Earlier this week I managed to read five whole Colleen Hoover books in the span of twenty-four hours. Let me tell you, I was an emotional wreck at the end of it! So, instead of giving you a single review I'm going to give you a quick review on all 5 of them! Because picking a favorite is like picking my favorite child... I'm kidding. It Ends With Us totally won and destroyed my emotional state.
Sixteen-year-old Jesse is used to living with the echoes of the past. Her older brother died in the September 11th attacks, and her dad has filled their home with anger and grief. When Jesse gets caught up with the wrong crowd, one momentary hate-fueled decision turns her life upside down. The only way to make amends is to face the past, starting Jesse on a journey that will reveal the truth about how her brother died.
In 2001, sixteen-year-old Alia is proud to be Muslim... it's being a teenager that she finds difficult. After being grounded for a stupid mistake, Alia is determined to show her parents that that they must respect her choices. She'll start by confronting her father at his office in downtown Manhattan, putting Alia in danger she never could have imagined. When the planes collide into the Twin Towers Alia is trapped inside one of the buildings. In the final hours she meets a boy who will change everything for her as the flames rage around them . . .
Interweaving stories past and present, full of heartbreak and hope, two girls come of age in an instant, learning that both hate and love have the power to reverberate into the future and beyond.
I have several negative things to say about this book but please do not mistake how much I fell in love with these characters and their journey! Jesse has spent her life not knowing the story of how her older brother died, when she goes searching for answers she finds more than just a lost story in the process. When the story begins Jesse is getting mixed up in the wrong crowd and their is a love interest introduced but it all seemed very inconsequential and unnecessary to the story but as more of the pieces fall into place it starts to make sense. I recommend giving this book at least 100 pages because it really takes some time to get a feel for the story, But once you get over that hump it is so worth it!
Alia's and Travis' story naturally is so heart wrenching. Their experience of the 9/11 attack makes you feel like you are in the building feeling the heat of the flames and breathing in smoke. I have read quite a few documentaries and stories from survivors of the 9/11 attacks and I can tell that Wendy Mills did an extensive amount of research and made Alia's and Travis' experience authentic. There were so many heart stopping moments and I never truly knew how the story would end until the second to last chapter.
I loved how real the characters reactions, prejudices, and feeling were; Islamophobia is unfortunately a very real thing people experience and it was dealt with in just the right way while still being true to each character's personality. I have a love hate relationship with the dual perspectives in this novel only because they literally left me on the edge of a cliff at the end of every chapter but for most of the chapters this made my reading experience exciting and continuous. I cried a half dozen times and read this story in just two sittings. It was a huge roller coaster ride of feelings from, anger to hatred and depression and longing. In short this book was amazing and everyone needs to read it!
I could not walk away from these characters without knowing how their story ended. This novel was perfectly written and definitely one of the best books I have read in 2016.