IT ENDS WITH US by Colleen Hoover

I picked this book up because I’m interested in reading a bit more romance, since all the romance I’ve actually read is from Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters. While those books are great and undoubtedly one of my favorite classics, I was looking for something more actualized. So I picked up this book thinking I’m going to read some of the best in romance. Sadly, my hopes were thwarted.

This is anything but a romance. The only romantic element within the story is served through a flashback narrative in the use of journal entries. But the main theme of the book, the meat of the matter, the substance of the narrative, is about something way darker, which is domestic abuse.

I didn’t really mind this so much. I was slightly disappointed because it wasn’t what I was looking for, but I quickly got over it and finished the book. I do think books like these are important, and that it’s important to discuss these subjects and for people to read about it, since it could be a learning opportunity.

In that sense, the book serves its purpose by a hyper-realistic portrayal of abuse and the mentality and thoughts that the victim struggles with during their trying ordeal. They are thoughts of rationalization for the abuser’s actions and even apologetic excuses, which objectively should not be even thought of but it’s something that the victim struggles with nonetheless, and in a very real and raw way. The book delivers all of this and is commendable in its treatment of the subject matter.

Lily, the main character, is bubbly and charismatic without being vapid, and as such, is extremely likeable and relatable. But I found the secondary characters, with exclusion of the love interests (interests in plural, since there is a love triangle) extremely one-dimensional and stereotypical. They were so cookie cutter and dry, they read like an early draft version of characters if that makes any sense. They were basically forgettable, and annoyingly so.

Back to the love triangle. I found one of the prospect to be detestable and the other prospect adorable, and while the book attempts to keep us guessing until right to the very end, it’s still no less predictable what the outcome of the story will be. It’s in the title itself. All in all, even though this book was not what I expected and there were some characters that were underdeveloped, I would not say it’s a bad book. I just wouldn’t consider it a brilliant one.

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