I am struggling writing this review because it hits so close to home. Because of that fact this isn’t going to be written like my normal reviews, it will be about me and Lily. It will be a correlation of our lives.
As I read this book the little broken girl inside me started coming out. I wanted to put her back. I didn’t want her resurface. I needed her to go back to her hiding place where the adult Danielle wouldn’t find her… She came out nonetheless.
Will this one still be messy? Yes, but in a different way. It will be messy because it hurts.
I’ve had books stay with me from time to time and It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover is now added to that list.
Let’s hear what the author has to say first…
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.
With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.
This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.
Let’s get started, shall we?…
I spent my childhood from 6 months to 12 years old in a 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom, 2 car garage house from hell. My mother had a job at a warehouse and my step-father owned his own construction company. We went to church every Sunday where my step-father’s brother was the preacher. We were clean, never hungry and went on family vacations. It looked perfect from the outside. But the inside was a completely different story.
Unlike Lily, my step-father’s abuse reached my brother, sister, and me. I learned from an early age how to take a few blows from a man. It became so normal that they didn’t even hurt anymore.
But let’s talk about It Ends With Us…
I fell in love with Ryle during the beginning of the book. He was sexy, smart, good in bed – everything I girl could ask for. He was attentive even with his busy schedule at the hospital. He worked for Lily’s heart and never took her love for granted.
Lily was funny as hell. I loved her from the first paragraph. I thought, “This is a chick I could rock with.” Plus she was a red head. My inner lesbian has a thing for red heads. She was a badass. She was a woman who knew her self-worth and I loved that about her.
When the two of them came together it was pure magic. Here’s this man who doesn’t want anything that resembles love in his life but couldn’t help himself from falling in love with her. That’s one of my favorite things to read about and to see in real life.
Atlas, Atlas, Atlas! He was just… perfection! I want an Atlas when I grow up. I really enjoyed reading Lily’s letters to Ellen Degeneres. Getting inside Lily’s head, seeing Atlas the way she did made me love him too. I became so conflicted as to who I wanted Lily to be with.
Lily had a Ryle.
I had a Ryle.
Lily had an Atlas.
I had No-one.
What I would have done for my own Atlas?
Because I feel in love with Ryle (thanks for that Colleen – JK) I didn’t want to believe he was an abuser. I wanted the good to out-weigh the bad. I wanted to see the man and not the hurt little boy on the inside. But when the abuse started I was so ashamed of myself because I wanted Lily to stay with him.
It was an accident. He thought I was cheating on him. He was hurt and angry and I got in his way. – Lily
I was kind of happy that she stayed because I didn’t think it was that bad.
Who am I right now?
Even I wanted to find a way to justify his actions. Me! The chic with a family history of violence! How could I still root for them? I don’t even know. I guess I’m more fucked in head than I thought.
The first time I was hit by my ex wasn’t an accident. He meant it. He was so upset about the fact that I was walking around his house in one of his t-shirts. He had 2 roommates and he was under the impression I wanted them. When he hit me, can you believe I thought it was because he loved me so much? How crazy is that? I figured, next time I would just remember to wear pants all the time I was in his house. Easy fix. But the abuse didn’t stop there.
Not to mention he didn’t hit me as hard as my step-father did so it was okay.
Back to It Ends With Us…
“My brother loves you, Lily. He loves you so much. You have changed his entire life and have made him someone that I thought he could be. As his sister, I wish more than anything that you could find a way to forgive him. But as your best friend, I have to tell you that if you take him back, I will never speck to you again.” – Allysa
Now that’s what a friend looks like. She was like – brother or no brother, you don’t deserve that shit. That’s the kind of friend everyone needs in their corner.
This book made me wonder what my life would have been like if my mother had a friend like that. Someone in her corner. I guess we’ll never know.
Even though they were married and she wanted to honor her vows, she knew she couldn’t.
From this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.”
Maybe those vows weren’t meant to be taken as literally as some spouses that time.
For better, for worse?
I’ll be honest, it was hard to hate Ryle. Even after everything he did there was a piece of me who hoped he could change. I think that that scared little girl in me wanted to believe he would stop, like I prayed my step-father would.
I remember the second and last time my ex hit me like it was yesterday. Now keep in mind that I had been on my own since I was 12 so it I didn’t always have a roof over my head. I was 17 and he was 22. I was spending a few nights with him and I knew he had a bit of a temper but I didn’t give a shit. It was a clean house with everything I needed. One day he was getting high on coke which wasn’t a big thing at the time. He was an up and coming rapper so we drank and partied like rock stars.
He had accused me of flirting with people the night before at one of his shows and I told him he was full of shit. After a good 30 mins of auguring he punched me dead in the jaw. I was shocked to say the least and charged at him like a bat out of hell. Needless to say I lost that fight. When I came too he was laying next to me in the bed sleep. I tried to leave but he woke up saying how sorry he was. He didn’t want me to leave because he loved me, blah, blah, blah. I tried to get away from him with everything in my soul but it was useless. But what he said next shocked the shit out of me.
“You can’t leave. Your face is fucked up and I don’t want my roommates to know I hit you.”
You don’t want them to know you just beat my ass?
Eventually, he picked me up and locked me in his closet. Like literally locked me in there. It had a padlock on it. He kept me in his room for 2 days before I was allowed to leave. I left and never went back. It was my way of saying.
It really sucked too because he was so sexy and had one of the biggest dicks I’ve ever had the privilege to meet. To bad it was attached to an asshole. His sex game was on point. I know I was only 17 but let’s just say I already had a lot of experience.
