Publication Date: August 2nd 2016
Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up
— she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
My thoughts & feelings …
Everyone and their goddamn mother has been talking about this book lately, I mean it’s probably Colleen Hoover‘s most popular book … and that’s the problem. I knew way too much about this book going in that it kind of ruined my reading experience.
If you somehow have avoided this book that’s been plastered all over the internet as of late, let me catch you up to speed: this book follows Lily Bloom and her relationship with childhood love Atlas who she lost contact with years ago, and new man on the scene Ryle, and it must be said that this book comes with Trigger Warnings for domestic abuse and sexual assault.
That’s all I’m going to say because I would be a big-fat hypocrite if I went into any more detail. With that being said, if you want to read this book but haven’t, maybe check back on this review later on.
I really see what Colleen Hoover was doing here, and I think that’s why I’m pretty bummed. I love stories that appear to be one thing but twist it to be something else. In this case Colleen Hoover sets us up for what we think is going to be a sweet romance with the conflict of Lily running into an old flame but instead we get a complex story about the cycle of abuse and trauma. While it has aspects of romance, it is definitely not A Romance Book.
Like I said, I knew about this before I started reading and that really effected my reading experience. I feel like the point and the strength of this book is that you fall in love alongside the main character and that way feel the same range of emotions when things take a turn for the worst. I couldn’t do that because I knew what was coming.
This really isn’t a fault of the book. It’s a fault of me spending too much time online.
Another thing that I know from spending too much time online is that everyone loves Atlas Corrigan so I was surprised to see that he didn’t play as big of a role in this book as I thought he would. We see a lot more of past-Atlas through Lily’s old letters then we do current Atlas and I just didn’t connect to him in the same way everyone else seemed to. (I mean he’s definitely the superior love interest out of the two).
Thinking about it though, maybe this was for the best because something I really enjoyed about this book was that it didn’t have the tired trope of “love can fix everything”. Lily relied on people, namely Atlas, for help, but ultimately she saved herself.
All in all this was a good book that I could have enjoyed more if only I’d gone in a bit more blind. Besides from the Wattpad-y names (*cough* Ryle? *cough*) I think this was a really strong book.
I don’t know if I’m going to be reading the sequel, It Start With Us, just because I don’t know what more that book could possibly add to the story. I mean, isn’t it just this but from Atlas’ point of view? If it turns out that it actually follows on from the ending of this then yeah, I’ll give it a try, but we’ll see.