Review: It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover

As many of you may know, Colleen Hoover is one of my autobuy and autoread authors. This was already the case before she got so incredibly popular on Booktok. I don’t have TikTok myself so I don’t know what people say about her books on there, but just a few of her books get all the attention while others don’t get any. One of these books is It Ends With Us. I’ve read this book years ago, before TikTok even existed. At the time, I thought it was a powerful novel which didn’t need a sequel. Guess what? There came a sequel, because of the hype on Booktok. I was yet sceptical, yet eager to read it. Because, a Colleen Hoover book never disappointed me before. Well, It Starts With Us did.

Title: It Starts with Us
Author: Colleen Hoover
Series: It Ends With US #2
Publish date: October 18, 2022
Publisher: Atria Books
Number of pages: 323
ISBN: 9781668001226
Genre: Romance

Before It Ends with Us, it started with Atlas. Colleen Hoover tells fan favorite Atlas’s side of the story and shares what comes next in this long-anticipated sequel to the “glorious and touching” (USA TODAY) #1 New York Times bestseller It Ends with Us.
Lily and her ex-husband, Ryle, have just settled into a civil coparenting rhythm when she suddenly bumps into her first love, Atlas, again. After nearly two years separated, she is elated that for once, time is on their side, and she immediately says yes when Atlas asks her on a date.
But her excitement is quickly hampered by the knowledge that, though they are no longer married, Ryle is still very much a part of her life—and Atlas Corrigan is the one man he will hate being in his ex-wife and daughter’s life.
Switching between the perspectives of Lily and Atlas, It Starts with Us picks up right where the epilogue for the “gripping, pulse-pounding” (Sarah Pekkanen, author of Perfect Neighbors) bestselling phenomenon It Ends with Us left off. Revealing more about Atlas’s past and following Lily as she embraces a second chance at true love while navigating a jealous ex-husband, it proves that “no one delivers an emotional read like Colleen Hoover” (Anna Todd, New York Times bestselling author).

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

My thoughts

This story picks up quickly after the ending of It Ends With Us. As already has been stated in the synopsis, the narrative alternates between Lily and Atlas. This is an interesting way of telling this story. We witness how Lily deals with the abuse she suffered from in her relationship and later marriage with Ryle. On the other hand, we get to know Atlas’ story, which we only knew through Lily’s diary entries beforehand. His story is much more interesting than Lily’s in this novel. Both have their traumas and healing to do and they both do this in a different way.

The writing is typpical for Hoover: quick and easy to follow. Why did this novel disappoint me then? Well, the plot. To be honest, despite all the personal growth Lily and Atlas both have gone through, the book was so incredibly boring. Nothing really happened and therefore it was easy to put it aside and not pick it back up for a while. It didn’t really intrigue me. I didn’t feel any emotions like with other books by this author. Also, there are things mentioned that didn’t even exist yet back when It Ends With Us was released. This story is supposed to be an immediate follow-up, so please explain this to me? I found this kind of strange.

It Starts With Us is – in my opinion – a sequel which wasn’t needed at all. It’s a nice bonus for the fans, but it is unnecessarily long. It could easily have been a novel. The most interesting part is Atlas’ story, which has been excecuted well. We never got to know him like this beforehand, so that was actually a nice bonus. The writing was easy and quick, but the plot was pretty boring and not intriguing at all.

In short

Things I liked:

  • We get to know Atlas’ story;
  • The quick and easy writing;
  • The personal growth Lily and Atlas have gone trhough, but also Ryle at some point.

Things I didn’t like:

  • This book was unnecessarily long, it could have been a novel;
  • The plot was incredibly boring, nothing really happened.

2 thoughts on “Review: It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover

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