It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover

Read Dates: November 6, 2022 – November 6, 2022
Publication Date: October 18, 2022
Source: Owned paperback

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This book was such a pleasant surprise for me! I think the reason I rated this one so high is because of that surprise factor and also the way I absolutely boo-hoo cried on at least three occasions reading this book.

I had fallen in love with her long before our first kiss, though. I loved her more than I had ever loved anyone before that moment. I think I loved her more than I’ve ever loved anyone after that moment.
I think I still might.

It’s hard to really say much about this one without giving away spoilers. Even the synopsis holds spoilers for the first book. But what I CAN say is that this was something I didn’t know I needed after reading It Ends With Us. I can honestly say I was completely satisfied after reading that ending and I didn’t feel like I really needed to see how things played out any further. Apparently, all the CoHo fans felt differently and they immediately started ringing the duology bells. I’m just so glad Hoover complied. Seriously. This was everything I didn’t know I needed but I really really did need it.

I loved getting a look into Atlas’s life. I’ll admit, going into this, I didn’t think Atlas was interesting enough to have his own story. I’ve never been so glad to be wrong.

There’s this toxic belief that family should stick together simply because they’re family. But the best thing I ever did for myself was walk away from them.

I felt like I knew most of what he went through thanks to Lily and the journals she kept and I didn’t really crave any more than what I was already given but I really enjoyed reading his side and seeing his story unravel. I enjoyed seeing the way Atlas handled things. And in turn, the way someone who is a stable and healthy partner acts in a relationship and just life in general. It was a nice contrast to its predecessor.

Of course, Ryle was still in this book so there was some drama and some hard scenes to read but they were fewer and I enjoyed the way they were written. Even though this is the second book and it’s been a while since Ryle’s transgressions, he wasn’t romanticized or redeemed suddenly. I feel like that would have absolutely ruined this book for me even though it was about Atlas and Lily and not about Ryle at all other than his effect on the progression of their relationship and the way he handled the fact that Lily was moving on.

Sometimes people think if they love a broken person enough, they can be what finally repairs them, but the problem with that is the other person just ends up broken, too.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. It Ends With Us was good but with It Starts With Us, I feel like I was given the last piece to the puzzle and it made me feel complete when I didn’t even know I was missing anything in the first place.

I can draw a seedling with two tiny branches. We’ll be on our own brand-new, tiny family tree – one that starts with us.”

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