Let’s Talk About It Ends With Us

Warning: this is NOT a book review.

A couple of my girlfriends had read It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover and recommended it to me. Now, I’m one of those people that will say “yeah I’ll get onto it” and have no intention of doing so, and this was one of those situations; however, when I found myself strolling through my local Dymocks, this book was there and I thought, ‘why not’?

Let me tell you: I should have been prepared for the emotional rollercoaster that was about to happen because Colleen Hoover tends to go from 0 to 200 in a matter of seconds (Hopeless anyone?), but nothing could have prepared me for this absolute whirlwind of emotions.

In short, Colleen Hoover had fucking done it again.

Don’t be fooled by this innocent book cover… no seriously, don’t.

This article won’t be formatted as a standard book review as done before on Widow’s Lure; it will just be an emotional discussion about the happenings of the book, because let me tell you I finished this book months ago and I am still not emotionally recovered from the rollercoaster ride that Lily, Ryle and Atlas take us on.

I don’t know if I’m the only one like this, but when I am listening to a song and see someone, or in this case, reading a book, that song will stick in my head as officially attached to that book, and now You by Lloyd will always remind me of It Ends With Us, and my heart stops every time I hear it because of this damn book.

SPOILERS! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Discussions of domestic violence ahead. If you don’t feel comfortable reading about this, please do not continue.

Okay, like, wow. Hoover is a wordsmith, and she can tell a great story regardless of the circumstances. But boy howdy was I not prepared for this.

First of all, I thought the title was going to have a romantic tie in to the story. For example, perpetual unhappiness ends with us because we are so damn in love and happy together, or loneliness ends with us, or bitterness ends with us, or any other negative emotion ends with us because we found each other and we fell in love and that bad feeling has ended. At no point during the story did I ever think it was domestic violence ends with us, my newborn child.

I knew that the recounting of her mother’s experience with domestic violence would tie into the story somehow, but I hadn’t pieced two and two together, even after the first time that Ryle had lashed out at Lily. Much like my feelings towards Hopeless where you expect to go on a standard romance story ride, but then out of nowhere, the plot just takes a whole fucking turn and all of a sudden you’re thrust into this world of violence, I sat by and idly watched as this seemingly beautiful love story between Lily and Ryle takes a dark turn, and all of a sudden that predictable ending you thought you were headed to takes a detour and you’re headed into this dark unknown where you cannot see three feet ahead of you.

What makes it even worse – personally for me – was I wanted Lily to give Ryle another chance because I wanted nothing more than for Ryle to better himself and become the man that Lily truly deserved. This goes against everything I am as a human, because my thing with domestic violence is one strike and you’re out; you don’t get a second chance with shit like that. But then there was Ryle who had one outburst, and I was crying because a) Lily didn’t deserve it and b) Come on Ryle! Get your shit together!

Everyone yelling at Ryle to stop fucking up.

I remember discussing with my friends how I felt conflicted while reading this book because of this. There are some things in relationships that I think are unforgivable, and domestic violence is one of them. So how could I as someone who feels so strongly about this feel for someone like Ryle? That just goes to show how well Colleen writes her characters and creates sympathy for someone like Ryle Kincaid.

I loved Atlas, and thought that the love story that he and Lily shared was a thing of beauty. That pure connection that they had was easy for me as a reader to feel, and a part of me wanted Lily to gtfo there and run into the willing and capable arms of Atlas.

But Ryle… sweet, disturbed Ryle… we were all groomed to love him, and I truly did.

In a nutshell, when Ryle broke Lily’s heart, he broke mine, and it’s something that I am still working through months later.

Alas, I was left satisfied in the epilogue of the book where Lily, after finally leaving Ryle because it definitely ended with her and her newborn daughter, was happily co-parenting with Ryle and then entered an ambiguous relationship with Atlas.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, I know it might see like the hardest thing in the world to do, but it is not weak to speak up and seek help. Australia’s nationwide domestic violence assistance organisation 1800 RESPECT are available for 24 hours over the phone (1800 737 732) or Live help at their website. If you are in immediate danger, please call 000 or your nation’s emergency hotline.

Anyway, with all of this in mind, I’m going to take a break before reading another Colleen Hoover book because I know she is going to f me up again.

– by The Black Widow

Review: Hopeless

I’m not trying to sound like a broken record a la the last book review I did, but I finally got around to finishing this wonderful novel that I had been in the middle of for a good month. Now that this novel is finished, I’ve realised that I need to do some serious book shopping!

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Hopeless by Colleen Hoover details the life of 17-year-old Sky, an extremely sheltered young girl whose life is turned upside down when she meets Dean Holder, the resident bad boy with a bad reputation to match her, to be frank, slutty reputation… despite not being a slut.

This novel starts out pretty cruisy, until you get to the middle-ish of the novel where:

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Never in my 21 years of reading novels have I read a book that escalated as quickly as Hopeless. What seemingly starts off as a typical teenage romance novel turned upside down on its head and did a Booker T spinaroonie because the drama that followed was so… dramatic. Without revealing too much, the drama was so good.

The storyline was so predictable that it was unpredictable, if that makes sense. I read it thinking “Oh yeah, and now this is going to happen and this is going to happen” and while some of my predictions were correct, most of them were so wrong that I felt the need to say sorry to Colleen Hoover. Colleen, if you’re reading this, please forgive me for doubting your excellent storyline abilities. The characters personalities were expressed well in the novel through the use of descriptive writing and the image of Dean Holder was clear in my head. COUGH Steve Grand.

The relationship between Sky and Dean was cute, albeit a bit clichè. Two unusually attractive teenagers with troubled pasts fall for each other and are completely in love after a month or two of being completely inseparable. Sky was a hit-or-miss with me; she was either really annoying and “Wah feel sorry for me” one minute and next, she was this funny, sassy spitfire who I found myself to really like. Dean Holder was perfect… almost too perfect. He was so swoon-worthy that I didn’t feel the need to swoon. He had his shining moments just like Sky, though, so I will praise him as a character.

