One of the most anticipated books of the year came out this wee, It Starts With Us, by Colleen Hoover. If you read and loved It Ends With Us, then It Starts With Us is a must-read.
I couldn’t wait to read what happened next for Lily and Atlas after the end of It Ends With Us. It was worth the wait, because I loved the book. The book picks up immediately after the end of IEWS when Lily and Atlas ran into each other on the street after not having seen each other for over a year and a half. Lily’s daughter is almost a year old, Atlas has just opened his second restaurant, and Lily is now divorced from Ryle and trying to navigate a co-parenting relationship with him all while hoping Ryle is changing for the sake of their daughter.
Lily and Atlas want to be together and the timing is finally right, but Lily dreads how Ryle will take it. Dating anyone will be triggering for Ryle, but dating Atlas is a hundred times worse. After being separated for about 12 years, Lily and Atlas aren’t letting each other go now. They won’t let an abusive ex-husband or ghosts from Atlas’ past come between them anymore. There is a mysterious person in the first few chapters and I guessed who it would be correctly, but I didn’t mind that part being predictable/easy to figure out (for me at least) because it was a good storyline. I don’t want to give details to avoid spoilers!
I loved the book. The best way I can describe it is a book of healing and a 300+ page extended epilogue of sorts. It’s really a book about how Atlas and Lily move on immediately following It Ends With Us. I heard some people criticized the book because it didn’t have enough drama or a real “problem”. But, I think if you go into it knowing that Colleen Hoover wrote this book as a sort of love-letter, ending/closure for Lily and Atlas, then you won’t be disappointed.
Atlas was perfection as expected. And I loved that Lily didn’t regress or let all the strength she gathered in leaving Ryle in the first book dissipate. Yes, things weren’t easy with the divorce and custody issues, but she didn’t let herself fall for Ryle’s manipulations or let him get in the way of her happiness.
If you’re worried about reading this because you don’t want any heartache when it comes to these two, I assure you it is a beautiful book and ending!
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