Book Review: It Starts with Us

It Starts With Us, a novel by Colleen Hoover was recently published; it is the sequel to It Ends With Us that came out in 2016.

I found the sequel way more enjoyable than the first novel.

The setting takes place about a year after the main character, Lily, pregnant, divorced Ryle and soon gave birth to their daughter.  Lily encountered into her old friend Atlas after not seeing him for many years.

The story line shows them taking a second chance at romance after being apart.

I was happy to see that there was a point of view and back story from Atlas that we didn’t get in the first book. His story of growing up with abuse and neglect was heart-wrenching.

I loved the way Lily was able to stand up for herself and her daughter to her abusive ex- husband, Ryle,  the way she wasn’t able to in the first book.

It Ends with Us  is a story of Lily as a young girl, growing up with domestic violence in her household. She fell in love with a homeless boy, Atlas, who stayed in an empty house next door. The story was told in the form of letters, when her older self fell into the same abusive relationship with her new husband, Ryle, that her mother fell into. It’s a love story about choosing yourself over someone you love. It’s about choosing to end a cycle of violence.

I was not the biggest fan of It Ends with Us like many others were, so I was skeptical of It Starts with Us, especially after seeing many posts about how people did not like it, and how the first one was better. Both books spread awareness of domestic violence and how hard it actually is to get away from it which I know is appreciated by many. It also showed that it is possible to get away and over time you can find happiness.

I would recommend this book, but I do advise anyone who chooses to read to be aware of very sensitive topics.