**This discussion is full of my opinions and my reading experience. You don’t have to agree, but you do have to be respectful. We all get something different out of what we read.**
If you’ve not read It Ends With Us then please avert your eyes because –
So, I can’t stop thinking about It Ends With Us. I have so many feelings and thoughts about this book and the characters. It has made me think and question. That’s what Colleen wanted us to do, think and question. When I read I always put myself into the shoes of the character. In this instance, I was pulled into the shoes of a character who goes through something that I’ve never personally experienced and it changed how I view myself in terms of how I would react in that situation versus how I always thought I would react.
To put it simply, I fell for Ryle the same way Lily did. That’s what Colleen wanted. She wanted us to put ourselves in Lily’s shoes like that and to experience what Lily goes through to create a better understanding of situations like Lily’s.
I remember when I first started reading It Ends With Us that I went ranting to my mother about how I didn’t like Ryle and how he was way too forceful and how things were moving too fast. I didn’t want Lily and Ryle together at first. But as I got more and more into the story Ryle grew on me and I was all for it.
And then the first incident happens… I was shocked. I was completely thrown off. I literally sat there for a good five minutes staring at the page with my jaw hanging open. Most importantly I felt the emotional pain Lily went through in that moment. Then Ryle apologizes and begs for her forgiveness. It wasn’t that I was for her forgiving him but in that moment I hoped that it was a one time thing for Lily and for Ryle.
I was and am still flabbergasted with myself for even thinking that. The girl who always swore that if a guy laid his hands on her she would walk away falls for that situation in a book? (By girl I mean me.)
To say this book was a sort of epiphany for me is putting it lightly. It had/has me questioning things I thought I knew about myself.
Then things are going all peachy in the world of It Ends With Us… Almost too peachy.
It happens again and I’m just as shocked as the first time. In that moment I didn’t want them together anymore. I was done with it. But then you learn about Ryle’s past and my heart couldn’t help but break for “baby” Ryle. I found myself rationalizing the whole PTSD/anger thing. Which again, was one of Colleen’s goals and me putting myself in Lily’s shoes.
Again things are going peachy and at this point, the fact that things are going almost too perfect has me on guard waiting for something bad to happen again. My suspicions are proved correct. It happens again and my first thought was for Lily to run as far away as she can. I wasn’t falling for it again. I didn’t care about the whole PTSD thing. There was no excuse for what he did! It was horrific and he could have killed her. At the same time, my heart was breaking. It goes back to what I was saying about hope, but in this instance, it was more of the loss of that hope. There was no coming back from that incident.
“Just because someone hurts you doesn’t mean you can simply stop loving them. It’s not a person’s actions that hurt the most. It’s the love. If there was no love attached to the action, the pain would be a little easier to bear.”
I always believed that if I was ever in a situation where I was with someone and they put their hands on me I would walk away and not think twice. I always wondered why people in abusive relationships didn’t just walk away. It seemed obvious to me. It Ends With Us made me realize that it isn’t so black and white and that if I was put in such a situation I might not react how I thought I would.
In Lily’s situation, she stayed and hoped because she loved him. It’s like the above quote from the book, just because someone hurts you doesn’t mean you can stop loving them. Because we’re in Lily’s head in this book I was experiencing that through her.
I was so proud of Lily and her ultimate decision for herself and her daughter.
I was even proud of Ryle. If you’re questioning my sanity at that statement hear me out! After that last incident, I did not want them together, at all. Even if Ryle had the possibility to change I didn’t think it was worth the risk. Especially because of their daughter. By saying I’m proud of Ryle, I mean in that instant when he realized how unhealthy their relationship was and how right Lily was.
“I would beg her to leave him. I would tell her that she is worth so much more. And I would beg her not to go back, no matter how much he loves her. She’s worth so much more.”
I know in that moment they were hypothetically talking about their daughter, but those words were for Lily.
It also goes back to that quote –
“There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.”
Because in that moment, when Ryle made that selfless decision to walk away he was a good person who had done bad things.
And I’ve seen some say that there wasn’t a happy ending. That Ryle had no closure. You know what? I feel like the ending to It Ends With Us is the best ending I have ever read. To me, it was a happy ending! Lily broke the cycle of abuse, her daughter will never experience what she experienced. Ryle will get to know his daughter and his daughter will love him. That is a happy ending for all three of them. (Which, let’s be honest, is more than Ryle deserved.)
Another thing, ultimately the relationship wasn’t healthy for either Lily or Ryle. Ryle was the abuser, yes. But think about a life lived where you love someone so much but can’t control your urge to hurt them when you’re angry? Think about what that would do to a person? It would be a nightmare for all parties involved. Ryle showed so much remorse each time it happened, remorse like it was killing him, and while there was absolutely no excuse for what he did it was still heartbreaking.
Again, I tend to put myself in other people’s shoes, especially in books, which is why I really saw both sides that way while reading this.
From everything else above you already know how much I put myself in Lily’s shoes.
In the end, I found myself struggling with the fact that I felt sorry for Ryle. I was happy for Lily. I was happy for their daughter. I was happy for Atlas. But I felt sorry for Ryle. And not in the way you’re thinking.
I wasn’t sorry that he ended up alone. I wasn’t sorry that he and Lily didn’t end up together (I didn’t want them to end up together.). I wasn’t sorry that Lily got her “happily ever after” and he didn’t. He did get his “happily ever after” by having a future with his daughter. I think I was sorry for how much he loved Lily and the potential in that that will never be. I was sorry for the fact that he was an abuser, again because the potential he would have if that wasn’t a factor. I was sorry for the ‘could have been’s’, I guess. I don’t know if any of that even makes sense but it’s what I’ve been feeling in regards to Ryle.
And those are some of the feelings for It Ends With Us that I’ve been holding in. It was a life changing and incredibly powerful book for me.
What about you guys?
Did you experience similar emotions to the ones that I did?
Do you agree with any of my points?
What are YOUR thoughts?
My Review for It Ends With Us (x)