It Starts with Us: Spoiler-free writer’s review


Time Magazine

On Oct. 18th, New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover published It Starts with Us, a sequel to her hugely popular 2016 novel, It Ends With Us. Anyone with TikTok, or eyes, knows the past two years have seen an explosion in popularity of Hoover’s books Verity, Ugly Love and notably It Ends With Us. Such popularity built great anticipation for her newest work, It Starts With Us.

It Starts with Us is a contemporary romance told from the dual point of view of main characters Atlas Corrigan and Lily Bloom. This book uncovers Atlas’ hidden past while exploring Lily’s identity as a newly divorced mother. What is special about this sequel is that while coping with issues from the previous book, Lily and Atlas are given a second chance in their confusing, intimate relationship. 

“I quickly realized how much I needed to see Lily and Atlas happy,” said Hoover in the novel’s acknowledgments. 

For many readers, particularly Hoover fans, Atlas Corrigan becomes a comfort character because he remains a beacon of hope despite going through so much. It Starts with Us successfully tells the tale of Atlas and Lily, both together and apart, and represents a story of hope: even in the darkest of nights, the moon shines bright. 

Some readers may be put off by references to modern society in It Starts with Us, including a mention of TikTok, as they distract from the plot. Despite this, Hoover certainly lives up to her hype, never failing to break readers’ hearts only to piece them back together in the end. 

Fans of It Starts with Us should most definitely read Hoover’s other works. Other similar novels include Jennifer L. Armentrout’s The Problem with Forever, Christina Lauren’s Love and Other Words, Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty series and any novels by Taylor Jenkins Reid.