Jeannette Mooney ’20/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Best selling Author Colleen Hoover takes the literary romance genre by storm this year with her hit new novel It Ends With Us. The book was voted the best romance novel of 2016 by Goodreads, and it is clear to see why. It Ends With Us, follows the typical tropes and guidelines of the romance just enough to be familiar, but throws all cliches out the window after that.
The novel follows Lily Bloom, a young woman who moves to the city of Boston after college and eventually decides to start her own business as a florist. She meets a young neurosurgeon, named Ryle Kincaid, on a rooftop one day and the two fall for each other. As they get to know each other more, Lily thinks back on the circumstances of her first love, Atlas Corrigan. When said fist love back in her life, Lily’s newly built relationship with Ryle is put in jeopardy.
The main character, Lily Bloom, manages to walk the fine line of being highly relatable but also a legitimate interesting and unique character. She avoids being the bland, self insert protagonists that inhabit less well written romance novels by a mile. The same can be said for her love interests and the minor characters. Hoover gives each one layers, which makes them feel more real than their counterparts in a more traditional romance novel. As a result, the relationships between them are fleshed out and interesting as well. The romances are well done, but the clear stand out is the relationship between Lily and her mother, who is a survivor of an abusive relationship.
Hoover’s novel deals with domestic abuse as well as romance, and its themes are woven very well with the plot. Among many other things, it addresses the complicated feelings that a victim can have for their abuser, as well as how a child from an abusive home will view their parent’s relationship. One very poignant from the novel on this issue is: “Just because someone hurts you doesn’t mean you can simply stop loving them. It’s not a person’s actions that hurt the most. It’s the love. If there was no love attached to the action, the pain would be a little easier to bear.” Such sections of the book appear to be from a very personal place, and there is no doubt that Hoover dove deep inside of herself while writing.
It Ends With Us, published by Atria Books on August second, 2016, is a highly emotional and cathartic book, that is no doubt highly personal for the author. Hoover’s novel is a work that strikes home for fans and non fans of romance novels alike. Its complex and well handles themes put it at one of the most popular books of 2016. In the wake of the massive popularity of romance novels such as Fifty Shades of Grey, which unfortunately romanticism and normalize abuse, Hoover does neither. Its critical and commercial success gives hope for the future of the romance genre.