After obsessing over the Colleen Hoover novel “It Ends With Us,” readers were hooked on the storyline following Lily Bloom and her tumultuous abusive relationship, but the sequel to the popular novel quickly disappointed Hoover fans.
In the first novel, Lily Bloom’s love story turns sour with her seemingly perfect brain surgeon beau named Ryle. He starts as the perfect man, but soon after getting close to Lily, he becomes abusive.
The book follows Lily’s devastatingly sad struggle to find the courage to leave Ryle. She grew up in a home with a father who abused her mother and swore that she would never follow in those footsteps.
After an emotionally and physically abusive rollercoaster of a relationship and a trip to the hospital inflicted by Ryle, Lily musters up the courage to leave, only to find out later that night while being treated for her injuries that she is pregnant.
Atlas, Lily’s first love, is there every step of the way through her relationship with Ryle. He was around for Lily while she dealt with her father abusing her mother when she was a teen.
Atlas continues to stand by Lily’s side when he finds out she is pregnant and becomes a friend to her, even though he clearly still has feelings for her.
The book leaves us on a cliffhanger.
We know Lily is free from Ryle, but we wonder: will she ever find her way back to Atlas? Will Atlas become a stepfather to Lily and Ryle’s child? Will Ryle allow Lily to have happiness, or will he stand in the way?
That is how it should’ve ended.
Instead, Colleen Hoover wrote “It Starts With Us.” The book follows Lily’s new life as a mother and eventually shows her finding her way back to Atlas.
Some stories just aren’t supposed to have happy endings, they should leave you wondering. Instead, Hoover made the mistake of writing a sequel and rushed a romantic ending just to appease her TikTok fans.
The first novel left readers with aching hearts, but hope for Lily and Atlas and hope for Lily, as a woman, that she would be able to break the cycle of abuse. “It Starts With Us” shows Lily forgiving Ryle and befriending him at the end, a “happy ending” that just shouldn’t have happened.
“It Starts With Us” was overly hyped up all over social platforms for months before its release.
The book ruined the magic the first one brought. Books should make you feel something, they should not always end perfectly. They should leave you wondering about what is going to happen when the story ends. You should be asking yourself, “What happens next?” and “Do they end up together?”
Sometimes the best books are the ones with bittersweet endings. Lily breaks the cycle of abuse and becomes a great mother who is strong and independent. Atlas was one of the people that helped her to do that.
As for her romantic relationships, audiences did not need a whole new book on what happens next, because “It Ends With Us” implied what was going to happen and that was enough.
In a Dartmouth article, Valeria Pereira Quintero says the book is “unique among sequels [and] the story didn’t feel dragged out.”
Many fans disagree with Quintero and think the sequel did drag out a storyline that had already ended so beautifully.
The hype that surrounds this sequel was not warranted. The book was just an attempt to keep the popularity of the story going, but instead, it did the opposite.
“It Starts With Us” ruined a beautiful, heartbreaking, bittersweet storyline just so the fame of the viral novel could continue for a little longer.