Okay, so this review is a tiny bit spoilery, so if you haven't read the book, just know it starts out a bit slow, with a lot of background but really gets going in the second half and will blow every reader away. The spoilers pertain mostly to the set up of the story, and don't give away any major plot points, but I know some people prefer to go in totally blind!
This is a super personal story for the author, and I'm sure for many readers. It's touching and emotional in every way. I don't know that I would go so far as to say it is unlike anything Colleen has written before, but it has the uniqueness that pervades all of her books, while still following a similar journey of finding your way in life in your early 20's.
Naked truth: I didn’t love part one of this book. It was slow building and very focused on Lily’s past rather than immersing me in the current story. I get why – it’s very important context for part two, but I still didn’t love it. Part of what I loved about November 9 (my favourite CoHo book), was how quickly the reader is immersed in and invested in the story – because the characters live a whole year apart, and it makes the time actually spent together so much more dramatic and interesting. The set up with the diary entries isn’t my favourite style of writing, and so, I thought this book would end up being around 4 stars for me.
Then I got to part two. The story shifts pretty dramatically. The chapters are shorter and much more plot driven. Everything is more emotional, and it felt like everything I love about Colleen Hoover’s writing. It was heart wrenching and beautiful and so compelling I couldn’t stop until I was done. I loved every second of part two, even when it was tearing my heart into two parts. All the stars for part two. I think that evens out to 5 stars in general for the book.
This was a painful story, but one that I highly recommend. If you’ve loved Colleen in the past, just know that the first half is a little slow building, but please please please keep reading. It is so worth it. You’ll be a different person by the end, I promise. If you’ve never read Colleen or had no interest in her previously, read It Ends With Us even if you read nothing else by this author. I have a feeling this book will hit a lot of people very hard, and while I have no personal experience with the subject matter, I was loudly sobbing by the epilogue. I was so invested in this story and ALL of the characters. The last chapter was a punch in the gut in the best way, leaving me loving the overall story completely.
Review immediately upon finishing: *sobs audibly in the corner*
I just need a minute...or a couple days. I'll do a proper review next week.