‘It Starts With Us’ Book Review: The happily-ever-after we all needed

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Sarin Khatcherian

It Starts With Us was published on October 18, 2022, and has an average rating of 4.07 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Sarin Khatcherian, Section Editor

With the introduction of new celebrities and trends since Tiktok’s striking popularity a few years ago, many hashtags and basic hobbies have obtained people’s attention, shining light on previously lesser known celebrities. One of these celebrities was Colleen Hoover, whose books gained so much popularity that even Kylie Jenner posted about reading her top-selling It Ends With Us in 2021. Years after its publication in 2016, it became a #1 New York Times Bestseller and achieved one billion tags on Tiktok alone. 

On October 18, 2022, she released the long awaited sequel to It Ends With Us, titling it It Starts With Us to express the start of Lily’s and Atlas’s relationship after Lily ended her abusive one with Ryle. The sequel continues on from where the first book left off, taking its readers through more of a romance than the first book’s heavy topic about abuse and toxic relationships. Although the first book was less of a romance and focused more about the importance that “breaking the pattern” of abuse has on not only the person experiencing the it, but also their future children and family, the second book has a little bit of a lighter feeling as the readers get to see more of Atlas’s and Lily’s sweet romance. However, It Starts With Us still has its fair share of heavy topics as the readers experience Lily’s thoughts through her recovery from her abusive relationship with Ryle and her unpleasant divorce with him as he is still the father of her child. 

It Starts With Us is also very different from It Ends With Us as a new plotline is also added with the introduction of Atlas Corrigan’s point of view. The readers get to see a bit of Atlas’s view of his and Lily’s shared past after only getting insight of Lily’s thoughts through her narration as well as her letters to Ellen DeGeneres. Not only do the readers learn more about Atlas’s past family situations, but they also learn about his current family complications which bring out Atlas’s caring and loving personality even more than before. 

It Starts With Us was bound to become another hit piece of Colleen Hoover’s after the sequel’s first book corrupted both readers’ and non-readers’ “for you” pages all over social media in 2021. It brings to life a more romantic, lighter, sweeter closure as well as a happily-ever-after that all Atlas fans really needed.