What did I think of this book?
I think this is the most emotional, honest and heartbreaking book Colleen Hoover has ever written yet. There’s too much emotion I could feel at the same time: fear, elation, hope, expectancy, sadness, empathy… that I did not even cry a single tear. And I always cry from her books.
It also inspired me to write a well thought out article blog post about the main topic ingrained with the book’s plot.
It Ends With Us is a story of a woman, Lily, who fell in love twice in her life. First, was with a homeless guy (Atlas is his name) she helped when she was only 15 (he was 18 then), and how they both saved each other’s lives in more than one way. But then life happened, and they had to part ways, with an open promise. Many years later, Lily fell in love again, this time with a neurosurgeon Ryle. With the typical Colleen Hoover fashion, I fell in love with both Lily and Ryle together. They were amazing and fun to read. Their interactions were so quirky and easy and just right, ya know? And then of course Atlas came back to the picture.
All was right in the world with Ryle and Lily and somehow in the beginning of the book I was led to believe one of their major problems is Ryle’s commitment issues…and when they were past that, I thought well, I don’t know what else is gonna happen next. And then one night he slapped her without thinking after she laughed at him when he burned his hand. Fifteen seconds. That was what it takes for everything to change. You see, Lily grew up with an abusive father to her mom, never to her though, but still. They both worked it out then everything fell back to their normal routine, as if nothing happened. The mess just swiftly swept under the rug.
Meanwhile, in the deepest recesses of my entire being, I was freaking out. Fear just gripped my heart, yet I couldn’t stop reading because I was glued, I had to know what happened next. All the time I was chanting Lily to leave the relationship after it happened the second time. The first time it happened, I was internally screaming for them to talk about it, dig deep and be honest about everything, let it all out, as they have the habit of “Naked Truths”, talking about things with all honesty.
But eventually, I got Colleen’s message. It’s easy to say to someone who is experiencing domestic violence to leave their partners, fight for their lives, they’re being martyrs and stupid… But when you’re in the situation yourself.. What happens when you really do love the person and the ‘abuse’ just happens so rarely? The good should always top the bad moments, right? It should be okay, it’s part of marriage… Compromise, understanding, FORGIVENESS.
YET, HOWEVER, DESPITE the thousand good, heck even great, out-of-this-world moments, they quickly go out the window when an abuse happens.
The book played with my head a lot last night. Suddenly, I questioned a lot about marriage. Boundaries. I know, I don’t know how I escalated so far to talking about marriage already. In all honesty, marriage and having a family of my own is in my dreams for myself in the future, but now I’m … wow, that’s a lot of work and trust!
As a Christian, forgiveness is a value I value in my life. In the Bible, when Peter asked Jesus how many times should we forgive? Jesus said “seventy times seven”, some versions would say seventy-seven times. His point is, don’t count. Forgive, forgive, forgive.
But trust is a different thing. Yes, we can learn to trust another person again, but it takes time. Forgiveness takes time too. Sometimes, saying NO is even harder than saying YES. Sometimes, we just have to brave enough and bold enough to make the right decision. Because it doesn’t mean that what feels good, is the right thing to do.
And so I end with a praise to Colleen Hoover for bravely putting together this story, with not just another bawl your eyes out romance story that yes, you can learn one or two lessons from. BUT, a BOOK, with a message behind it, to inspire many of us, to be BRAVE, to SPEAK out, to ‘act justly, love mercy and walk humbly’.