It Ends With Us Book Review

“It Ends With Us” is a contemporary romance novel written by Colleen Hoover.

Published in 2016 by Atria Books, the story delicately navigates the complex issue of domestic violence.

It’s a departure from the conventional love stories Hoover is known for, marking a more profound, thought-provoking turn in her writing.

Colleen Hoover is a #1 New York Times bestselling author known for her emotive and compelling romance novels.

A former social worker and teacher, she self-published her first novel, “Slammed,” in 2012, which went on to become a massive success.

Hoover’s work often centers around intense romantic relationships, intricate plots, and deep character development.

General Impression of the Book

“It Ends With Us” strikes a chord with its raw and poignant storytelling.

It’s a hauntingly beautiful novel that delves into the complexities of love, presenting an unfiltered view of domestic abuse.

The story, though heart-wrenching, leaves a lasting impression, encouraging readers to reflect on the strength of its characters and the choices they make.

The book has received widespread recognition for its realistic portrayal of a sensitive subject.

It has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance in 2016 and has been praised for its depth, emotional intensity, and Hoover’s daring decision to venture into darker themes.

Summary of the Story

The book is set in modern-day Boston, Massachusetts, and follows the life of Lily Bloom.

After losing her mother and coming to terms with her traumatic past, Lily moves to Boston to start fresh.

She begins a floral business, finding solace in the language of flowers.

Lily, a strong and resilient character, finds herself caught between her past and present when she falls in love with neurosurgeon Ryle Kincaid, whose unpredictable temper echoes hauntingly of her past.

A chance encounter with her first love, Atlas Corrigan, further complicates matters, bringing past secrets and suppressed emotions to the surface.

Without delving into spoilers, the story unfolds as Lily grapples with her escalating relationship issues, forcing her to make decisions that are heart-rending yet empowering.

Structure and Pace of the Story

The narrative of “It Ends With Us” is divided into two timelines; the past, which is shown through Lily’s teenage journal entries, and the present.

This dual narrative helps to gradually reveal Lily’s character, her past experiences, and how they shape her decisions in the present.

The pace of the book is well-measured, with Hoover gradually building emotional intensity.

The story unfolds naturally, allowing the reader to empathize with Lily’s journey.

The alternating timelines maintain a sense of suspense, keeping the reader engaged throughout.


Lily Bloom emerges as a beautifully developed character, marked by her strength, resilience, and a deep sense of empathy shaped by her past experiences.

She starts as a young woman determined to break away from her troubled past, but when faced with challenges, she exhibits an empowering journey of self-discovery and growth.

Ryle Kincaid, the charming neurosurgeon, begins as a seemingly perfect partner but slowly unveils a tumultuous side that’s both heartbreaking and unsettling.

His character offers an important look at the complexities of abusive relationships, allowing readers to understand the difficult dynamics involved.

On the other hand, Atlas Corrigan, Lily’s first love, serves as a stark contrast to Ryle.

Atlas’ character provides a strong support system for Lily, reinforcing the themes of enduring love and friendship.

The characters in “It Ends With Us” are more than just roles within a story.

They personify the complexities of real people, each battling their issues, and their layered personalities add depth to the narrative, making the story even more compelling.


“It Ends With Us” tackles several heavy themes, with the most prominent being domestic abuse.

Hoover expertly weaves a narrative that doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of this issue but rather shines a light on its complexities.

Other themes include love, both its beautiful and ugly sides, self-worth, the cycle of abuse, and the struggle of breaking away from it.

Each of these themes is intertwined with the narrative, driving the story forward and significantly impacting the characters’ decisions.

The exploration of these themes brings an emotional depth to the story, resonating with readers and leaving a lasting impression.

Critical Evaluation

Strengths of the Book: The book’s strengths lie in its candid portrayal of a sensitive topic, well-developed characters, and an emotionally gripping narrative.

Hoover’s storytelling prowess shines throughout the novel, her skillful blend of romance and stark reality sets a new benchmark in contemporary romance literature.

Weaknesses of the book: The book might be difficult for some readers due to its heavy subject matter.

Some might find certain scenes triggering.

Also, the resolution might feel rushed for some, wishing for a more detailed unraveling of certain plot points.

Comparison to Other Similar Works: Compared to other works in the genre, “It Ends With Us” stands out due to its unflinching portrayal of domestic abuse within a romantic relationship.

While many books might romanticize toxic relationships, this one strives to paint a realistic, unfiltered picture.

Hoover’s novel doesn’t just focus on the romantic aspect; it explores the protagonist’s personal growth, making it a powerful read compared to conventional romance novels.

In this sense, “It Ends With Us” marks a significant departure from typical romance narratives, offering a raw and thought-provoking story.

Closing Thoughts

“It Ends With Us” is an emotional roller coaster that leaves an indelible mark.

Hoover’s honest and heartfelt narration paints a vivid picture of the complex dynamics of love and abuse, making readers reflect on the fine line that separates them.

It’s a story that both breaks your heart and mends it, reminding you of the resilience of the human spirit.

The book also evokes a strong sense of empathy, allowing readers to understand the predicament of those who experience domestic abuse.

This book would resonate with readers who appreciate deep, emotionally charged narratives.

It’s a perfect pick for those seeking more than just romance, those who want a story that pushes boundaries and explores complex human relationships.

However, potential readers should be aware of the heavy themes of domestic violence and emotional abuse, as they might be triggering for some.

Despite the intense themes, “It Ends With Us” is undeniably worth reading. It pushes us out of our comfort zones, urging us to understand a sensitive issue that is often misunderstood.

With its beautiful writing, compelling characters, and thought-provoking narrative, the book offers a reading experience that is both enlightening and deeply moving.

Our Rating

The aspects evaluated include the plot, characterization, thematic depth, writing style, and emotional impact.

  • Plot Structure: 4.5/5
  • Characterization: 5/5
  • Thematic Depth: 5/5
  • Writing Style: 4.5/5
  • Emotional Impact: 5/5

Overall Rating With all aspects taken into consideration, “It Ends With Us” receives an overall rating of 4.8/5. 

This score reflects the strong characterization, meaningful thematic depth, and emotionally intense narrative that Colleen Hoover has masterfully crafted. 

This book is not just a story; it’s an experience that touches your soul, making you reflect, empathize, and understand a vital social issue.