Colleen Hoover’s use of language in this book was almost flawless. The action in the novel was impeccable and the use of imagery and other descriptions painted a clear picture in my head as I read this novel. I can no doubt see why this novel is so acclaimed and why it’s a New York Times bestseller – the author is great and the story is even better. The fact that nearly all the loose ends in this novel were tied together in a nifty little bow by the end of the story demands a round of applause for Hoover who really, in my sweet and humble opinion, knocked this one out of the park.

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Storyline:
9.0/10
Style of writing: 8.6/10
Overall: 8.8/10

I can guarantee you, whether you’re a romance reader or not, that this is definitely a must read. I was so wowed with the entire novel as a whole that I don’t know what to do with my life now that I’ve finished it. I can also guarantee you that you will not want to put this book back down once you’ve gotten into it. It is that damn good.

– by The Black Widow

The Bachelors of the Books

Since women (and men alike) were introduced to the devilishly handsome vampire Edward Cullen and “shutup you’re not really 18” heartthrob Jacob Black from the Twilight series, there has been a noticeable influx of paperback princes in romance novels with authors trying to create that perfect man for readers to swoon over. Insert GPOY here.

As a romance novel enthusiast, I’ve decided to list my top 6 “Bachelors of the Books”. These men, commonly referred to as “book boyfriends”, not only steal your heart but make you feel that love – because everyone deserves to be loved, even if it’s within the confinement of a novel. Brace yourself and get ready to swooooooooon.

NOTE: The images provided are pictures of men who I believe represent the character exceptionally or actors who have been cast as the character in movie adaptations of this book.

#6 Dean Holder (Hopeless by Colleen Hoover)
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“Dean Holder? Messy brown hair? Smoldering blue eyes? A temper straight out of Fight Club?” This quote represents Mr. Dean Holder perfectly. Dean Holder has this captivating aura of confident swag about him – “You probably faked passing out the other day, just so you could be carried in my hot, sweaty, manly arms.” However, like most bad boys, he’s troubled. Women loooooove their troubled men. Here’s to thinking that Sky is one lucky, lucky gal.

#5 Daniel “Monty” Montgomery (Outback Dreams by Rachael Johns)
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One of the best things about Outback Dreams was how close to home it was (on the other side of the country, but still). The best thing about it, however – and other readers could attest for this as well – was the character Monty. A true man’s man, this outback handyman knows what he wants and goes for it, regardless of the consequences, whether it be for his dream farm or for Faith Forrester’s heart. A couple of dick moves here and there, but hey, nobody’s perfect. He sure comes close to it though. What confuses me is this: how Faith could overlook Monty for so long is beyond me.

#4 Christian Grey (Fifty Shades Trilogy by EL James)
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Everybody’s favourite bajillionaire BDSM dom enthusiast Christian Grey has won over a lot of hearts since Fifty Shades of Grey. The word “damaged” doesn’t even begin to describe how royally fucked Christian is: he’s cold, distant, controlling and unnecessarily possessive. Underneath all of that is a caring, gentle soul that is just in need of some tender lovin’ care. He’s got to be incredible for putting up with Anastasia for so long. He’s also totally baben, but that’s beside the point. I dare you to listen to Prelude in E Minor by Frédéric Chopin (a song he plays on the piano in the first book) and not feel how much pain he’s in. Jamie Dornan might be the new Christian Grey, but I still think Jessie Pavelka is my Christian.

#3 Bennett Ryan (Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren)
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The title Beautiful Bastard describes Bennett Ryan to a tee – he’s beautiful, and he’s a deadset asshat bastard. Although, much like Chloe Mills, you couldn’t help but find the young CEO intriguing. Also a gajillionaire so early in his life, Bennett is the type of man that can irritate you one moment and have you wrapped around his little finger the next. His charm is almost outweighed by his arrogance. He’s spontaneous, he’s handsome, and he’s a horny prick. Stock up on underwear and avoid being alone with him in the stairwell… just kidding. Women would jump at the chance of a stairwell encounter with Bennett.

#2 Michael (Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson)
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Michael (only referred to as simply Michael) is a dream man – literally. Why? Because he’s imaginary. 9-year-old Jane Margaux (Claremont, if you watch the movie adaptation) needed a friend. Enter Michael, the handsome imaginary friend who knows everything about Jane – her hopes, her fears, her favourite dessert… you name it. Several years later and this imaginary heartthrob is back. Who doesn’t want a big, masculine man to walk you to and from work after giving you flowers? Michael is also willing to punch out his friend for disrespecting women – yeah, that happened. A little spoiler alert: Michael becomes real, so at least you can say you’ve fallen for a real book character, not an imaginary one.

#1 Travis Maddox (Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire)
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Travis Maddox is the right balance of sweet charm and rough badass. A panty-droppin’ player turned one-woman man, Travis is the whole package: he’s big, he’s strong, he’s got killer tatts, he rides a motorcycle and can also fight with the best of them. He’s also motivated and cunning and romantic and knows how to make a woman feel as if she’s the only one. Only Travis can make a nickname “Pidgeon” totally adorable. His never-give-up attitude is infectious and his need for cuddling makes him seem the ultimate gentle giant. If you want a man who is that dedicated to you that he gets your name tattooed on his arm, well, Travis is your man!

If you’re still alive after all that epic swoonage, I suggest you purchase all of these books from your nearest bookstore (preferably Dymocks because I love that place) and join the world in falling in love with fictitious men. It’s not as insane as it sounds.

The storylines aren’t bad either.

– by The Black Widow