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Review: Is This Popular Book-Tok Book Worth the Hype? By Ivy McHale

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Review: Is This Popular Book-Tok Book Worth the Hype? By Ivy McHale

Many readers on tiktok know of the term ‘booktok’; an entire subsection of the app dedicated to books and reading alone. It seems that every week there is a new trending read and that got me wondering – are these books worth the hype?

One book that I have repeatedly seen on the app is It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. This book has persistently appeared on my ‘for you’ page, and because I am basic and don’t have a sense of individuality I bought the book based on that alone.

It was definitely not a light read -  it covers a range of topics that are not all sunshine and rainbows. It wasn’t what I was expecting but this trait is arguably my most favourite thing relating to the book.

We are introduced to the main character Lily, who grows up in an unstable household with an abusive father. She finds comfort in Atlas – a homeless boy who shares many of Lily’s troubles. This already shows the heavy weight that this book shoulders, however it sheds light on subjects that are areas of concern in our day to day lives. I like this element of the book as it directs our thoughts to things that are often overlooked within our society. We find ourselves sympathising with Lily and Atlas, not entirely realising that the person sat beside us could be in a similar situation.

Lily and Atlas soon grow up and part ways, before Ryle appears on the scene. Ryle is Lily’s love interest. He is initially emotionally unavailable but after some form of character development they begin a relationship and all seems good ……. until it doesn’t. The relationship soon heads south when Ryle is discovered to be abusive towards Lily (I honestly rooted for him at the start. I really wanted them to work out. He just had to go and ruin it!). Lily struggles to leave the relationship and recognises how this resonates with her mother’s experience. This part of the book made me think about our attitudes towards women in abusive relationships. The questions asked are always, “Why doesn’t she leave him?”, “Why doesn’t she ask for help?”, “Why did she endure that?”.

However, if we ignore the more serious reasons about why I enjoyed the book (which I obviously had to include so that this article gets taken somewhat seriously) we can get onto speaking about Atlas Corrigan. I really liked his character and admire how gentle and kind he is throughout the book. Despite his difficult situation in the past, he always makes sure that Lily is happy, and that continues into their adulthood. He is there for Lily when she has nowhere to go, and looks out for her when she didn’t even consider that she was in danger. I don’t think I should speak too much more about his character as I risk blurring the lines between what happened in It Ends With Us and It Starts With Us (I bought the second book right after finishing the first).

I would also like to speak about Lily and Allysa’s friendship because, in my personal opinion, it is great. I think Allysa is an underrated character. She is always there for Lily and doesn’t try and defend Ryle based on the fact that they are blood relations. I admire how strong these two characters (albeit fictional ones) are throughout the book.

I do have a word limit so I’m going to stop here, but overall I think that the book was a good read. I am basic – I know, but I like that the book goes into depth about stigmas that may not get enough attention in day to day life. It is possibly slightly overhyped but I think that it’s definitely worth the read.

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