It Ends With Us caught my eye when it won the 2016 Goodreads Choice Award for best in romance. I’ve never read a book you’d categorize as a “romance novel” (unless you count Twilight), but I figured the best of 2016 was a good place to start. And it was an interesting experience.
If you know anything about this book, you know it’s not your typical romance novel. But it’s pretty close to exactly what I’d expected (mostly because I’d done a lot of research when voting for our Bookly picks). The relationships were hot and heavy, with lots of steamy romance, a fairly predictable female protagonist with just enough baggage to make her interesting, some lack-luster writing, and some terribly romance novel-y names for the romantic interests (Ryle and Atlas). However, the unusual twist made it much more than just a predictable romance novel. Lily’s story made this a likeable read.
I knew before reading it that Ryle was not who he seemed. But I wish I hadn’t! I think it would have made it an even more interesting read. But still, that being said, I really liked how Hoover told Lily’s story. Or that she chose to tell a story like this. She made me consider Lily’s situation in a new way, and all situations of domestic violence. Granted, as Hoover herself says, every situation is very different. But I think this book is an important link between love, romance, relationships, and violence. I think it’s hard for those who haven’t experienced it to see how a relationship can go from love/lust to abuse. And why do some of those relationships continue, or even escalate? I know I’ve had a hard time with it. Meaning, it’s hard for me to relate, NOT that it’s hard to support or trust those who survive these types relationships. I’m thankful that this book humanized a story like Lily’s. It’s definitely worth a read!