BOOK CLUB: It Starts with Us

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It Starts with Us, by Colleen Hoover is the much anticipated sequel to It Ends with Us.

If you want to read this book, I recommend you start with It Ends with Us. In that book, you learn how teenage Lily meets and befriends Atlas, who at the time is homeless. 

It tells their story and how they get to know each other and physically drift apart, but they still hold on to each other emotionally. Many years later a chance meeting on the street is where It Starts with Us picks up the story. 

Atlas now owns two restaurants and is busy making his own way in life, while Lily is a single mother and is working hard to keep her daughter safe. At the same time, she’s trying to rebuild her confidence and strength after splitting with her husband due to his anger issues, and ongoing domestic violence.

This is a story of love and hope, and shows the strength someone needs to be able to take the step to leave a domestic violence relationship.  Lily’s desire to make sure that her daughter is safe, and have her understand that DV is not acceptable, is what pushes Lily to stand up to her ex.

Colleen Hoover has a magical way with words. Her books are always ones that I hate to put down and once I reach the last page I am left wanting more. After reading It Ends with Us I so badly wanted more and to see Lily happy after all she had gone through. It Starts with Us has given me that happy ending.  This was a weekend well spent.

If there’s someone you know who loves reading and you are hunting for a gift idea for Christmas, then I strongly suggest that you buy both of these books. I know you won’t be sorry.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading It Starts with Us by Colleen Hoover. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence or abuse, you can contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).

If you like this book, we recommend you read One of Us.

2 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: It Starts with Us

  1. It Ends With Us is one of my favourite Colleen Hoover books…however I was a bit sceptical about wanting to read this…I knew it was mainly written as tic too fan fiction….but I also couldn’t resist seeing where Lillys and Atlas’s journey ended up.
    I’ll be honest and say it’s an enjoyable read….but for me it didn’t have the same amount of depth as the first one and I feel the characters were delivered a little short….. it was an easy read though …and I did enjoy getting to read more about Atlas and his past ….I do love their relationship and how he has kept loving Lilly for years and years….. I wasn’t wowed but enjoyed it all the same

  2. It Starts with us by Colleen Hoover is a sequel to the best-selling novel It Ends with Us. I didn’t read It Ends with Us and knew little about the novel, so I read this as a stand-alone book.
    The main characters are Lily and Atlas, the story is told through their voices, taking turns by chapter. Set in Boston, USA Atlas is a chef who owns two restaurants and Lily is a florist. The novel opens with vandalism to one of Atlas’s restaurants and he is reluctant to call the police as he has a feeling it might be personal. Lily and Atlas meet accidentally and its clear that they are still attracted to each other. Lily is concerned how her ex-husband, Ryle, the perpetrator of domestic violence in the first novel, will react.
    This is sadly a far too common story, the victim of the violence being scared of their ex-partner, of blaming themselves, of changing their behaviour in the hope that the perpetrator will be pacified. There is another perpetrator of violence in this novel, Atlas’s mother, Sutton. Its more unusual to read of a mother who is violent but sadly it reflects society.
    There are tense standoffs in the novel and at times it seems to go around in circles but again that reflects what happens in real life. I found myself continually wondering, where is Ryle? when and how will he attack? What about Sutton? When will she appear and what will happen? The novel does show the importance of supportive friends and family in domestic violence situations and the issue of a family member still loving the person who commits violence but realising that their behaviour has to change.
    Reading about domestic violence is not something I particularly enjoy, it makes me feel so sick and angry, but its important to get the message about domestic violence out, that it affects all levels of society, that its never acceptable and its never the victim’s fault and if novels like this help get the message out then that’s good. I agree with Atlas’s comment “How any human can do that to a human they’re supposed to love and want to protect, I will never understand”.*
    Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Beauty and Lace Book club for the opportunity to read this novel.
    *Chapter Twenty-one, Page 186

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