Chills. I got the chills from this book.
This was my first ever Colleen Hoover read, and let me just say... it most definitely did not disappoint. I laughed. I smiled. I cried, a lot. It was breathtaking, literally.
Let's just start off with Hoover's writing itself. Her voice is magnificent. Her writing style is superb. I think the only thing I didn't consistently like was the timeline. (I'm always very picky about timelines.) I just wish there weren't so many time blocks that were missing. I'm just simply not a huge fan of missing time blocks in general. It makes me feel like the story is more choppy, as if I'm missing something important in the plot or in the character's lives. But nonetheless, Hoover came out swinging in this novel. And let me just tell you, some of those plot twists most definitely packed a punch. After the plot started picking up more, I really couldn't put the book down. There was one point where I was pacing my room because I was so amped up. Yes, pacing my room. And no matter how many times I told myself that I needed to study for my upcoming exam, I kept finding myself with the book in my hands again! I just couldn't look away from it. Usually I can predict most plot twists in books, but Hoover throws in some extraordinary plot twists that I did not see coming.
Moving onto the theme, which again, did not disappoint. This story is beautiful from beginning to finish, and a huge part of it has to do with the recurring theme that abuse is never okay. This is such a strong message in literature, especially for young adult readers, because I feel as though mental and emotional abuse tends to be romanticized a lot in literature. And even though emotional abuse isn't the key focus in this novel, and abuse in its whole self is, it is just as strong of a message. Hoover sticks to her theme so strongly in this novel, relating everything back to Lily's upbringing, and she does it flawlessly.
The way that Hoover collides Lily's past with her present and her future, is remarkable. It's so easy to get completely and utterly consumed by this book, especially because of the characters. They were the best part. They give you something to root for, which makes it so damn hard to look away from the book when everything is collapsing for these characters. Lily's character development is amazing, and as a reader, I am honored that I got to witness it. Her strength is so inspiring and I really hope that women who face similar struggles as her can look up to her and take from her decisions.
I definitely recommend this novel to anyone who is a sucker for contemporary romance, but has the strength to keep. their emotions in check. Because I will warn you, your emotions will be all over the place. No doubt about it. Happy. Scared. Confused. Sad. Everything.
This book took me by storm. And let me just tell you, it would make one hell of a movie.
Moving onto the plot. If you do not want any spoilers, then I suggest you stop reading now.
Where do I even start? When I first started this book, I literally fell in love with Ryle. I was like--
Wow! He's sweet. He's funny. He's a neurosurgeon. He's hot. But the first time he laid his hands on Lily, I had to read the scene again because I was so taken aback that I was sure I must've read it wrong. But unfortunately, I didn't read it wrong. Right then, I knew that it was inevitable that he was going to do it again. Which obviously, I was right about. I wanted so badly to root for them, but after the second time, I just couldn't. I found myself being afraid of Ryle at that point. Yes, even I was afraid, and I'm just the reader. Part of me wishes that this book could've ended differently, simply because I was soooo in love with Ryle to begin with. But I knew about halfway through that she'd end up with Atlas no matter what.
Even though it didn't end how I necessarily hoped for, I still loved the ending regardless. It was a beautiful full circle ending that left me feeling satisfied, even though I was a wreck for most of the book.
But this goes to everyone when I say... READ IT! You will not be disappointed.
I cannot wait to read more of Hoover's novels.