it is just too cringe. This book was written and published just because of BookTok. That's it. And that doesn't sit well with me. I guess we'll see if I pick it up later today. I'm thinking about watching a movie now. So.
7:00 P.M. "The only way I can read this is by listening to music while I read and the aesthetic is 👌."
I don't usually listen to music or even audio books while reading because I like imagining the scenes as I'm reading the words. However, I need to listen to this book. I've been able to read a little more since listening to a playlist I found on YouTube music (I will link it; I also created a version for all my Spotify friends). It is making the experience better, but I hate that I have to listen to music to make it better. And you could be saying, "Kaylee, why don't you DNF (do not finish) it?" Because I don't like DNFing books. Unless I really can't stand it and absolutely nothing will get me through it, but we haven't reached that point yet. So.
YouTube Music Playlist: https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-W9i2uH7PdbrTnWXxMG_PL4-ppY7u2fY&feature=share
8:25 P.M. "I feel like I'm reading two completely different books, but I'm not."
There's not much to say. It feels so disjointed, I don't even know what else to say.
There were a lot more thoughts I had about the book like I did above, but I either forgot to write them down or I just didn't want to share them. Plus, I really wanted to get to my final thoughts. And here they are.
Here's what I think: This is not a story about Lily and Atlas and their second chance. This story is about Atlas and his relationship with someone else. And I came to that conclusion at the end of chapter 31.
However, this book is advertised as the story between Lily and Atlas, so I'm going to make two ratings.
Atlas and Lily - ⭐⭐
It is not a story that needs to be shared. The only reason it was written and published is because so many people wanted this story. I remember one of my professors telling me that there is beauty in not knowing what happens with characters after a book ends. It Ends With Us ended on a good note, where the readers were left to interpret what happened with Lily and Atlas and I'm pretty sure we all knew they would be together. The ending was also super rushed. There were time jumps that not only left me confused, but had me rolling my eyes.
Atlas and another character I shall not name so I don't spoil the book - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Honestly, I wish it was just a story about them. I could do without Lily and Ryle's drama. The connection Atlas has with this character is phenomenal. And I wish Colleen Hoover decided to do what Tessa Bailey did by having two different stories with the same characters. Like an It Happened One Summer and Hook, Line, and Sinker thing. This is the story we need. Not a redemption story about true love after heartache. But the stories about friendship and sticking up for those we love, especially when it's scary. That's what we need.
This is not and should not be a story about Lily and Atlas. Because it does not start with them. It starts with Atlas and someone else. And if you've read the book, you know what I mean.
I personally feel like Lily should have been a side character. Or, if she was still a main character, it focused less on her relationship with Atlas and more on her and the other character important to Atlas's story.
I challenge you to view this book with that mindset. It makes the story a whole lot more meaningful than the one we are told on the back of the book. This story is about Atlas. Not Lily. I think it should be that way.
As a concluding thought, every reader is different. If you enjoyed this book, I'm glad you did. If you connected with it, that's awesome! Books should be able to do that. That just wasn't the case for me, and that's okay.
Have you read ISWU? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments. Let's start a conversation!