What’s Wrong With Colleen Hoover?


Courtesy Reader’s Digest

Charlise Lin and Daisy Rodas

Colleen Hoover, the author of It Ends With Us and romance writer, has come under fire on accounts of romanticizing abuse in her writing. Some Colleen Hoover books shouldn’t be displayed in the Terra Linda’s school library. Many fans reference her by the shortened name of “CoHo.” However, many of Hoover’s books are easy to read and are an excellent introduction to reading. She often writes about realistic scenarios that are often not talked about enough. The simplicity of her writing style tends to be better for beginner readers but can make other books more challenging to read in comparison due to the lack of a unique script approach that traditional books take.

Terra Linda’s Principal, Katy Dunlap, has read the Hoover books: It Ends With Us, It Starts With Us, Ugly Love, Verity, and November 9. She described a Hoover book as an “enjoyable, fun story.” Contentwise, she “[likes] the relationship aspect of it.” She talked about how she enjoys more simplistic writing such as Hoover’s books to read in between things where she can “pick up where she left off.” I agree that it can be refreshing to read writing since it’s not necessarily challenging. Dunlap said, “I was excited when I found out they’re popular here.” 

In the past few months, many on the book side of TikTok, “Booktok” have claimed that Hoover’s books have romanticized abuse in books such as It Ends With Us, It Starts With Us, and Verity. Accusations against Hoover’s son have also come out, regarding him allegedly sexually harassing a 16-year-old girl and Hoover’s part in a lack of acknowledgment of the situation and subsequent cover up attempt.  In regard to Hoover romanticizing abuse in her writing, Ms. Dunlap says, “I don’t feel that aspect that they romanticized it, I thought that it was really good that it was being addressed as a teen topic.” When reading I did however find it written as being romanticized and glorified, but I do think that it’s good to have these topics talked about. I feel that she could have written it slightly differently, as to reduce the amount of romanticization.  Abusive relationships among young people are also a reason why these things are so important to be talked about. Dunlap says, “I can see both sides of that, but I personally feel that what kids see and are subjected to on social media are so much more than that, I think that it was very responsibly written about.” 

Kids nowadays are much more exposed to topics that were considered scandalous to speak of some twenty years ago. It’s really important that these things are talked about and that everyone receives the information needed whether it be via books or other forms of media. Dunlap says, “Our librarians do a really good job with filtering which books are appropriate for TL’s library.” Our school has done a really good job keeping up with the times and filtering out the old books for newer, more relevant content. However, there should obviously still be a limit, for Ms. Dunlap, that means, “We would not allow anything that’s racially insensitive, that is expressed in any way of perpetuating hate…anything over-sexualized.”

Hoover’s books caught the attention of Sophomore Neala Diringer. Diringer has read four of her books and would generally rate her books a 3.25 out of 5.  I feel like her rating is on point. My reason for this is because her books can be very cringe, sexual, and uncomfortable to read, but she also has exceptional concepts and gets the point across well. After conversing about a few of Hoover’s controversies, “I don’t really like Colleen Hoover because of how she is trying to cover up the situation with her son ,” Diringer remarked. I feel like a large number of people would agree with her on this because of the reason Diringer said and to specify her son sexually harassed a girl and when the girl reached out to Hoover she was blocked. I agree with what Diriner said I feel like this is a very irresponsible and wrong  thing to do.

Some people who haven’t gotten into reading could read this to help them figure out what type of genres they are into. “I think that the books are appropriate but if there should be a restriction I would say sophomore and up.” Diringer said. I detest that some of her books feel like they might be too much for a freshman or younger because of their included sexual descriptions, abuse, toxic masculinity, and miscarriages. Adding to this, in some of her books she romanticizes toxic behavior which a young reader could take the wrong way or feel like in view of the way life should be which may be very ailing for our community. 

Sophomore Jocelyn Rodas, states that she’s read many Hoover novels including, It Ends With Us, November 9, Confess, Verity, and Ugly Love. Jocelyn says that “I would give her books a rating of 3.25 simply because I feel like her books can be very predictable and I feel like she could add more ideas to her books.” I agree with the 3.25 star rating as I also rated her books in that range. Many of her ideas tend to repeat themselves and reverb in her other works. Jocelyn said, “I enjoy her writing style but I do think there could be a few improvements because sometimes she drags the issues in her books too much.” I agree that there can definitely be improvements in her writing style and, to be quite frank, her writing gives me the ick. It’s not the type of romance that makes you feel giddy, instead, it makes you feel the same way as when you see PDA in the hallway. 

Jocelyn goes on to say, “I don’t think we should include more Colleen Hoover books in the library because I feel like they should add books related to different themes/topics that would interest other students.” I think that there are already enough of her books in TL’s library and if students really want to read more of her books, they can just go to a public library.” I agree with Jocelyn that if students really want to read her books so much, the public library is an absolutely amazing resource. In addition to that, we also include a couple of her books in our e-library. The age limit that Jocelyn recommends is 15 years or older since “her books deal with the heavy subject matter and her books contain graphic depictions of disturbing content.” I agree with that as long as readers know what they’re getting into and are aware of the many trigger warnings. If they do their research properly and feel that they’re mature enough to handle the content with grace, there should be no issues. 

TL’s head librarian, Kendra Rose, says she includes some of Hoover’s books because of popularity. I feel like it is a worthy reason to get books into the library but when it comes to Hoover books, not so much. I feel like we should put limits on which of her books we should and shouldn’t have, although she is a very popular author. For example, the book Variety should not be included in the library on the grounds of the graphic depictions of abuse it includes which can be very triggering to a high part of people. Rose mentioned she could not put limits on who can and cannot check out specific types of books, “It does not seem fair or democratic.” Rose continued, “There are certain students I know who are emotionally mature that I know would be fine reading a Colleen Hoover book, in which case I would help them get access to the books in other ways. I just won’t necessarily have the book.” I feel like the way she chose to go around this author and her books is good. It is a great way for everyone to get what they want. For example, we don’t like her books so we don’t want the library to promote her success but other people do so Rose will point them in the direction of her books.

A few of this author’s books are in the library and they might not be the last to arrive. Although we might not like her books, we will admit that the books should not be banned from TL’s library. By virtue of people enjoying her books furthermore, they might be the particular books that will get them to dive into the world of literature forevermore.