It Starts With Us: a sequel falls short


Kennedy Beates

Colleen Hoover’s book It Starts With Us

Haylie Potter, Staff Writer

Over the past few years, author Colleen Hoover has taken the literary world by storm with the first novel of a duology, It Ends With Us. Readers demanded a sequel to which Colleen Hoover thoughtfully delivered. Her new book, It Starts With Us, has sold over 800,000 copies throughout first-day sales and pre-orders. 

This article contains spoilers for It Ends With Us.

The first book, It Ends With Us, ended with Lily, the main character, divorcing her abusive husband, Ryle, in an attempt to end the cycle of abuse for her and her daughter. Lily was constantly thinking about her childhood boyfriend, Atlas, who helped her gain confidence to finally demand for a divorce. After the help Atlas gave her, Lily, and readers everywhere, could not stop wondering if there could be more to their story. 

It Starts With Us adequately addresses the realities of domestic abuse. The book was written to help people understand that there is a beginning after a harsh ending. It Starts With Us is deeply personal, as It Ends With Us was written to honor the abuse Hoover’s mother endured, and the strength it took to end the cycle of abuse. Many people were influenced by the book, and this is one of the many reasons the books have as much traction as they currently do. The story line is extremely relatable for many women, as more than 1 in 3 women experience abuse from an intimate partner in their lifetime.

In It Starts With Us, Atlas and Lily fight for the chance to create a stable relationship. They go through the difficulties of dealing with Ryle and his opinions toward the developing relationship between Lily and Atlas. Lily goes through all the stages of grief, but with her mother, close friends, and Atlas supporting her along the way. They have to find time for each other with new difficulties in the way The book goes over her hectic life from co-parenting to owning a flower shop. Lily has to balance a toddler, dating, and running a successful business. The book covers everything from cringy first dates to new family members. 

Fans have mixed feelings about the book. Some argue that the book is just the amount of closure they needed. Many loved the relationship between Atlas and Lily and were pleased with what they got out of the book. Unfortunately, I believe the book was rushed and I think the author was not as passionate with the storyline as she was with It Ends With Us. The book is a simple read, but is very repetitive and predictable. 

It Starts With Us is a straightforward love story with a few obstacles in the way. The book is perfect for anyone wanting a quick and easy read, however those anticipating the same quality of  It Ends With Us will ultimately be disappointed. 

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