Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
About the book:
Author: Colleen Hoover
Book length: 384 pages
Published: August 2, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Mental Health, Abuse, Domestic Violence
Rating: 5 out of 5 quills
Started reading: September 3
Finished reading: September 4
“”The day you gave your father’s eulogy? I know you didn’t freeze up, Lily. You stood at that podium and refused to say a single good thing about that man. It was the proudest I have ever been of you. You were the only one in my life who ever stood up for me. You were strong when I was scared.” A tear falls from her eye when she says, “Be that girl, Lily. Brave and bold.””
What did I think about the book?
I love it and I hate it. And now I need Colleen to hug me…. I love it, because it’s so good. I hate it, because it comes to close to home. I was a daughter of a mother afraid to leave my [former] stepfather for a long time. I was the Lily of 15 years old. Luckily at some point she did leave him, he got arrested on my birthday five years ago. That did feel like a true birthday present to me. So Colleen, can I get a hug? I did not expect to read this story. I’m glad I did, but it does hurt….
This story is so good in portraying the feelings and reasons of the victims – yes I say victims, because it’s not only women who are the victims – who are in an abusive relationship. Like the author note said, this story is based upon facts. Yes, it’s fiction, but this happens every day around the world. And not all victims are strong enough to make those tough decisions. I won’t say too much about what happens in the story, it’s important to read this story for yourself. To experience those feelings through the characters in this book. Please God, I don’t want anybody to have to experience these emotions first hand. But this books does make you understand how people react – within the relationship and as bystanders. It’s important to learn how to recognize these feelings and expressions. A lot of what we see on a daily basis, is actually masked from the true feelings of one. And I’m not saying everyone is in an abusive relationship, this mask can also be for selfishness, insecurity and such.
To go back to the writing of Colleen Hoover. I think she did an outstanding job in writing this particular story. I laughed, I cried, I was hurt by remembering and relieved in other parts of the story. The quotes she uses multiple times are true to the bone. But first I want to make sure you know there is humour in this book too, like in real life:
“”How about I make it up to you?” I say to her. “What if, whenever we decide to have a baby, I promise to do it the natural way and not buy one in Vegas?””
“All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t the mistakes we make. It’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.”
“There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.”
These two quotes are the best liked on Goodreads, and there’s a reason for that. People know these sayings are true. And like this story tries to tell, not all abusive people are bad people. Most who have used domestic violence, never lose their temper on anyone else. Most snap and regret what they’re doing. Most only snap once, and never more. There are always a few rotten apples who’ll never stop using violence. But those are a handful among hundreds. Some take it out on themselves, some on those closest by and some on Marine-grade polymer lawn chairs. I’d rather see number 3, but that’s not how the world works, sadly enough.
I would recommend this book to whomever wants to understand the victims of domestic violence. I would recommend it to those who have experienced it. It’s a hard read with painful memories, but it’s good to see there are people like Colleen Hoover who want to explain this to the world, who want to erase the taboo and talk about it. She wants to raise awareness and teach others to recognise the signs, to protect future – or present – victims.
I do warn those willing to read this book of graphic scenes, of heavy topics and heartbreaking scenes. If you think you can’t handle it, please don’t try it before you are sure you can.
In case you’ve missed these:
- The Goodreads Tag.
- #57 Me Before You.
- #56 Outrun the Moon.
- August Wrap Up + September TBR.
- August Book Haul.