Colleen Hoover

Content Warning: This article mentions physical and mental abuse, along with rape and sexual assault.

Kimberlee Denicke

Colleen Hoover, the TikTok sensation and author of #1 New York Times Best-Selling books like “It Ends With Us” and “Ugly Love”, has been faced with a big problem over the past year: glorifying abuse and sexual assault in her novels. 

It Ends With Us” is a romance novel that was published in 2016 but did not become popular until three years later. In 2019 the novel sold millions of copies and became one of the most famous authors worldwide from Tiktok, or so-called “BookTok ”. Then a sequel to the book, called “It Starts With Us,” was published in October 2022.  The plot of “It Ends With Us,” in simplest terms, is about a girl named Lily Bloom. She meets Ryle Kincade, and they fall in love. They quickly get married and Lily starts working toward her dream of opening a flower shop. While the book sounds like a wholesome, feel-good read, Lily gets abused physically, mentally, and sexually multiple times throughout the book, like being pushed down the stairs, getting hit by Ryle multiple times, and ending up almost raped two times throughout the novel; Lily finds herself in many abusive situations. Lily doesn’t do much to get out of these situations, instead, she lets it happen again, and again, and again. 

This is where the main problem starts. 

Hoover claims that her own mother was in a relationship with Colleen’s father that was much alike Lily and Ryles’s; the reason she wrote the book was to spread awareness about the abuse and rape that she saw her mother experience growing up. Using things like rape and physical abuse to build a plot for a book for her main audience of teenagers is not the way Hoover should be spreading awareness about those subjects. The glorification and romanticism of such traumas can be harmful to a reader who has experienced them. Since Hoover’s audience is young girls who found her work online, she writes about toxic relationships that young girls haven’t had exposure to. Young women tend to romanticize the toxicity of relationships. Hoover

then proceeds to make more books with the same issues and continues to romanticize abuse. Hoover has yet to come forth and speak about this issue, which makes readers wonder if she is doing this on purpose, or if she is unable to own up to her own mistakes.


Another, and even more sickening example of the glorification of assault in Hoover’s novels is in her book “November 9. The male narrator of the book talks about how he gets the urge to beat a woman, chase her down, corner her, force his hands up her skirt, and forcibly grab onto her to hold her in place by her neck. This character is also seen as the “hero” in the book. This can be damaging and dangerous to young readers, who will think that these actions are okay. This could lead to further actions like being unaware that they are in a toxic relationship.

Kimberlee Denicke

Hoover’s books have no trigger warning. Readers who come from “BookTok’,’ think that they are reading a sweet book about two lovers when in reality, there are some very heavy and provocative topics that Hover doesn’t speak about beforehand. Most of these issues can be cleared up if Hoover puts a simple trigger warning in her book so that readers are not going into it blindly. 

Aside from her problematic books, Colleen was called out for blocking a Twitter user who called out Colleen’s son’s sexual abuse acts towards her. This has been a controversial topic on Twitter regarding many of her fans, saying things like, “Just a reminder if you’re picking up Colleen Hoover’s new book, her son sexually harassed a 16-year-old girl and when she reached out to Colleen for help, Colleen blocked her. Don’t support Colleen Hoover and her toxic books” from @readbybeth on Twitter, Oct 18, 2022. There is evidence that Colleen did in fact block the individual and has yet to confront the girl and work things out. 

Colleen Hoover has made more than six million dollars from her problematic and simply put, disturbing books just in the last year. Hoover has also ignored accusations of her son’s sexual abuse, released books to spread ‘awareness’ about triggering situations, and has never formally spoken out or apologized about accusations and circumstances she’s been in. Colleen Hoover is a problematic author who is unworthy of the support and recognition she gets.