OPINION: Why It Ends With Us By Colleen Hoover is Not a Romance Novel


Ava Abbott, Author

WARNING – This article contains major spoilers for the novel It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover and content and discussion of domestic abuse, rape, etc. 


It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover was the book of the summer. Fellow book lovers on Tiktok and Twitter were raving about this heart-wrenching story and its characters. But one misconception I keep seeing online is that this is a romance novel. By definition on google, it is a romance novel. I do not agree with this, and let me tell you why.

General Plot Explanation:

The book starts off with an introduction to our main character and narrator of the story, Lily Bloom. With the recent death of her father, Andrew Bloom, former mayor of her hometown Plethora, Maine, she messes up on the podium at his funeral. After this, she ends up moving to Boston. She is met on a rooftop by a man named Ryle Kincaid. To make a long story short, they fall in love. So, what’s the issue? Well, they both have their own difficulties.

For one, Lily is reminiscing on her past life. After the death of her father, she starts to read her old high school diaries. In which she wrote to Ellen Degeneres about her experiences with her difficult home life and her relationship with a boy named Atlas Corrigan. Atlas and Lily met when Atlas was homeless, and living in an abandoned house next to Lily’s house. To sort of distract herself from her abusive home life, she takes care of him. (In which he later says to her, that she saved his life). Well, you predicted it, they fall in love. Until her father catches them together in bed and well, things get violent. After that, Atlas tells Lily he is enlisting in the military, and they say their goodbyes. Ryle on the other hand, is a mess. He constantly has angry outbursts, but has a soft spot for Lily and she likes this. The two have an instant connection.

Everything in their relationship is perfect. Ryle meets Lily’s mother, who loves him. She also opens up her own flower shop, which has been her dream for a while. She even works alongside Ryles sister, Alyssa. But one day, everything falls apart. Lily and Ryle are enjoying eachothers company one evening, when Ryle lashes out at her in a violent way, hurting Lily. Ryle knows all about Lily’s past experience with abusive with her father, and swears that he is nothing like him and that he would never do anything like that ever again. Lily is very emotionally hurt, and says that if he ever does something like that again, it would be over between them.

Then, as Lily and Ryle (and family) are at a restaurant together, she sees Atlas for the first time in years. Atlas sees the Ryles bandaged hand (from when he hit her) and Lily’s cut on her face, and instantly connects the two. He starts to yell at Ryle telling him to never touch her again.

The story progresses and Ryle starts to hurt Lily more and more. Pushing her down the stairs, and then lying about it, and at one instance holding her down and almost raping her. Lily later found out she was pregnant, and the story ends with them getting shared custody of their daughter.

Deeper Meaning

This general plot explanation is very very broad. The book is of course, a lot more intense. But, the one thing I do want to mention, and if you have read the book, you feel this too. Is that throughout the novel, you are completely attached to Lily. And when she goes through this confusion and hurt you feel it too. I have read many books over the course of my life. But I have never felt more pained by a book before I read It Ends With Us. I felt like a horrible person when I was confused on the side I was on, Ryle or Atlas? But by the end of the book, I realized something. This was never ever about Ryle or Atlas. This novel is 100% about Lily, and her amazing survival story with domestic abuse and herself. I have truly never felt more connected to a character in my life. You truly feel every single emotion with Lily as she is going through them. It Ends With Us? That is not a romance title. At the end of the novel, it is revealed that the whole book is a dedication to her daughter, in which they will always stick together. Because it ends with them.


Book Rating

This novel brought me through every single emotion all at once. There were moments where I threw the book out of shock, excitement, and fear. And what is even better, is that the book is based on a real story. The story of Colleen Hoovers parents. And that just makes it so much more special. I am SO glad there is going to be a second book to this series. This is one of the best books I have ever read. 11/10. 10 out of 5 stars.

I will 100% be reading the second installment of this book, which is called It Starts With Us and comes out October 8, 2022. And I look forward to reviewing that book also.