Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to

It Ends With Us, Book 1

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Mature, uneven, steamy romance takes on tough issues.

The title in large pink letters with broken and smashed pink lily petals spreading from a green stem.

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 18+

Worst book I’ve ever read

This was probably the worst book i’ve ever read. Even when overlooking the romanticized abuse, the plot as a whole is utterly ridiculous. The characters have no personality and are extremely unrealistic. All of them are highly successful for no reason, with no evidence of hardships to get there. Theres no build up or character development, and everything feels forced and unnatural. It reads like a book written at a 5th grade reading level with random sex scenes scrambled in. The main character makes decisions that no rational person would make, completely overdriven by her unreasonable sexual attraction towards the men in the story, painting her as unnecessarily submissive and immature. It’s unclear why she ever even falls in love with them, as there is no real chemistry shown. In her first interaction with Ryle, he makes blunt sexual comments that would make any rational woman uncomfortable when speaking with a stranger. There are plenty of books that showcase abusive relationships in order to help readers understand the complexities of being in one, but Hoover really falls short in trying to do so. I don’t understand where any of the hype for this book came from. I hope beginner readers don’t start off with this book, or any of Hoover’s in general, as it’ll spoil how you will later distinguish good writing from bad.
age 18+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (23 ):

The writing in this contemporary romance is a bit uneven, with corny, overused phrases and predictable cliches. Author Colleen Hoover is at her strongest, though, in the diary entries the narrator reads from when she was 15 years old. They add a lot of emotional honesty to It Ends With Us, and make narrator Lily easy to understand and root for.

Of course the sexy stuff has built-in appeal, but teens will also enjoy imaging what their own lives might become after high school. And the author's honest treatment of tough subjects like being unhoused and domestic violence will foster empathy and understanding, and add depth to what would otherwise be a pretty standard romance novel.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate