“It Start With Us” review – BookTok overhyped another book

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Olivia Wallace, Managing Editor

-Review-

It’s not often that a teenager finishes a book in one night, but Colleen Hoover made me do just that. After selling out in all stores, I finally got my hands on a copy of the follow-up book, “It Starts with Us”. Let me tell you how disappointed I was.  

After finishing the first book, “It Ends with Us”, I wanted more for the couple from the popular novel. I will admit I love reading about love triangles, but Hoover’s choice to write a two-book series made me lose that love. I wanted so much more for Atlas; but because there was a second book coming, I had to wait. I felt that this series just needed one book. Stretching this storyline into two books was too much. 

As an avid romance reader, I didn’t expect to have a divorced husband in the picture. I cringed when he showed up in the book, but I guess he needed to be there to make this love triangle happen because he had a child with one of the main characters. 

The way Hoover made Ryle; she made him the ‘bad guy’ which he is. His actions made me want to punch him; it was too much. He isn’t the type of guy you would want your kids around, unfortunately, Lily and Ryle share a kid together. In the first book, there was an incident where Ryle pushed Lily down the stairs, I really thought he would change in the second book. I was so wrong.  

Without the second book, nothing would have prepared me for what was going to happen to Lily and the obstacles she would face. It made my heart break to read, but the more I thought about the toxic relationship that Ryle and Lily shared the more I realized the author was helping her readers become aware of what happens in a toxic relationship.  

In each chapter, there is a flashback of Lily’s diary entries. The glimpses into her thoughts are frequent in the second book. It really provides a look into how Lily truly felt about Atlas at such a young age. The entries gave me hope that they were going to be together in the book, a hope I have been wanting since the first book was read. 

The more I read it allowed me to see there were some good spots, for example, Lily finally stood up to her ex-husband and kept fighting for her daughter. It seems like in the first book she was stuck in this box; and in the second book, she is released.  

From watching BookTok reviews, I really expected more from this book. I wanted so much more from Hoover but received so little. I would give this book a 5/10. And those 5 points are for Lily and Atlas’s happy ending; other than that, I wouldn’t recommend this book for purchase; maybe a library check out but only if you can’t find other books to read.