Warning: This book deals with abuse
This is my third CoHo book, I also read the first two books of the Slammed triliogy. CoHo is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary authors. She has this amazing gift of telling a great story, the good, the bad and the ugly in a way that the reader becomes so engrossed in the lives of her characters.
I wasn’t too sure about whether or not I should read this book. Like Lily, in the book, many years ago, I witnessed abuse as a child. I was NEVER abused myself. Thankfully, the family member in my life dealt with their issues and stopped abusing 3 years before they passed away. That being said, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to handle this book or not. While I will say that the abuse scenes are graphic and do have a ring of truth to them that was hard to read, CoHo creates such a great story that for me, I was so invested in the story and I was glad I read it. CoHo writes lots of positive, happy experiences into the characters lives as well. Life is rarely if ever all good or all bad, and It Ends With Us had good times as well as bad in the lives of the characters.
I loved Atlas! He was an overcomer through his tough childhood and a great, constant support to Lily. I really enjoyed that CoHO displayed a character who didn’t just give up when life became unfairly difficult and continue the negative cycles in his life. Instead, he made a great life for himself.
CoHo’s writing is just so beautiful and often thought provoking. Here are some of my favorite quotes (no spoilers) from the book:
“He sat back down in the grass. I pointed to the row of trees that lined the fence to the left of the yard. “”You see that tree over there?”” In the middle of the row of trees was an oak tree that stood taller then all the rest of the trees.
Atlas glanced over it and dragged his eyes all the way up to the top of the tree.
“”It grew on its own,”” I said “”Most plants do need a lot of care to survive. But some things, like trees, are strong enough to do it by just relying on themselves and nobody else.”” (Hoover, p. 106)
“I wasn’t so much whispering when I said, “”Why in the heck would you want to serve a country that has allowed you to end up in this situation?”
“…His eyes grew sad and he said, “”It’s not this country’s fault my mother doesn’t give a shit about me.”” (Hoover, p. 117)
“Imagine all the people you meet in your life. There are so many. They come in like waves, trickling in and out with the tide. Some waves are much bigger and make more of an impact then others. Sometimes the waves bring with them things from deep in the bottom of the sea and they leave those things tossed onto the shore. Imprints against the grains of sand that prove the waves had once been there, long after the tide recedes.
…He was letting me know that I was the biggest wave he’d ever come across. And I brought so much with me that my impressions would always be there, even when the tide rolled out.” (Hoover, p. 214-215)
“”The day you gave your father’s eulogy? I know you didn’t freeze up, Lily. You stood at the podium and refused to say a single good thing about that man. It is the proudest I have ever been of you. You were the only one in my life who ever stood up for me. You were strong when I was scared.”” A tear falls from her eye when she says, “”Be that girl, Lily. Brave and bold.”” (Hoover, p. 336)
If abuse has had some effect in your life, I can’t say whether this book is for you or not. I can say that I’m glad I read it. The story of It Ends WIth Us will stay with me for a long time. I can’t wait to read more of Colleen Hoover’s work.