Before reading this review, an important thing to know is that I hate romance novels and the genre in general but part of the point of Wolf Book Club is to remove the aversion which some of us have to certain genres so we can appreciate all kinds of books so yes, we read romance!
Book; It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Storyline – The protagonist is a girl called Lily who grows up watching her father abuse her mother. She holds a seething anger for her mother who she regards as weak because she couldn’t leave her father. 🙃
Amidst her disastrous home life, when Lily is 16, she helps a young adult boy, Atlas, who is homeless and lives in an abandoned building at the back of Lily’s home. She feeds him, gives him her father’s clothes, takes to him warm blankets to keep out the cold and the two eventually become very close and fall in love with each other.
Atlas later on leaves for the army and although he promises to come back for Lily – he never does. 😭
Lily moves to Boston after her father’s death at age 23 when she meets Ryle Kincaid, neurosurgeon with the body of a god 😋. He’s not the love or relationship type (cliché alert!) but he later realizes that Lily is the one for him so he accepts that he has fallen in love and they get married.
Then the sad part;
I never saw this coming – Their relationship is so dreamy! (but the sex scenes are horrible and lack substance).
However, one day during an “about to make love” session, Lily gets drunk and laughs at Ryle when he picks up the hot pot without using a pot holder so he gets burnt. He gets angry and shoves her, knocking her down.
You read that right, Ryle is a domestic violator.
It happens once, twice and then again and Lily then realizes that she can’t keep forgiving Ryle. The worst part though? She’s pregnant 🤦♀️
At this point, Atlas is back in her life (she finds him when she goes for dinner with Ryle and her mother). He obviously still loves her and she never stopped loving him too. But because she’s with Ryle, she has to shove these feelings aside. And she does.
That’s until Ryle abuses her and Atlas is the only one she can run to because he kinda witnessed her life growing up in an abusive home. Then they part again.
At the end, we find out that Ryle’s abusive nature was triggered by a traumatic incident when he was growing up but either ways, Lily files for a divorce because she can’t take chances that her child grows up the way she did.
What I think – I hated this book when I first started reading it but I must confess, my feelings changed when I was done. I loved the fact that the book allowed readers to see that it’s easy to judge a case (domestic violence) when you’re looking in from outside but it’s a whole different ball game when you’re inside. Still, it’s not a justification for domestic violence.
I think about how easy it is for humans to make judgments when we’re standing on the outside of a situation.– Lily.
Also, I loved many concepts in this book. I’ll list a few;
- Naked truths; A kind of game Ryle and Lily played when they wanted to be honest with each other without any lies or sketchy lines.
I don’t think being a little guarded is a negative thing,” I say. “Naked truths aren’t always pretty.– Lily
- Alyssa; She’s Ryle’s sister, Lily’s best friend and employee who is so richhhh, she has “people” for everything! God when? I love her so much because even though she loves her brother, she never made excuses for him and even encouraged Lily to leave him.
Allysa is his sister? The sister that owns the entire top floor, with the husband who works in pajamas and brings in seven figures a year?
- Limits; This was something Lily’s mother says when they talk about both their abusive relationships. I’ll just quote it;
We all have a limit. What we’re willing to put up with before we break. When I married your father, I knew exactly what my limit was. But slowly . . . with every incident . . . my limit was pushed a little more. And a little more.
The first time your father hit me, he was immediately sorry. He swore it would never happen again. The second time he hit me, he was even more sorry. The third time it happened, it was more than a hit. It was a beating. And every single time, I took him back. But the fourth time, it was only a slap. And when that happened, I felt relieved. I remember thinking, ‘At least he didn’t beat me this time. This wasn’t so bad.’ ”
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 mother
- Lily’s letters to Ellen DeGeneres: Lily loves watching the Ellen Show, hence the letters – although she never sends them. They’re just a way to pour out her feelings. And she does, a whole lot.
See some screenshots from Wolf Book Club’s discussion 😋 (This book made everyone extra mushy sha😂🥺)
Some fave quotes;
- “I’m a statistic now. The things I’ve thought about women like me are now what others would think of me if they knew my current situation.”
- “There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.”
- “I think good comedic timing is one of the most important things about a person’s personality.”
- “All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t the mistakes we make. It’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.”
- “But an act doesn’t have to be forgiven in order to learn from it.”
- “People spend so much time wondering why the women don’t leave. Where are all the people who wonder why the men are even abusive? Isn’t that where the only blame should be placed?”
- “Just because someone hurts you doesn’t mean you can simply stop loving them. It’s not a person’s actions that hurt the most. It’s the love. If there was no love attached to the action, the pain would be a little easier to bear.”
- “Cycles exist because they are excruciating to break. It takes an astronomical amount of pain and courage to disrupt a familiar pattern.”
In all, this book is not one I would read again. It’s good quite alright but I would definitely recommend it because it doesn’t have a cliched ending. However, this is not enough to make me like romance. 😂😬
The genre for this week is “African” because variety is the spice of life. The Spider King’s Daughter by Chibundu Onuzo is our pick so join us if you can. I’ll be reviewing next week as well.
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