Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Available On: Amazon

This was the first book I ever read by Colleen Hoover and at the start I was thinking, “Lovely. A take-your-brain-out-and-enjoy-the-romance read. Nice and fluffy. Comforting.”

Holy crap was I wrong. 

Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us is an emotionally gripping and thought-provoking novel that explores the complexities of love, the impact of personal history, and the strength of the human spirit. With its raw honesty and deeply relatable characters, this book transcends the boundaries of conventional romance and delves into the realms of personal growth, empowerment, and the courage to break free from cycles of pain.


The story follows Lily Blossom Bloom (yes, really, that’s her name – you can see why I thought this was going to be kitsch), a young woman who has experienced her fair share of heartache and disappointment in relationships. When she meets the enigmatic and charming neurosurgeon Ryle Kincaid – a hot, broody hotty, who wears scrubs a lot and gives McSteamy crossed with McDreamy vibes right from the second he walks onto the roof. If you’re a Grey’s Anatomy fan, you know what I’m talking about – a whirlwind romance ensues, filled with passion and tenderness. However, beneath the surface lies a darker truth, as Lily is forced to confront her own painful past and make choices that challenge her understanding of love and self-worth.

One of the remarkable aspects of It Ends With Us is the complexity of its characters. Hoover crafts deeply flawed yet immensely relatable individuals who resonate with readers on a profound level. Lily is a strong and resilient protagonist, driven by her dreams and the desire to create a better life for herself. From page one she strives to be Brave and Bold and she succeeds. And yet, her journey is not without its twists and turns, as she grapples with difficult decisions and learns to navigate the blurred lines between love, sacrifice, and personal boundaries.


Colleen Hoover tackles a range of sensitive and important topics throughout the book, such as domestic violence and the complexities of abusive relationships. With great sensitivity and empathy, she sheds light on the intricate dynamics that keep individuals trapped in cycles of abuse and the difficulty of breaking free from them. The narrative is as educational as it is emotionally engaging, forcing readers to confront uncomfortable truths while drawing them further into the story.

Hoover’s writing style is immersive, drawing readers into Lily’s world with each turn of the page. The narrative alternates between the past and present, revealing Lily’s upbringing and the events that shaped her into the woman she is today. This narrative structure adds depth and layers to the story, enabling readers to fully grasp the emotional impact of Lily’s choices and the significance of her journey.

It Ends with Us is a novel that stays with you long after you turn the last page. It challenges societal expectations, delves into the complexities of love, and forces readers to question their own perceptions of relationships. Colleen Hoover’s ability to blend heart-wrenching emotions with important social issues is truly commendable.

I wasn’t expecting it to be in the slightest, but it turns out It Ends With Us is an exceptional work of contemporary fiction that goes beyond the boundaries of a typical romance novel. It offers a powerful and poignant exploration of love, sacrifice, and personal growth. Colleen Hoover’s masterful storytelling, combined with her ability to tackle challenging subjects with grace, makes this book a must-read for anyone seeking a profound and emotionally impactful reading experience.

@briarblackbooks My full review of #ItEndsWithUs is now live on the blog at BriarBlack.com for anyone who wants a read 💚 #romance #romancebooks #booktok #booktoker #colleenhoover #bookblog #bookblogger #bibliophile #bibliophileprincess #bookish #bookcollector #bookcollection #bookobsessed #bookaesthetic ♬ Wildest Dreams

How Spicy Is It Ends With Us?

Spice Rating: 🌶️🌶️🌶️

It Ends With Us contains some intimate and romantic scenes that contribute to the development of the story and the relationships between characters. While there are explicit moments, the book does not primarily focus on explicit or graphic sexual content. The level of spice or explicitness in the book can be considered moderate, as it strikes a balance between portraying the emotional and physical aspects of the characters’ relationships while maintaining a strong focus on the underlying themes and character development.

What Romance Tropes Are In The Novel?

Trope Count: 3

incorporates several romance tropes that contribute to the story’s dynamics and character relationships. Here are a few tropes present in the book:

Childhood Sweetheart

The novel makes clever use of journal entries to recount Lily’s first love affair, with a boy called Atlas Corrigan. While there’s no escaping this is a bit of a contrivance, it’s better than awkward and endless flashbacks would have been, and the journal entries do in fact prove to be a Chekhov’s Gun, so they have a point beyond backstory.

Second Chance Romance

Lily reconnects with childhood sweetheart Atlas Corrigan, completely by accident, which brings up unresolved feelings and adds a layer of complexity to her love life. It verges on a love triangle, but isn’t really; Lily’s in a relationship with Ryle and dedicated to him, so has no thoughts of reconciliation with Atlas, though she does mourn the fact they didn’t meet again sooner, and what could have been if they had.

Forbidden Love

Atlas is homeless during Lily’s childhood. They meet as he’s living in the abandoned house behind her own, and she feeds and clothes him, letting him shower at her house, because she feels sorry for him. Over time, their connection deepens, but their age and his homeless status mean they have to hide the relationship and there are devastating consequences when it’s discovered. 

While these tropes are present, “It Ends with Us” goes beyond the typical romance narrative, incorporating deeper themes and addressing important social issues, making it a more complex and thought-provoking read.

What Genre Is It Ends With Us?

This one falls under the genre of contemporary romance with elements of women’s fiction. While romance is a prominent aspect of the story, the book also delves into deeper themes and explores issues beyond traditional romantic narratives. It addresses sensitive topics and focuses on personal growth, empowerment, and the complexities of relationships, making it a multifaceted read that transcends the boundaries of a typical romance novel.