It Starts with Us
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
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Genres: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / New Adult, Fiction / Women
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.
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?
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.
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?
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