Publisher: Atria Books
Date Published: 2nd August 2016
SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE 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, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.
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.
I was torn apart by this book!
I am going to split this review into two sections, a non-spolier section and a spoilers sections.
I will begin this review by stating that Colleen Hoover writes the most realistic romance novels I have ever read. I love a romance with minimal conflict and a pre-determined happily ever after… but that’s not realistic. Real life is hard and mistakes are made, we are human. This is what we can see in Colleen Hoover’s books, a purely human experience.
I finished this book in approximately two and a half hours, I could not put it down. I think this book is best experienced blind, don’t read on if you haven’t already read this book. You do not want to be spoiled.
Ok, you have been adequately warned, I am now going into a discussion that will contain spoilers… turn back now.
Colleen Hoover set this book up so well, I was so invested in the characters and did not see the plot twist coming. When Lily was pushed at first by Ryle I was stunned… this was the guy who three chapters before I was frustrated because Lily and Ryle weren’t getting together fast enough.
The domestic abuse storyline is such a tough topic to delve into and Colleen Hoover managed this very well. I could understand how hard it was for Lily. She did not leave straight away and because the readers were given the story of the relationship from the very beginning we could see why. Even at the end of the book, I still had empathy for Ryle. I didn’t want him and Lily to be together, but I couldn’t help but feel for him.
Allysa is an excellent side character. When she was introduced I knew immediately that she was Ryle’s sister as it was set up back in chapter 1. I did not know how invested I would become in her connection with Lily. This relationship made it all the more complex. How can you end an unhealthy relationship when your best friend is their brother?
Let’s talk about Lily’s backstory, there are two elements to her backstory that are the most prominent in how Lily ended up. These are that she was a child witnessing an abusive relationship and her relationship with Atlas. We see this backstory through Lily’s letters to Ellen DeGeneres. This is a truly unique way of portraying a backstory that I thoroughly enjoy.
Let’s talk about the parents relationship. Lily is quite heavily influenced by the relationship that she witnessed between her mother and father. We can see history repeating itself with her relationship with Ryle. When she finally makes the decision that “It Ends With Us” it is such a strong and important moment. She is breaking the cycle and making sure that her daughter will never have to feel like she needs a knife to defend her mother.
Atlas was a strong support figure through her teenage years. There are elements of Atlas in her life in Boston. Lily’s whole move to Boston stemmed from her relationship with Atlas. It was really important when Atlas turns up in Lily’s life again when she needs a support figure. I feel Colleen Hoover did Lily a justice by not having Atlas be a white knight figure. Lily saved herself and that gave her a sense of self worth and control.
I love that Lily uses a phrase from pop culture as a motivational tool to help her keep going.
“Just keep swimming” keeps popping up through the novel, and is a lovely way to tie things together.
Thank you Colleen Hoover for writing this book. After reading the Author Notes I understand how hard this was for you to write. I really appreciated this book, even though it tore me apart and I am slowly mending the pieces. This is easily a 5/5 book!