Just Keep Swimming... || It Ends With Us

★★★★★ / five stars just isn't enough????


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.

TW: domestic violence, intimate partner violence, talks of suicide and self harm, rape****

I want to start off by giving this warning, this book is heavy and I don't want anyone to go into it without understanding that some material can be hard to read, do NOT read this book if it will be potentially triggering to you, your mental health is more important!


Let me just say, I was terrified to read this book. It had so much hype around it, and it was literally told to me that this would shatter my heart. Two things, it did live up to the hype, and it did indeed shatter my heart. Thank you for that Colleen Hoover. This story is beautifully written. Colleen Hoover is an absolutely stunning writer (I mean helloooo, if you haven't read Verity by her, please do), and she captures emotions so thoroughly that you have no choice but to feel them right along side the characters.

Lily is a very lovable character, and you definitely find yourself rooting for her, but one this I love about this book is the almost call to action that Colleen gives the readers. It's so easy to look at a DV victim and wonder why they stay but still it's less common to just wonder why the attacker does what they do in the first place? Why do we put so much blame on DV victims for staying? It really can be hard to let go of someone you love no matter how much they hurt you. Colleen does a good job of making Ryle the not-so-bad-but-still-an-asshole kind of man. You want so badly to love him, to love how he feels about Lily. I found myself getting so upset with Lily for some of the things she considered but I think Colleen's call to action encompasses that feeling perfectly.

Stop here to avoid spoilers:


Books rarely make me literally cry, but I was sobbing when Lily goes to her mother. The talk she has with Lily is so raw and emotional and it really shows what strong women they both are. Lily spends so much time worrying that her mother is going to tell her to stay with Ryle, that it's so heartbreakingly beautiful when her mother tells her that she has to know her limits, and you see that Lily is already breaking her limits for Ryle by allowing him to even hit her the once after growing up watching her parents and promising never to let a man get away with that.

Lily is right, a girl never grows out of needing her mother and I think that's truly what broke me, it hit home a little too close.

No matter, in the end I was so proud of Lily and her maturity, proud of Ryle for letting her go and focusing on being a good father, and so, so, so, so, so giddy that she ends up with Atlas.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you are not alone, there are people that can help you safely remove yourself from that situation. Please call 800-799-7233 for help, or visit your nearest TESSA center.

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