Back to It Ends With Us…
“Every incident chips away at your limit. Every time you choose to stay, it makes the next time that much harder to leave. Eventually, you lose sight of your limit altogether, because you start to think, “I’ve lasted five years now. What’s five more?” – Lily’s mom
It took sometime for me to warm up to Lily’s mom. To me, she was my mom, the woman who stayed. I hated her for that until she gave Lily the most beautiful advise a mother could give a daughter in a situation like this. She surprised me to be honest. She didn’t want her daughter to stay even though she had everything. The handsome rich husband, the fancy apartment, etc. She didn’t want her daughter to lose sight of her limit.
“Don’t be like me, Lily. I know that you believe he loves you, and I’m sure he does. But he’s not loving you the right way. He doesn’t love you the way you deserve to be loved. If Ryle truly loves you, he wouldn’t allow you to take him back. He would make the decision to leave you himself so that he knows for a fact he can never hurt you again. That’s the kind of love a woman deserves, Lily.” – Lily
I wondered why Lily’s mom limit didn’t max when her husband tried to rape her.
There’s nothing like listening to your mother being raped while you hide under the bed. Trust me, I know from experience. Men can rape their wives. I don’t give a shit what anyone says. I heard it myself when I was 8 years old.
You see my step-father made my mother sleep in my brother’s room after he kicked him out. He told my mother that she didn’t deserve to sleep next to him. Whenever he felt the need to fuck he would go into my brother’s room and take her. We weren’t allowed to spend much time with my mom because my step-father said she babied us so I would sneak into the room to see her whenever I could. On this occasion my mother made the choice to allow him to rape her so he wouldn’t beat me for being in the room with her without his permission.
I wish my mother didn’t lose her limit. That must have been one of the hardest days of her life. We’ve never discussed it to this day nor have I ever shared it with anyone besides my sister and husband. I was 29 years old when I finally spoke about.
Lily realized her limit when she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
I wish my mom would have found her limit after she had kids because my step-father wasn’t the first or last man to beat her.
“What if…” My voice breaks. “What if she came to you and said, ‘My husband tried to rape me, Daddy. He held me down while I begged him to stop. But he swears he’ll never do it again. What should I do, Daddy?”
“What would you say to her, Ryle? Tell me. I need to know what you would say to our daughter if the man she loves with all her heart ever hurts her.”
“I would beg her to leave him,” he says through his tears. “I would tell her that she is worth so much more. And I would beg her not to go back, no matter how much he loves her. She’s worth so much more.”
This book is proof that you never know who is can become a static or not. Lily wasn’t supposed to be one. I for damn sure wasn’t supposed to be one. Life is pretty fucked up.
Some of my favorite quotes…
Preventing you heart from forgiving someone you love is actually a hell of a lot harder than simply forgiving them. – Lily
Because no matter how many good moments she might share with Ryle throughout her lifetime, I knew from experience that it would only be the worst ones that stuck with her. – Lily
Cycles exist because they are excruciating to break. It takes an astronomical amount of pain and courage to disrupt a familiar pattern. Sometimes it seems easier to just keep running in the same familiar circles, rather than facing the fear of jumping and possibly no landing on your feet. – Lily
My mother went through it.
I went through it.
I’ll be damned if I allow my daughter to go through it.
I kiss her on the forehead and make her a promise, “It stops here. With me and you. It ends with us.” – Lily
Most writers would have put Atlas and Lily together after he picked her up at home. Colleen didn’t. She didn’t make Atlas the man who was going to save Lily. She allowed Lily to save herself, to heal and when she was ready to love again Atlas was there.
I truly believe that after Lily went through what she went through with Ryle she was able to love Atlas better than ever. I do wish she would write Lily and Atlas’s love story. That would be fucking awesome!
In the words of Marsha Ambrosius
And so it goes that I never meant to hurt you
Couldn’t stay but I never meant to desert you
Whole lot a things I just had to work through
Time to heal and restore my self-worth too
Confrontation of my fears and anxiety
Cried a whole lot of years I suffered quietly
And though it may have taken years I can finally
Tell you that you were always on my mind!
I could write a book about the shit that went down in my house but I never will. I’m not a writer, I barely a blogger. I’m just a girl who loves books and likes to chat about them with other people. My house was hell on earth. The abuse and tortue are still apart of me today. Books give me a safe place to feel anything. I’m being dramatic here either. In real life emotions are hard for me because love and hate are so close to each other. It’s like the minute I feel love for anything or anyone besides my kids I shut down.
Love scares the shit out of me and my husband hates it. I can’t blame him. A lot of the times he tell me he loves me I don’t say it back, instead I say thank you. How fucked up is that. It’s not that I don’t love him because I do but when I hear him say he loves me, it reminds me of when my step-father would beat me and tell me he loved me at the same time. Over the years my husband and I have worked out a system that helps our marriage. When he says “I love you” I say “Ditto”. I even got him a necklace with a dog tag with the word ditto. He cried when I gave it to him.
Most people have daddy issues growing up the way I did but I’m different. I don’t have daddy issues, I have mommy issues. I could never understand why she allowed my step-father to do the things he did to us. I never understood how a mother could watch her children suffer. I wish I could say I’ve forgiven her like Lily did her mom but I’m not that good of a person. But there is one thing I know for sure… this cycle of abuse ends with us too.
For those who read my review on Destroyed and wonder why I have two different takes or opinions on it. Trust me boo boo, they are completely different.