Audiobook Review: It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover. #2022AudiobookChallenge

Posted October 20, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 46 Comments

It Starts with Us
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: It Ends with Us #2
by Colleen Hoover
Publication Date October 18, 2022
Published by Simon and Schuster
Narrator: Colin Donnell, Olivia Song
Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
Purchase Here Buy on Amazon US - Buy on Apple - Buy on Kobo - Buy on Google - Buy at Barnes and Noble - Buy on Waterstones - Buy on Audible - Buy on Amazon UK
Genres: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / New Adult, Fiction / Women
Pages: 336
Format: Audiobook
Reading Challenges: 2022 Audiobook Challenge

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.

Switching between the perspectives of Lily and Atlas, It Starts with Us picks up right where the epilogue for the “gripping, pulse-pounding” (Sarah Pekkanen, author of Perfect Neighbors) bestselling phenomenon It Ends with Us left off. Revealing more about Atlas’s past and following Lily as she embraces a second chance at true love while navigating a jealous ex-husband, it proves that “no one delivers an emotional read like Colleen Hoover” (Anna Todd, New York Times bestselling author).

It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover is the second book in her wildly popular It Ends With Us series. It was also one of my most anticipated books of 2022 and it was worth the wait! I listened to this audiobook and loved every second of it.

Story Recap:
It Starts With Us is a sequel to It Ends With Us and follows the lives of Lily, Lily’s ex-husband, Ryle, and Atlas. It tells the story of Lily, and her co-parenting agreement with Ryle, after the tumultuous end of their marriage, and the birth of their baby girl, Emmie. Lily has set boundaries with Ryle, and so far, they have a fairly amenable relationship.

When Lily runs into her first boyfriend, Atlas, sparks fly. Atlas knows about some of the horrors of Lily’s marriage and knows about the domestic abuse she suffered, but he doesn’t know everything. Lily worries, that her more peaceful relationship with Ryle will explode once again if she starts to date Atlas. Ryle knows that Atlas was her first love and his jealousy could explode all over again. Can Lily and Atlas find a way to form a new relationship without Ryle ruining it with his jealousy and rage?

My Thoughts:
I was so happy to continue Lily’s and Atlas’s story. I want them to have a happily ever after, but there is so much in their way. Lily has to start to heal from the years of abuse at her husband’s hand, and Atlas knows he must wait for her to be ready and he still has to deal with his neglectful mother. And although Ryle and Lily are now divorced, they share a child, and while, Ryle has admitted his abuse, he still hasn’t done much to change his ways.

As I did in the first book, I loved both Lily and Atlas. In this book, I love how they have grown and started the healing process from their individual traumas. Now that Lily has a daughter, she has turned into a fierce mama bear and I loved that about her. I loved seeing her heal, get stronger, and find the happiness she deserves.

It Starts With Us did not have that emotional punch that It Ends With Us had and I’m glad. I don’t think I could have witnessed these characters going through much more than they already had. That’s not to say that this book is not emotional, because it is. And Lily and Atlas still have a lot of emotional issues they have to deal with both together and individually. It’s just not the kind of emotional story that left me on the floor in a puddle, as It Ends With Us did.


It Starts With Us is narrated by Colin Donnell and Olivia Song.  I enjoyed both narrators and appreciated having one narrator for each POV.  Both narrators had good inflection and I felt like I was listening to the actual characters.  

I highly recommend It Starts With Us to anyone who enjoys emotional fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty two novels and novellas. Hoover’s novels fall into the New Adult and Young Adult contemporary romance categories, as well as psychological thriller.

Colleen Hoover is published by Montlake Romance and Atria Books. Colleen also has several indie titles, including her psychological thriller, Verity.

In 2015, Colleen’s novel CONFESS won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance. That was followed up in 2016 with her latest title, It Ends With Us, also winning the Choice Award for Best Romance. In 2017, her title WITHOUT MERIT won best romance.

Her novel CONFESS has been filmed as a series by Awestruck and is available on Prime Video via Amazon and iTunes. Katie Leclerc and Ryan Cooper star in the series.

Colleen founded The Bookworm Box, a charity subscription service and bookstore, with her family in 2015. The Bookworm Box is a subscription service that provides readers with an exciting opportunity to receive signed novels in the mail each month from authors all over the world. All profits from the subscription service are donated to various charities each month. To date, The Bookworm Box has donated over $1,000,000 to help those in need.

Book Challenges:

It Starts With Us counts towards my 2022 Audiobook Challenge. #2022AudiobookChallenge

Have you read It Starts With Us? Have you read anything by Colleen Hoover?

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

46 responses to “Audiobook Review: It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover. #2022AudiobookChallenge

  1. I need to start with a new audiobook somewhere over the weekend and think I might just start with It Ends with Us. There’s been so much hype around this series, I think it’s time to check it out.

    And then of course I’ll probably want to read It Starts with Us immediately….

    Lovely review as always Wendy!

  2. I am an emotional wimp so I’ve not ventured into Colleen Hoover’s books, but I’m glad you got a satisfying second half to the story after watching them fight hard for their happiness.

  3. I haven’t read the first book and I don’t want to be spoiled so I didn’t actually read your review. I saw the 5 pinecones, though. I’m glad it held up to your expectations. 😀 And, WOW, that was fast!

    • I really think you’d enjoy this series, Jenni. These characters have been through so much, and the books are both very emotional and inspiring.

  4. I’ve seen this book all over the place this week, and it looks like the author had a fabulous release. Glad it lived up to your expectations, Wendy!

  5. This book is a social media gem right now. I’m glad to hear it is worth all the hype. I’m very intrigued by all the love I see for it and your review just adds some concrete reasons for it. Excellent post!

  6. Great review Wendy! I’m glad it’s not quite as emotional as It Ends With Us and look forward to listening to this book in the next few weeks.

  7. Wonderful review Wendy. I’m so excited to get to be with Atlas and Lily once again. I’m kind of afraid to read this one as It Ends With Us just shredded me for days!😥 Anyway I have this one and I’m sure I will be reading it within days!🤗📚🍁💜

    • This was quite a bit less emotional than It Ends With Us, but just as satisfying IMO. I hope you enjoy it when you get to it, Susan.