“It Ends With Us” remains superior to “It Starts With Us”


Megan Shultz

Don’t waste your time reading the sequel.

“It Starts With Us” is not an overall bad read, but it is definitely overhyped and unnecessary. Out of every Colleen Hoover Book I’ve read so far, they all seem to keep the readers on the edge of their seats. They are successful because of the plot and the crazy twists in between. The failure with this second book in the series is it consists of unrelatable content and a rushed plot with no wow factors. “It Starts With Us” isn’t Hoover’s best work. 

Starting off the story, Lily and Atlas run into each other in the streets of Boston. As the book progresses, the two old time lovers find their way back into each other’s lives. Lily is worried about her abusive ex- husband’s reaction to finding out. Naturally when the audience reads this, the first thought is that something major is going to happen. Soon they will realize the conflict doesn’t ever reach the climax moment. 

Then the book turns to this side story about the vandalism of Atlas’ restaurant. Yes, it does turn into a bigger part of the plot, but what does it have to do with “It Ends With Us”? It is honestly unnecessary. The whole story from start to finish seems like it was forced. 

Coming from a big Hoover fan, “It Ends With Us” didn’t need a sequel. She would have been better off to just add an epilogue. Since “It Ends With Us” was her most popular book, there was more expected from the follow up. The plot of “It Starts With Us” is slow moving and predictable. Overall it doesn’t compare at all to the first book. 

The whole idea of writing “It Ends With Us” was to bring attention to domestic violence and to give the people who might experience that a way out. Part of why everyone loved it was because of how deep the topic was and the fact they could relate to it. When Hoover wrote the sequel, it didn’t mention domestic violence in the way that readers were hoping for. In the second book, Hoover is mainly focusing on Atlas and Lily. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing but where are the typical gut wrenching feelings that come with that? Readers want to feel as if they are experiencing ups and downs of the characters. This second book just really didn’t leave the same impact that the first book did. 

Being a reader, I notice a pattern in the books I’ve read. I live for plot twists that leave your jaw on the floor until the very end. For me, those are the ones you never forget but also the ones that you can read in one sitting because it’s just that good. Every single Colleen Hoover book I’ve read so far has given me that effect, except for this one. As much as I don’t want to hate this book, it didn’t reach a high enough standard.