I want to start of by saying if you have no read this book and have some how managed to avoid spoilers go away now. Go and pick up this book and read it from knowing nothing. It was the best decision I ever made. And if you’re still here now I’m going to presume you’ve either read the book or you just don’t care about missing out on an amazing book either way there will be spoilers ahead!
Synopsis: (straight from the back of the book) Sometimes the one who loves you is the one who hurts you the most. Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from a small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, 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, and maybe even a little bit arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and, has a soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.
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.
– Now had a read this before I read the book I still don’t think anything would have been spoiled. It’s like looking at a blue print then seeing the building. Sometimes you need to see the building first but in this case I don’t think the synopsis actually ruins anything. But I didn’t want to know anything going into this book.
Book Facts: the UK edition was published by Sinon and Schuster Uk, the American edition was published by Atria books both on the 2nd of August 2016. The book I was reading was 367 pages long. I read this book in one sitting ish, I didn’t stop to eat my tea at one point but all in all it took me about 5 hours. This was an easy read but only in the sense that it flowed so well that I didn’t notice 50 pages go by. This book has a 4.75 rating on Goodreads. This book was a solid 5 star for me and I’ll explain why below.
Cover Love: this cover is beautiful. I love how simplistic it is and yet so much meaning can be derived from it. It is so pretty but when you look closer you so that it isn’t. It is the opposite of what you first think and I love how much I get from this cover now I’ve read the book.
Spoiler Full Review: Now really if you haven’t read this book go away. If you have, come closer and we can pick apart this traumatic experience together. My love for this book can be summed up in these two pictures:
You know when you start highlighting things that are beautiful or profound? At one point I was struggling not to highlight everything. The writing in this book is just beautiful and complex and truly skilled. Anyone who thinks new adult as something cheap and badly written has obviously never read anything by Colleen Hoover. I am going to have a quotes section at the end of this review to round up my favourite.
This book was dark. Anyone who has read a book of Colleen Hoover’s knows she’s not scared of darker issues or exploring topics that are still seen as taboo to talk about; but this book makes her past books look like cute, fluffy romances. This book shocked me and I am not easily shocked. And I think a part of that is because it was so realistic.
I think the overriding theme of this book is good vs evil. And I think the way the characters are handled throughout this theme was just amazing. What makes someone evil? What makes someone good? This also extends to the characters, Lily who was shown as the hopeless romantic, Atlas the struggling boy and Ryle the successful man, but nothing is what it seems and not a lot of anything can be judged on merely what we see.
I feel like this book was a book on morals, not in a preachy way but in the sense it made me think, what is right and wrong. But I got so caught up in this at some points that I forgot that this is a romance novel. Atlas with his teenage love and Ryle being this man who knocked on 29 doors just to find this girl he couldn’t stop thinking about. The romance in this book was beautiful which I think made what happened later on so much more impactful.
I loved both Atlas and Ryle and for a long time I didn’t see what was unraveling before me. I’m ashamed to say I thought this book was just going to be a simple love triangle with a Lily in the middle who couldn’t decide between the boy of her past and the man she had now. I’m also not ashamed to say that I was wrong.
Lily is possible one of the most inspiring female leads I have ever read. She not only has the guts to go for what she wants but she has the power to walk away from something that tears her apart. The turmoil of her inner dialog had me right with her all the way. I felt my heart race with teenage love. I felt my heart race with the hope of love with Ryle. And I felt my heart race with complete fear as the book went on, only to swell with pride and hope at the end.
There are so many things I could talk about in this review, this book just brings up so much and is so intricately written that I feel that I would destroy myself trying to unpick it all. But I think this book covers a lot of issues from the obvious of domestic abuse to family and friendship and how we learn from our histories but how we can’t let that define us.
One last comment I have to make is, did anyone else picture Ryle as Derek Sheperd from Grey’s Anatomy?
This book killed me (in the best possible way). I rarely one across books that evoke such emesne emotions in me. Colleen gets more out of me every time. Just as I think she’s brought out her best work she throws another curve ball and I love every book more than the last. This is a first for me in the sense I cried the whole way through this book and not just at the end!
Quotes: (I have many but there’s are my absolute favourites).
‘But the abyss was inevitable with their marriage, and it became our norm.’
‘I wanted them to suffer. I wanted them to feel the weight of their ignorance for keeping a loaded gun within access of two innocent children. I wanted them to know that not only did they just lose a child, they ruined the entire life of the one who accidentally pulled the trigger.’
‘I’ve been feeling like I’m drowning lately, and sometimes people need a reminder that they just need to keep swimming.’
‘You sound just like your mother’
‘People spend so much time wondering why the women don’t leave. Where are all the people who wonder why the men are even abusive? Isn’t that where the only blame should be placed?’
‘It feels like Ryle has died.’
‘I’m a statistic now.’
‘In the future… If by some miracle you ever find yourself in the position to fall in love again… Fall in love with me.’
‘It stops here. With me and you. It ends with us.’
Tell me what you thought in the comments below!