Not your usual romance novel

If you fall into the 15-24 age group or interact regularly with people in this age demographic, chances are you’ve heard of Colleen Hoover’s novel “It Ends With Us.” Even though the book launched in 2016, it wasn’t until early 2022 that it became incredibly popular after it started trending on TikTok.

In Nepal, the book started flying off bookstore shelves earlier this year. According to Radha Sharma Rai, senior sales manager of Ekta Bookstore, the book has been in high demand for almost a year and at one point, the novel sold out completely and buyers had to wait for the store to replenish it.

Colleen Hoover, also known as CoHo on social media, has a strong fan base among the younger generation of readers, who call themselves CoHorts. The reason may also be Hoover’s constant presence in the literary community on both Instagram and YouTube.

At its core, “It Ends With Us” is a romance novel. To be specific, the story explores a love triangle between Lily Bloom, Ryle Kincaid and Atlas Corrigan. The story opens with Bloom alone on a rooftop, dealing with the death of her abusive father, and there she meets Kincaid, a neurosurgeon. They fall in love with each other and get married. Everything goes smoothly until Bloom’s ex-boyfriend Corrigan enters the story, and things start to get complicated between Bloom and Kincaid. It is then that Hoover reveals a completely different side of Kincaid, which is short-tempered and quick to get physically abusive and abusive. After each episode of physical abuse, Kincaid apologizes to Bloom and promises never to repeat it, only to backfire each time and continue the cycle of abuse.

In the first half of the novel, Bloom, who grew up watching her father abuse her mother, repeatedly says that she would never get into an abusive relationship, but when she finds herself in a relationship, she desperately tries to find reasons to justify her attitude. his husband. deeds.

After one such episode of physical abuse, Bloom said to himself, “All humans make mistakes…everyone deserves another chance.” The domestic abuse in the book is romanticized in a way that makes readers believe that if they love their partner, they should also accept their abuse.

Another thing I found problematic is the way Hoover presents Kincaid as an extremely attractive, charming and successful person with this other side coming out from time to time. And in doing so, Hoover appears to blur the fine line between normalizing Kincaid’s abusive and violent behavior and glorifying toxic masculinity. Since the novel features several graphic scenes of rape and physical abuse, it’s hard to understand the rationale behind not including any activation notices.

After I finished reading the book, one of the first thoughts that came to my mind was what the novel’s many young and impressionable readers would make of the story.

Tashi Gurung, a consultant psychologist, agrees that some aspects of the book are problematic, but also believes that some of the topics the book explores will go a long way in raising awareness among young readers.

“Bearing the age demographic of the readers in mind, I think the book plays the crucial role of raising awareness among the readers about mental health issues and the cycle of domestic abuse,” Gurung says. “The story also makes readers understand how early childhood experiences make us unconsciously follow our parents’ behavioral patterns.”

Pragya Joshi, a 21-year-old reader, agrees with Gurung and says that reading the book made her understand what abusive relationships and victim manipulation are like.

“But there is no denying that the book is problematic. One particular aspect that I have strong reservations about is how the story manipulates readers into rooting for Atlas having sex with a minor, portraying him as the perfect hero,” says Joshi.

‘It Ends With Us’ would be a good choice for someone who wants a light but emotional read. The fairy tale doesn’t end there. The book became so popular on TikTok that the author released a sequel titled ‘It Starts With Us’ on October 18, 2022. The second novel revolves around the story of Lily Bloom and Atlas Corrigan.

While some readers argue how the novel can negatively impact young readers, others simply enjoy reading this work of fiction.

Book Title: ‘It Ends With Us’

Characters: Ryle Kincaid, Atlas Corrigan, Lily Bloom

Pages: 386

Release Date: August 2, 2016,

Price: Rs 800

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