Zoella Book Club: Reviewing It Starts With Us By Colleen Hoover 

It Starts With Us tells fan favourite Atlas Corrigan’s side of the story and shares what comes next in this hotly-anticipated sequel. Our verdict? Worth. The. Wait. And if you came here for closure, CoHo will give it to you. 

Ever since the first book It Ends With Us took over TikTok (and our entire lives, let’s be honest), we’ve been manifesting that Colleen would do the honourable thing and write us another one… 

Well, the power of manifestation came through and the book is *finally* in our hands. And what a beautiful and necessary addition to the OG novel it is. 

It Starts With Us tells fan favourite Atlas Corrigan’s side of the story and shares what comes next in this hotly-anticipated sequel. Our verdict? Worth. The. Wait. And if you came here for closure, CoHo will give it to you. 

Keep reading for the team’s reviews and make sure you inhale a copy at your earliest convenience. 

The Blurb

Lily and her ex-husband, Ryle, have just settled into a civil co-parenting rhythm when she suddenly bumps into her first love, Atlas, again. After nearly two years separated, she is elated that for once, time is on their side, and she immediately says yes when Atlas asks her on a date.

But her excitement is quickly hampered by the knowledge that, though they are no longer married, Ryle is still very much a part of her life – and Atlas Corrigan is the one man he will hate being in his ex-wife and daughter’s life.

Switching between the perspectives of Lily and Atlas, It Starts with Us picks up right where the epilogue for the bestselling phenomenon It Ends with Us left off. Revealing more about Atlas’s past and following Lily as she embraces a second chance at true love while navigating a jealous ex-husband, this is the Latlas (Lily + Atlas) closure we all needed. 

Lareese’s Review

I know there’s a lot of speculation over this sudden new addition from Colleen Hoover but whether it’s fan service or not, I’m 100% here for it. I fell hard for It Ends With Us (more specifically the golden retriever aka Atlas) and raced through it within a few hours – my only gripe, along with the letters to Ellen, was that I needed more Atlas. Thus, a second Corrigan-focused instalment has made me one very happen reader, and despite what the haters are saying, I think it’s an entirely necessary addition to the Latlas journey.

Personally, I live for a happy ending, especially when the main characters have been through so much to get there, and whilst It Starts With Us may lack the nuance and grit of It Ends With Us, the simplicity of the story is a welcome change. This time round, CoHo offers readers a life-affirming sequel of closure and solid new beginnings, which is all I could have hoped for Atlas and Lily. A story about triumph over tragedy, hope, growth and love conquering all? It’s refreshing stuff. The loop of domestic abuse ends with Atlas and Lily, and any deviation from that would not have been the ending they deserved, so kudos to CoHo for committing to joy and not letting plot twists thwart their blissful reunion. My only criticism is the letter writing! I think it would have been even stronger without it as this felt too YA given the characters are older now but do you know who makes up for that? Theo. Is it too much to ask for a stand-alone book about Theo and Josh’s friendship? In BookTok we trust…

Rating: 4/5
Would you recommend it? I’m a devout CoHort, so what do you think? YES

Charlotte’s Review

I recently raced through It Ends With Us (after being approximately 200 years late to the party) so that I could read along with its sequel as part of our book club, and my oh my am I glad I finally bit the bullet and gave into the hype!

I loved It Ends With Us, despite sometimes feeling it was a little too YA for me to fully get on board with, and with such an emotional and tearjerking ending I couldn’t wait to see what Lily and Atlas’ next chapter entailed. The dual perspective of It Starts With Us offers a welcome and new feel to the second instalment in the series, giving adult Atlas his time in the spotlight which I so desperately craved more of in the first book! He really is peak romance novel boyfriend.

The story is definitely slower in pace than the first and features less dramatic, page turning moments, but this feels somewhat reflective of what Lily needs after so much chaos and pain throughout her life. It Starts With Us retains the grit and many of the heartbreaking elements of IEWU, whilst intertwining some much needed comfort and warmth that reminds us there is always a chance for all encompassing love, no matter how difficult the road to it may have previously felt.

I probably have a slightly different perspective compared to those who read It Ends With Us when it was first released in 2016, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading the two back-to-back and falling deeper into Lily and Atlas’ world. A perfect read for the Christmas period when you want something gripping and totally absorbing to race through!

Rating: 4/5
Would you recommend?

Lily’s Review

Oh Colleen…. she really did hear us when we cried out for more after It Ends With Us. And my oh my did she deliver. I was captivated by the first book of the duology! So, when I heard that “It Starts With Us” was coming out, I knew I HAD to get my hands on it.

I don’t always get hooked to a ‘happy ending’, however, I thought that the characters deserved it – my fixation on Atlas and Lily having their happy romantic ending (or I should say, beginning) increased after finishing IEWU. But I also wanted to know more about Atlas, and some details on what happened to all the other characters in the book. Much like Hazel in ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ did with her favourite writers novel!

I am a HUGE fan of Colleen, and if you are a lover of seeing the positives + happy ending prevail then this is your next read! Colleen Hoover could publish her weekly food shopping list and I would still buy it!

BRB crying… “you’re going to drive five miles just to give me a hug?”
“i’d run five miles just to give you a hug.”

Rating: 3.5/5
Would you recommend? Yes! Not only a HUGE fan of Colleen but if you are a lover of seeing the positives + happy endings prevail then this is your next read!