It Ends with Us – Colleen Hoover

It Ends with Us is a novel from the american author Colleen Hoover. It has been published in 2016 and it is part of the literary genre of romance.It can also be described as a « psychological drama ». To write this book, the author drew inspiration from certain events in her life. It’s a really poignant book, you don’t get the same after you read it. Indeed, the book is about domestic violence. Here is the story of this novel :

For as long as she can remember, Lily Blossom Bloom has always lived in a world of physical and psychological violence. Between a violent father and a mother blinded by love she finds submissive, she swore to herself never to experience this. Her dream is to open a flower shop in Boston, the city « where everything goes well ». This is where she meets Ryle, a neurosurgeon who has everything to please and who seems really attracted to her. But Lily finds it hard to give her confidence to the male people after her traumatic childhood. Her story with Ryle will plunge her back into her family memories to Atlas, her childhood love that she never managed to completely forget.

The author portrays two different characters. Ryle is funny, charming, ambitious but we gradually discover a dark hidden side. Atlas, he went trough hell before realizing his dream : to open a restaurant in Boston. He is nevertheless a deeply good and kind person. Yet fate chose to separate him from Lily.                                                                                        We follow Lily’s internal journey. We first have the point of view of the child who does not understand why her mother allows herself to be beaten and tries to hide what she has suffered, instead of denouncing her husband. Then we move on to the teenage Lily who lives in misunderstanding and fear but who meets a homeless man who has conquered her heart, Atlas. Finally we have the point of view of the adult who loves his tormentor, Ryle, despite the beatings, the excuses and the pardons. We knew that love was complex but when hope enters the game, it distorts all our bearings.

The author shows us that we can’t imagine how we would react in a certain situation before being confronted with it. Lily who was sure of what she would do if her husband hit her loses all her bearings when the situation arises. Yet she forgives Ryle because deep down, she wishes with all her heart that this man was not like her father. However, Ryle’s actions are repeated and excuses rain down… His mother will tell her : « We all have a limit. What we’re willing to put up with before we break. When I married your father, I knew exactly what my limit was. But slowly . . . with every incident . . . my limit was pushed a little more. And a little more. The first time your father hit me, he was immediately sorry. He swore it would never happen again. The second time he hit me, he was even more sorry. The third time it happened, it was more than a hit. It was a beating. And every single time, I took him back. But the fourth time, it was only a slap. And when that happened, I felt relieved. I remember thinking, ‘At least he didn’t beat me this time. This wasn’t so bad.”

Lily is someone everyone can relate to. She is an extraordinary person who always sees the good in others. When she suffers, the reader suffers with her. We would like so much to be able to help her.The author manages to get us into the story. We fall in love with Ryle along with her, we take the first hit with her, etc… It makes us open our eyes to domestic violence. The story is all the more touching as the author experienced the same situation with her parents : her father beat her mother.

I won’t tell you the full story because I would like you to discover it yourself. To know what the heroine will do, it will be necessary to read the book. I clearly adored this novel but at the same time it upset me so much ; I have never felt so many things with a book. This novel is a real cry fo all people who experience domestic violence. It calls into question all our certainties and our assumptions about this violence.

The sentence that stuck out to me the most was : “All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t the mistakes we make. It’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.”



Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is a novel from the american author Ray Bradbury. It has been published in 1953 in the US ; it is part of the literary genre of dystopia (unlike utopia, dystopia offers a pessimistic vision of the future). The title refers to the auto-ignition point, in degrees Fahrenheit, of the paper (equivalent to 232.8°C). It is the temperature at which any substance or material ignites spontaneously in the absence of flames. This novel was written in the context of the Cold War between the United States and the USSR. It was a period of tension with the threat of nuclear war and the rise of communist ideas. Here is the story :

Just imagine. A futuristic world where the books have disappeared. In this society, reading would be considered an antisocial act because it is a source of questioning and reflection.The role of firefighters would no longer be to extinguish the fire but to light it. Indeed, they would be responsible for burning the books, the possession of which is prohibited for the collective good, as well as their owner’s house. “Classes are shortened, discipline neglected, philosophy, history, languages abandoned, English and its pronunciation gradually neglected, and finally almost ignored. We live in the immediate future. work, so many distractions to choose from. Why learn anything but push buttons, plug in switches, tighten screws and nuts? »

Guy Montag, the main chracter, is a firefighter. He was convinced he was doing good before he met his neighbor, a young woman named Clarisse who is very quick-witted. He begins to question himself following this meeting. He had never read books and was not in the habit of asking questions. This fireman however begins to dream of a different world, one that would not banish literature and the imagination in favor of an immediately consumable happiness. We follow this man’s awareness and the upheaval it will bring in his life throughout the novel.

Ray Bradbury describes a world riddled with overcomsumption, self-centeredness and lack of culture; a world where, despite everything, people live happily ever after, drinking from TV series and sporting events. He also stages people who go beyond this pattern, for more realism and authenticity. One might wonder why books should be banned. Indeed, when you think about it, reading allows you to forge your own opinions. This totalitarian society has found the solution : abolish books and thus, the freedom of thought. The worst part of all this is that to avoid asking too many questions, the population makes herself stupid with the television. Plus, the banishment of books has been smooth.

This book is well futuristic but it allows us to question our current society. Books are increasingly threatened by infantilizing and mind-numbing screens and games. People are becoming more and more superficial and are losing their taste for culture. This book is a novel of anticipation which reminds us the importance of freedom of expression and which denounces the brainwashing (thanks to the TV) and the authoritarian excesses of our society.

I really liked this book because, as an avid reader, i can’t imagine my life without books. I don’t even imagine that we can ban them because it would be a real attack on freedoms. So, to prevent the Ray Bradbury scenario from happening, let’s keep reading !

I would like to share with you a quote that really impressed me and made me think : “‘Stuff your eyes with wonder,’ he said, ‘live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic that any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that,’ he said, ‘shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.’”