Colleen Hoover releases "It Starts With Us" on Oct. 18. - Contributor / Morgan Reitzel

The novel “It Starts With Us,” the sequel to the sensational novel “It Ends With Us,” written by New York Times best-selling author Colleen Hoover, was released on Oct. 18, 2022. “It Starts With Us” is inspired by Hoover’s mother. 

The 336-page book takes place in Boston, Massachusetts and tells the story of a single mother, Lily Bloom, who leaves her abusive marriage and finds a new romance with a man named Atlas Corrigan. 

In “It Ends With Us,” readers discover Lily knew Atlas as a homeless 17-year-old boy that she took under her wing, letting him shower and eat at her house. This all happened while growing up in an abusive household where her father abused her and her mother. 

Atlas moved to Boston shortly after Lily and he met, knowing Lily’s abusive father was never going to let them be together. Heartbreakingly, they just faded into the darkness after that, until Atlas opens a booming successful restaurant and waits on Lily and her new husband. 

The amount of sadness this book holds is enough to make you want to put it down. That is, until Colleen Hoover puts your heart back together by reuniting Atlas and Lily in “It Starts With Us.” 

Throughout “It Starts With Us,” Lily and Atlas navigate their new relationship while dealing with Lily’s jealous ex-husband, Ryle Kincaid. Ryle even goes so far as to tell Lily she can’t be in a relationship with Atlas. I mean come on! Ryle is literally an abusive ex-husband, and now he’s telling her she can’t be with the love of her life? Who does that? Oh, right, the psycho ex-husband who used to push Lily down the stairs. 

Lily and Ryle also have a child together, which makes the situation complicated as Lily struggles to keep the balance between having her child’s father in the picture and moving on from the marriage. Despite Ryle causing Lily so much pain, Lily continues to keep their daughter, Emerson, in Ryle’s life and does not send him to the police. 

After all the abuse that Lily has suffered at the hands of Ryle and after he swears that he has changed, Ryle continues to send her threatening text messages. Lily realizes that Ryle will never change and sends those texts to her lawyer, finally deciding to step up to Ryle. Go, Lily! 

To talk more about the fantastic man Atlas is, Atlas has saved Lily literally and figuratively on so many occasions. In one instance, after Ryle attempts to force himself on Lily, Atlas brings her to the hospital to be cared for, even though she was even married to another man at the time. 

Atlas was hopelessly in love with Lily after all those years, even when Lily thought he had forgotten about her. Moreover, Atlas is a hero that any book-loving person would fall in love with. I mean, he saved her life and provided her with the healthy relationship she always wanted. 

I don’t think that anyone could ask for a better man, and I think many readers hate that book boyfriends aren’t actual people in real life. Thank you Colleen Hoover for giving us readers unrealistic expectations for men. 

In any event, this book has a wholesome ending that will make you want to fall in love with your childhood crush. 

According to, Colleen Hoover’s new novel has broken Atria Books’ company record, “for fiction sales as the most pre-ordered novel in Simon & Schuster history.” The demanded book has sold 800,000 copies since Oct. 18 when the book first came out, and is available in print, e-books and e-audiobooks. 

“It Starts With Us” has been rated a 4.3 out of 5 on GoodReads, and a 4.7 out of 5 on Books-A-Million

Hoover has written over 20 novels and novellas that fall in the New Adult and Young Adult contemporary-romance genre categories. Unsurprisingly, she has won many awards for her books, including the Choice Award for Best Romance in 2016 for “It Ends With Us.” The book is available to buy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target and Walmart.  

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