It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

TRIGGERS: domestic abuse

As a deeply personal novel, this story offers a lot and while it is not my favourite CoHo book it is perhaps the best when it comes to the structure and the overall message. I had some issues with the writing (again) and wasn’t blown away by the story as a lot of people were. To me it was good but a bit over the top when it comes to characters and their personal stories.

I’ve noticed this before with Hoover, she tends to write characters who are deeply scarred and “damaged” but here it felt too much, every person had their own tragedy lurking in their past. And yes, I do think we are all a bit screwed up but this was just taking it to a whole new level and it was simply TOO MUCH.

My favourite parts of this novel were actually the flashbacks. I didn’t care for Ryle that much because I got a hunch something would be off with him, like the relationship was too perfect. Atlas was such a sweetheart but perhaps a bit too cheesy at times. I really liked how the relationship between Lily and her mother was portrayed, and the ending was just beautiful.

However, I do have some issues with how CoHo wanted to sort of excuse Ryle’s behaviour by giving him this tragic childhood backstory. Yes, I agree, it was horrendous (and a bit too much in my opinion) but I felt like she used that story to explain his awful behaviour. So what you’re saying is, he wouldn’t have acted the way he did if he had a happy childhood? Seriously?

Lilys bravery and her final decision was what made this story a good one. I applaud her for her courage. And I also think CoHo was really brave to tell her side of the story and to go this deep into it. Domestic abuse is something that is still not discussed enough and I think she really helped women by sharing her experience.

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Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

This review will contain spoilers.

I have severely mixed feelings about this book. While I was reading it, I quite enjoyed it but since then my rating has dropped and I keep finding new things that went wrong in the novel. There is so much going on in this book and some issues are just not represented right.

First of all what is up with this Syria involvement? The refugee crisis is a serious matter and I got the feeling that CoHo only touched the surface and she sort of inserted it in her book but it was just so wrong. So very very wrong. You can’t mention it once and then move on like nothing happened. If you are going to make it a part of a story then you make it a big part because it’s serious business.

The portrayal of depression in this book is horrific. Yes, the symptoms are listed correctly but then again it feels like the author just googled depression symptoms and then inserted them in her book. And the fact that Merit goes from one extreme situation to the next in a matter of two weeks is literally not possible. You cannot go from attempting suicide to feeling hopeful in a matter of week. You cannot! This was just so awfully portrayed that it gives the impression one can simply shake off depression like it’s nothing. Well, it is something, it’s huge and overpowering and exhausting and YOU CANNOT SNAP OUT OF IT AT ALL MUCH LESS IN A WEEK.

Some comments on the sexuality were just off. I get that Merit is trying to come to terms with the changes in her family but come on, she was just mean and again HAVING DEPRESSION DOESN’T EXCUSE HER ACTING LIKE A BITCH. Her comments on Luck’s sexuality were borderline homophobic. It bugged me a lot.

Sagan was actually lovely though the whole family-is-lost-in-Syria part was off, it should have played a much bigger part in the book. Although I liked the romance part of the book, it was so minor that I really don’t understand why this book is classified as a romance novel. It’s more of a coming of age story.

What I loved about this book were the characters and the family drama. Moby was so adorable and I loved how the relationship between the siblings was portrayed. I also found it fascinating how the whole dad-mom issue was dealt with. That being said I did find it too much to occur in only two weeks. I think the book would’ve worked much better if it took place over a course of several weeks/months.

This books contains so much ideas, too much, if you ask me and I just can’t get pass the whole depression and Syria issues which weren’t handled properly. They deserve a much more in depth approach. Also, the book would work much better if it were longer. The characters and their dialogues was what saved this book from giving it a 1 star rating.

Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover

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The title sort of summarizes it perfectly. I was very, very disappointed with this book. Lake annoyed me so much that I even considered throwing the book away and while I loved reading from Will’s POV, he was way too cheesy. There are basically only two major things that happen in this book and I hated both of them. Like, I literally rolled my eyes when they occurred and said out loud: ‘Is this for real?’

