“It Starts With Us” by Colleen Hoover, published in 2022, is a highly anticipated sequel to her best-selling novel “It Ends With Us.” The novel continues to explore the complexities of relationships, healing, and empowerment, focusing on the characters Lily Bloom and Atlas Corrigan, offering them a chance to rekindle their past connection in the aftermath of Lily’s tumultuous marriage to Ryle Kincaid.

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It Starts With Us Summary


The narrative picks up where “It Ends With Us” left off, providing a deeper look into Lily’s life after her decision to leave her abusive husband, Ryle. While she navigates the challenges of co-parenting and divorce, Atlas reenters her life, bringing back old feelings and the possibility of a new beginning. The book delves into their past and present, emphasizing themes of forgiveness, growth, and the courage to pursue a better future.

Plot Summary

Lily Bloom: After separating from Ryle, Lily is focused on raising her daughter, Emerson, and managing her floral business. Despite the trauma from her marriage, she is determined to create a stable and happy life for herself and her daughter.

Atlas Corrigan: Atlas, now involved in a project to help homeless youth, crosses paths with Lily again. Their reunion brings back memories of their past bond and the strong connection they once shared. As Atlas becomes a part of Lily’s and Emerson’s lives, he and Lily confront their feelings for each other, contemplating whether they have a future together.

Relationship Developments: Lily and Atlas’s relationship faces scrutiny and challenges, particularly concerning Lily’s ongoing issues with Ryle and the complexities of their co-parenting arrangement. Atlas supports Lily through her struggles, showing that he respects her autonomy and her choices, contrasting with her experiences with Ryle.

Ryle Kincaid: Ryle’s character is further explored, providing insights into his attempts to come to terms with his behavior and the consequences of his actions. While he remains a contentious figure, the narrative explores themes of accountability and the possibility of change.

Resolution: The story emphasizes the importance of self-discovery and making choices that lead to genuine happiness and fulfillment. Lily and Atlas’s journey underscores the message that it is possible to overcome past adversities and build a life rooted in respect, love, and mutual support.


“It Starts With Us” offers a nuanced portrayal of domestic abuse survivors and the challenges they face in reclaiming their lives. It highlights the significance of supportive relationships and personal growth, providing a hopeful perspective on moving forward from trauma. The novel also addresses the power dynamics in relationships, illustrating the contrast between healthy and toxic partnerships.

Notable Quotes

  • The book, being a sequel and continuation, maintains Hoover’s compelling narrative style, focusing on resilience and the capacity for change, though specific standout quotes from this sequel would resonate within the context of the characters’ journeys and evolutions.
It Starts With Us Summary

Similar Books

Readers who appreciate the themes in “It Starts With Us” might also enjoy:

  1. “Before We Were Strangers” by Renée Carlino – A story about reconnecting with a lost love and the possibilities of what could have been.
  2. “November 9” by Colleen Hoover – Another Hoover novel that combines romance with personal growth and overcoming obstacles.
  3. “You Deserve Each Other” by Sarah Hogle – Explores relationship dynamics and the idea of finding love and understanding amidst conflict.
  4. “After I Do” by Taylor Jenkins Reid – A novel that delves into the complexities of marriage, love, and identity.

“It Starts With Us” is a testament to the enduring strength of its characters, providing a heartfelt exploration of the paths to recovery and the power of second chances in love and life.

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