It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

5 out of 5 stars

On the emotional evening of her father’s funeral, Lily Bloom meets a handsome stranger on a rooftop, and the two strangers have some shocking conversation. Fast forward a few months, Lily runs into the enigmatic Ryle Kincaid again, and the two cautiously embark on an intense relationship. 

Soon after she starts dating Ryle, an important figure from Lily’s teenage years enters the picture. This chance encounter with Atlas Corrigan puts Lily on a path re-examining her past and coming to terms with how it has shaped her.

Lily is a strong central figure in this book. Once I got past the messy, chaotic events of the opening chapters, I began to understand Lily and root for her to find true happiness. 

It seems inadequate to describe this book as a romance book featuring a love triangle, when in reality the story is so much more complex. The story is about one woman realizing her worth, seeing her mother in a different light, and making a hard choice to protect her family. The bonds between women were an unexpected theme in this story that seemed on the surface to be about romantic relationships.

If you read this book, be sure to read the author’s notes at the end, where Hoover talks about why she wrote this deeply personal book the way she did.

So far, this is my favorite of the three CoHo books I’ve read. Like both Verity and Layla, It Ends With Us defies the conventions of the romance genre. It also adds something that both of those books were missing for me – a likable main character that you cared about in the end.

Are you a Colleen Hoover fan? Which book of hers should I read next?

Layla by Colleen Hoover

4 out of 5 stars

An ipad mini with the cover of Colleen Hoover's book Layla on screen. The device is laying on a bench surrounded by fall leaves.

I came across Layla by Colleen Hoover on Prime Reading. Having recently read Verity, I was excited to try another CoHo book. If you’ve read and liked Verity and you are okay with a little paranormal flair, chances are you will enjoy this book as well.

It is an incredibly fast read with several unpredictable elements. I appreciated that the story focuses on a limited set of characters. I can sometimes get lost when a story has too many side characters.  Even though I liked that there were a small number of characters, I didn’t connect strongly with the main characters. For me, I think this was because there was almost no character development leading up to their love at first sight meeting.

While I didn’t connect strongly with either Layla or Leeds, I was surprised to find myself invested in what happens to their relationship. It was purely the writing and the strength of the story that held my attention in this one.

I will certainly be reading more of Hoover’s books. Are you a Colleen Hoover fan? Which book of hers should I read next?

Verity by Colleen Hoover

4 out of 5 stars

Verity was my book club’s most recent pick. All I can say is “Wow, wow, wow!” It pulled me in from the very first page and didn’t let go. 

The book opens with relatively unknown author Lowen Ashleigh witnessing a gruesome accident on her way to meet with a potential client. Still unsettled from the accident, she is offered a lucrative deal to co-write for best-selling author Verity Crawford, who has been injured in a car crash.

After moving into the Crawford family home, Lowen discovers Verity’s disturbing memoirs, and things start to really get interesting for Lowen and the Crawford family.

I read the book in a few hours because I was compelled to find out what happened. The storyline is unique and layered, and the writing is good, which helps make up for some of the flaws.

The good thing about sins is they don’t have to be atoned for immediately.

Colleen Hoover, Verity

There are several graphic sex scenes in the book, which I could have done without. The reader has to suspend belief in more than one place in the book and overlook some terrible decisions by the main character.

Between Verity’s enigmatic character, Lowen’s questionable choices, and the dark and twisty plot, there is plenty for book clubs to discuss after reading this one. 

Verity was the first book I’ve read by Hoover, a self-publishing success story. I’m intrigued by Hoover’s writing style and have downloaded “Layla” as my next read from her.

To read my review of Layla, visit this link.