The story is set one year after the events of Slammed. Lake and Will are both raising their brothers and attending university. They still hang out with Eddie and Gavin and the two kids get a new friend/neighbour Kiersten. Everyone is happy and spending time with each other and then Lake and Will get into a fight, Lake starts throwing tantrums, she basically behaves like a 15-year-old and Will does everything he can think of to get her back. Part two in the book: they get into an accident and Lake is in terrible state. One hospital scene follows the next. The book ends with a not-exactly-a-surprise and we are left wandering what exactly went wrong here?

Will was so immature in this book, he went from being a responsible adult to a confused teenager. All he does is chase after a girl who doesn’t deserve it. Lake, why did you get so upset with what happened? You’ve been dating Will for a year now and then you act like a child? Seriously? The kids saved the book because they were very adorable and funny but Will’s actions regarding Kel and Caulder were uncharacteristic. You don’t threaten 12-year-olds, especially if you are a teacher!

I don’t really know what else to say because I’m afraid I’ll start criticising even more. Eddie and Gavin were lovely and so was Sherry, they made the novel better. The story was focused mostly on Lake and Will but not in a good way like in the first book. I honestly don’t know how the novel got such rave reviews. It seemed like it was mostly written for money and not a lot of thought went into it and that is such a shame because Slammed was really good. There is no way I’m reading the third book, even though it’s mostly about the first one but I just want to preserve the memory of Slammed as it was before I read Point of Retreat.

Love is the most beautiful thing in the world. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the hardest things in the world to hold on to, and one of the easiest things to throw away.

Colleen Hoover, Point of Retreat

Slammed by Colleen Hoover

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My first date with Miss Hoover was absolutely sublime; I loved her book! Layken and Will were so adorable, my heart goes out for them. I hated how their romance was pushed aside because of their positions and I rooted for them until the very end. Despite touching some very difficult and troublesome topics, this book had a feel-good quality to it. Family and friends are what makes life bearable and it’s wonderful how this is portrayed in the story.

We meet Layken and Will right at the beginning of the novel. Layken lost her father a few months ago and so her family moved to be closer to her mom’s job. Will is her new neighbour and when their younger brothers become instant best friends, the two become close and even go out on a date. But when Will turns out to be a teacher at Layken’s school, they have to be sensible about it. Too much is at stake. Their romance has to stop, at least for now.

A surprising and harrowing turn of events pushes them back together as Layken has to deal with yet another approaching tragedy. But this time it’s different. She has friends, good friends, and Will, of course. She is no longer a teenager but an adult. And with Will by her side, she can face anything, even the terrible events that await her.

I am currently listening to the Avett Brothers whose lyrics are written at the beginning of each chapter. I wish I’d listened to them while I was reading the book because I finally fully understand what Layken and Will were feeling. Colleen Hoover, this was such a great idea! To connect music and fiction, it doesn’t get better.

What I loved about this book is (beside the romance, of course) the character development. Layken and Will are both flawed, they aren’t all powerful, beautiful and sassy, no, they’re just like the rest of us, faced with obstacles in life that try to pull you down. But they are both so brave and strong and they do what they have to in order to protect their family. Nothing is as important as family and friends. I totally agree.

The next best thing in the book is the slam poetry. It moved me despite the lack of performance. Will was such a talented poet and his words made me want to write again. And Eddie, gosh, Eddie! What a wonderful character! I hope we see more of her in the next book because she makes the best best friend ever.

Okay, so I pretty much just talked about how much I love the book. I did love it but I didn’t adore it. I had some issues with Layken because she seemed to be super angry all the time, especially at Will who already had so much problems of his own and I was so mad at her for giving him a hard time. Also, the way they instantly fell in love with each other seemed a bit far-fetched. And the second tragedy that Layken has to face… seriously? I felt so sorry for her.

I’m not the biggest fan of romance novels but every once in a while I like to read them and this was a great choice. It wasn’t too sappy and predictable; I liked the main characters and want to see where the story takes them. Colleen Hoover is one of the best romance writers I’ve come across so far and I’ll be sure to pick up another of her books soon. I have to finish Layken and Will’s story, right?

Does he treat you with respect at all times? That’s the first question. The second question is, if he is the exact same person twenty years from now that he is today, would you still want to marry him? And finally, does he inspire to be a better person? You find someone you can answer yes to all three, then you’ve found a good man.

Colleen Hoover, Slammed