Book Review: It Ends With Us

“Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most,” says the description of the New York Times bestseller,  It Ends With Us.

“Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most,” says the description of the New York Times bestseller, It Ends With Us.

Ashley Doyen, Entertainment Editor

“There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things,” says New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover in her novel It Ends with Us.

It Ends with Us  tells the story of a young woman named Lily Bloom. Lily did not have a perfect life growing up; her father was abusive and Lily constantly questioned why her mother stayed with him, swearing to herself that she would never stay in a relationship like that if it were up to her.

One night, after her father’s funeral, Lily meets Ryle Kincaid, a neurosurgeon. Ryle and Lily quickly develop a relationship that eventually turns volatile.

“It’s easy when we’re on the outside to believe that we would walk away without a second thought if a person mistreated us,” says Lily, “it’s easy to say we couldn’t continue to love someone who mistreats us when we aren’t the ones feeling the love of that person.”

For those who have never been in abusive relationships, they often wonder why victims stay. The quote perfectly captures that Lily loved Ryle so much that she did not want to let him go because she believed he could change. Lily also says that “just because someone hurts you doesn’t mean you can simply stop loving them,” bringing to light that the love does not just disappear.

Unfortunately, most times the abusers do not change. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says that every year there are more than 10 million women and men who are victims of domestic violence in the United States and each situation is different. Most of the time it is not like Lily and Ryle’s relationship where someone changes for the sake of the child.

“Every incident chips away at your limit,” says Lily, “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?’”

For outsiders, this showcases the mentality of the people in abusive relationships and why they stay.

The world often showcases love as it always being rainbows and butterflies, when it is not. Lily fell in love with a man who cared for her and was everything to her. She stayed with Ryle in the hopes that he would change and it was not until her daughter was born that she decided to leave.

“It ends with us,” says Lily to her daughter, breaking the cycle of abuse.

After their daughter is born, Lily is no longer with Ryle, but she allows him to see his child. At the end of the novel, Ryle appears to have changed for his daughter and seems that he wants to be a better father for his child.

Many readers have expressed to Hoover, that they want a story that gives Ryle his happily ever after. Hoover has expressed that Ryle will not be getting his own story because “that would show women that men like Ryle can change and [she doesn’t] want that on [her] conscience because it would be a lie.”

The story of Ryle and Lily was made to bring attention to why people go back to the abuser. Hoover says, “I wanted people to empathize with the struggle. Yes, there are extreme circumstances where [the abuser] can change. But do you risk your life and the life of your child simply because you have hope that your circumstance is that rare one in a million?”

In the world, domestic violence is never something that is truly brought up. When writing this book, Hoover kept it in mind to make people see the relationship through the eyes of the victim rather than through the eyes of an outsider. It is never too late to say, “it ends with us.”

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, call any of these numbers:

Emergency Services


National Domestic Violence Hotline


Childhelp (Child abuse)