“It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover

Genre: Domestic ViolenceIt Ends with us
Publisher: Atria Books
Pub. Date: Aug. 2, 2021

This is a romance novel attempting to be a story about domestic violence.  Yes, we read about abusive men, in between reading about how gorgeous and sexy they are—Point made. The story doesn’t even educate the reader on why women stay in such relationships other than that the couples were in love. To give the author some praise, in the “about the author” she shares about growing up in a home with a physically abusive father and she does give a domestic hotline number. But, no references on research that was done to write this tale. She also gives the hotline for the homeless since the other man in the protagonist’s life was once homeless.  The ending is unbelievable and undeniable in the genre of romance.  Maybe for you but, not for me. I will not be reading this author again.

I received this Advance Review Copy (ARC) novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

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“If I Forget You” by Thomas Christopher Greene

This is a book that has elements of Eric Segal’s novel “Love Story”; the romantic drama of two college students from different class status backgrounds that fall desperately in love.  In “If I Forget You” Thomas Christopher Greene gives us the story of a working class Jewish boy who wins an athletic scholarship into a private college.  He enters a world that he has never known before, the isolated, pretentious domain of inherited wealth.  And, everyone there knows that this kid is not one of them.  However, it turns out that he has the soul of a poet.  He gives up baseball to focus on writing.  Next he becomes the darling of the English Department. He also falls in love with a College Board member’s daughter, a child of extreme privilege.  To his surprise his love is reciprocated.  Of course, the young couple was doomed from the start.  They are forced to separate after a very nasty incident with her father.  She ends up following her parents’ wishes by marrying a man who will keep her name in the newspaper’s society pages while he marries another poet.  Neither was in love with their spouse. Decades pass, both are miserable, then the star crossed lovers find each other again in middle aged adulthood.

This is a tender story written by a talented author who in his own life went from working in a staple factory to become a professor of writing and literature and later founded the Vermont College of Fine Arts.  It is clear that Greene knew what he was writing about from a personal perceptive.  Furthermore, his writing is suburb. As in his last novel “The Headmaster’s Wife” the reader enters academia with wonderfully descriptive scenes of New England’s beauty.  Still, I struggled with this book’s review because for some reason I just didn’t care about the protagonists’ outcome.  I never connected to their relationship.  I can’t put my finger on it.  The novel is well written with good character development, especially for the young man.  The story is romantic without being saccharine as well as, having an intelligently believable plot.   Nevertheless, for me, it does not hold the power of whatever it takes to write a novel about “everlasting love” which I believe was the author’s intent.   But then again, I am a reader who didn’t think too much of “Love Story”.   If you did, you might want to give this superior written novel a try.

Browse Publishers  Publication Date: June 14 2016