2022 Reviews · contemporary fiction · modern romance · new release

New Release Book Review: It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover

Title: It Starts With Us

Author: Colleen Hoover

Published: October 18th 2022

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 336

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

RRP: $32.99

Rating: 3.5 stars

Before It Ends with Us, it started with Atlas. Colleen Hoover tells fan favorite Atlas’s side of the story and shares what comes next in this long-anticipated sequel to the “glorious and touching” (USA TODAY) #1 New York Times bestseller It Ends with Us.

Lily and her ex-husband, Ryle, have just settled into a civil coparenting rhythm when she suddenly bumps into her first love, Atlas, again. After nearly two years separated, she is elated that for once, time is on their side, and she immediately says yes when Atlas asks her on a date.

But her excitement is quickly hampered by the knowledge that, though they are no longer married, Ryle is still very much a part of her life—and Atlas Corrigan is the one man he will hate being in his ex-wife and daughter’s life.

Review:

‘I’m ready for this. More than ready.’

An online petition resulted in one of the biggest sequels in book history to be released last month. It Starts with Us is the long-awaited follow-on story to the 2016 smash hit novel It Ends With Us. A story told with passion, heartbreak, joy and hope It Starts with Us is a supplementary read to It Ends with Us.

We first met Lily, Ryle and Atlas in Colleen Hoover’s It Ends with Us. Now, Lily and Ryle are managing the care of their child Emerson. A difficult task based on the history of this couple, Lily is not looking for love again. When Lily bumps into an important figure from her past, she tentatively accepts an invitation to go on a date with her teenage sweetheart Atlas. But rekindling this past romance soon has its pitfalls. Lily is constrained by her ex-husband and Emerson’s father, who is extremely protective of Lily. Even though Ryle knows he has blown it with Lily, he cannot stand the thought of any other man being with her – especially if his name is Atlas Corrigan. It Starts with Us allows us to see another side of Atlas. This sequel also allows us to bear witness to Lily’s recovery process following her split with Ryle. Told immediately after of It Ends with Us, this exciting sequel intertwines new beginnings with past hurts.

I’m a relative newcomer to the work of Colleen Hoover after discovering Verity earlier this year. I have been sneaking in as many CoHo books as I can over the progression of 2022 and after reading the global smash hit It Ends with Us only a few months ago, I was just as keen as everyone else to get my hands on the sequel as soon as it hit bookstores.

It Starts with Us begins with a heartfelt dear reader letter from Colleen Hoover to her awaiting audience. It thought this was a great personal opening. Hoover’s latest is told in thirty-seven chapters via the changeable viewpoints of Lily and Atlas, two characters who were pivotal to the success of Colleen Hoover’s number one hit, It Ends with Us. I appreciated this shifting perspective as it allowed me to get inside the hearts and minds of both leads. Hoover sure knows how to pull out all the stops in the drama and emotion stakes. In Lily we learn more about the impact of her trauma, past relationships, fear, hurt, cycle of abuse and trust issues. Life as a single parent also comes into play, which I felt was portrayed realistically. Dating situations as a single parent is explored in credible detail by Colleen Hoover thanks to Lily’s journey. In Atlas, we learn so much more about this resilient young man. From child abuse, neglect, homelessness and gaslighting, Atlas has come such a long way. It Starts with Us sees the introduction of Josh and Theo, who each play a role in helping Atlas become an even better man. My biggest gripe with this book was that I was expecting Ryle to have more of a presence, but guess this is pitched to us as Atlas and Lily’s story.

A sequel for both the characters and fans, It Starts with Us is destined to be the book that defines the 2022 reading year!

It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover was published on 18th October 2022 by Simon & Schuster. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of It Starts With Us, Colleen Hoover here.

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