Colleen Hoover’s Grasp on Young Readers


Written by Delaney Coleman, A & E editor

Warning: This contains spoilers! 


Best known for her #1 New York Times bestselling book, It Ends With Us, Colleen Hoover has taken the literary world by storm with her books involving heartbreak and epic love. This particular novel is popular because she spreads awareness on domestic abuse and shares her own mother’s story. She mostly writes romance, but also currently has two thrillers, Verity and Layla. 


Colleen’s writing style along with her plots are relatively simple. These aspects gain attraction from mostly young women who typically do not read. Her books make for an easy read, keeping readers engaged throughout. After finishing plenty of her books, there are clear similarities between plot lines, structure, and characters, especially with the male protagonists.


In almost all of her books, it begins with a headstrong, female lead who meets a boy who she instantly has a connection with. They get together and then an outlandish conflict occurs or vice versa. Some of the male love interests are quite alarming in the beginning of the novels, because of their fixation of the bodies of the female protagonists. This sets a bad example for the young adult women (her intended audience) who read her books. Hoover often tries to add in another subplot about careers for the women, but ultimately, their lives revolve around loving the men they are interested in. 


Ben Kessler in November 9 is what teenagers call a “red flag” right from the start. When he is first introduced, he mostly focuses on the love interest’s body. It can be argued that looks are the first thing that people notice about others, but it’s frustrating when the majority of Hoover’s male characters only fixate on women’s bodies first.


Another inclusion that sets an unpleasant example for Hoover’s audience is the idea that women need love and a man to be successful in life. It is understandable for romance to be in the main plot of a romance book. The most disappointing thing is that Hoover shapes her female protagonists’ lives revolving around the men they are interested in. Now this isn’t the case in every book, but there are enough examples for it to be an issue. With It Ends With Us, it was important to make it clear that Lily, the female lead, was so in love with Ryle that she couldn’t leave him even though she had a successful career outside of him. Hoover did this quite well, but it’s a shame that some of her other novels don’t give her characters achievements outside, or without the advice, of men.


Not to completely bash her work, because a lot of her stories are fantastic. Reminders of Him, It Ends With Us and Verity are great examples of well thought out plot lines with great characters. She had six books on the New York Times bestselling list at once for a reason!


In her lesser known book, Reminders of Him, Kenna Rowan returns to her hometown after being released from prison in hopes of being reunited with her four year old daughter. It is wonderful that Kenna’s conflict is not surrounded by only a man, especially because the aspect of her serving time spreads awareness on a topic that is scarcely discussed. Overall, it’s a must read.


Another fantastic publication by Hoover is Verity. It was her first thriller and can really excite her readers, especially if read during the month of October. A great aspect of this novel is how unique it is from the rest of her books. 


Colleen Hoover is great for new readers or people who are starting to get back into reading. Her writing is very easy to latch onto and connect with, but reading a lot of her novels back to back can make them all seem very similar. Even though she has some great pieces, there are definitely some other authors out there that have written better books who deserve the kind of recognition she is receiving.