It Ends With Your Innocence


It Ends With Us cover page.

When you’re a young lass abundant with pubetic excitement, you read fairy tales of princesses finding their true love. Fate brings them together! They’re meant to be! You spend your days waiting to meet your true love;  you sorrowfully ponder out your window like you’re in a teen rom-com, and wait for that prince charming to trot up to your door on horseback. Your prince will have intelligence, riches, chiseled abs, a kind and thoughtful demeanor, and a jawline that could cut steel. And when he finally comes… when he sweeps you off your glass-slippered feet,  you’ll run off into the sunset and live happily ever after. But what if your supposed happily ever after is nothing more than a sham? What would happen if your dream man was cloaked in the sheets of deception? Only to emerge and unpack all of the ugly and cruel luggage of his past? 


 Ladies and gentlemen, the “gorgeous neurosurgeon Ryle Kincaid”! 

Mr. Kincaid is the leading male in Colleen Hoover’s New York Times best seller It Ends With Us.  Written in 2016, the story follows closeted florist Lily Blossom Bloom… And yes, that’s her actual name.  Lily has recently graduated college and has secured a marketing job in Boston. Young Lily grew up in Maine as an only child, and from an early age she witnessed domestic abuse that occurred in her parents’ marriage quite frequently. Her father would physically abuse and take advantage of her mother; however, `they never divorced. The events she witnessed throughout her adolescence left her with conflicting feelings of disgust and sadness when her father passed away from cancer a few months before the start of the story. 

Everything in Lily’s life seems askew: her marketing job vs. her passion for flowers, and her overall mindset in life. Lily definitely needs to clear her head. What better place than on the ledge of a roof on a random Boston high-rise? As Lily glances up into the night sky, her deep thoughts are interrupted by a ripped and mysterious gentleman in designer clothing kicking expensive lawn furniture around the terrace. Apparently this is a turn on… my guys out there, I hope you’re taking notes. Lily and the beefed dude seem to click instantly, and she soon finds out this guy is none other than Ryle Kincaid: a smoking hot, emotionally aware neurosurgeon serving his residency for Massachusetts general hospital. I mean ladies, who doesn’t like a man who has a sensitive side?  The night is just peachy as Lily and Ryle share cliche love moments that every romance author thinks is positively darling. We can’t forget about the end of night kiss! Or maybe in this case it’s more (children cover your ears), their intentions by the end of the night are…to shake. The. Bed. 


But their spicy tango is interrupted by Ryle’s phone! The classic move used for centuries by romance authors everywhere! Sadly they don’t even make it to first base, but they leave having cleared their minds of the burdens that have inhabited their consciousness for so long. 

Months go by, and by coincidence, Ryle and Lily meet again! I merely give you a sip of the piping hot tea that  “It Ends With Us” carries inside its pot. You, dear reader, will have to see if this tea is to your liking.

This brings me to my burning question: if Colleen Hoover was writing just any old teenage “wattpad” story, why would it be so much more popular than the rest? I think that’s what many potential readers are wondering as well. Love isn’t the theme of this story, Hoover’s goal was to carry across a much more personal and powerful message. 

Colleen Hoover grew up in an abusive household similar to Lily’s. She based many of the descriptions about abuse on things that actually happened to her mother in real life. I think it is quite interesting how she explains to readers how one may end up in a situation like that– because many people would fail to understand. They would fail to understand how you can still love someone even if they do horrible things to you; a concept I grasped after reading this heartfelt novel. I thoroughly admire Hoover for sharing this very personal story with readers all around the world. I also applaud her for using her power as a writer to carry across important and often overlooked messages. 

 While I admire all of these things about It Ends With Us” there was a question gnawing at the back of my gut: would the story have been as successful without the focus of romance (something that is the main source of appeal for a teen audience– which is the majority of her readers)? In short my answer is no. 

The plot is not like other books, which is refreshing and engaging.  However, romantic encounters and interactions are cliche and foreseeable: the classic love triangle fight, phone call interruption, bumping into each other “by mistake.” The whole story is fabricated by overused romantic scenarios. They are lines that have been used thousands of times before. They have annoyingly rang in my ear one time too many. 

 I did not find Hoover’s writing appealing or rhythmic. I often found her repeating phrases three to four times. And from the raves about the book circulating, I was really expecting more; the lack of diverse diction disappointed me. I would go as far as to say a fourth grader could read this story with ease (however, I do not advise for… obvious reasons). I myself whizzed past this novel within one day. I am truly sorry to disappoint, but I speak what I believe to be true: “It Ends With Us” is exceptional for a leisurely read, but definitely overhyped by the media. 

The teenager in me yearns to give this book a higher rating than I believe, because of the euphoric swell every teenager gets when reading some raunchy romance. Not to mention Colleen Hoover’s incredibly powerful message through Ryle and Lily that touches readers everywhere. But my mind says that this book is average in the way it conveys its message, through banality and trite framework. If you are looking for enjoyment and leisure, It Ends With Us is a pleasure. But if you are a reader who enjoys thoughtful, deliberate, and productive reading…Why don’t you go pick up some Jane Austen?