Opinion: Why you should read reviews of Colleen Hoover’s books first

Natalie Langan, Staff Writer

Colleen Hoover became a global phenomenon with the 2016 release of her bestseller, “It Ends With Us”. With a 4.37 star rating on Goodreads, the story follows Lily Blossom Bloom while she chases her goals of owning a flower shop and befriends a man named Ryle Kincaid. The novel blew up once it went viral on “booktok” (or book tiktoks) giving “CoHo” a major following. 

After reading “It Ends With Us” I was left feeling disappointed. Everyone on booktok and all bookish apps known to man said this story was crushing and devastating. I thought it was just a frustrating story based on CoHo’s parents. The first half was basically Lily fawning over Ryle, and the second half was her running back to him after he, (spoiler alert,) abused her. While the book isn’t an unrealistic depiction of abuse, it wasn’t sad, it was infuriating.

“It Ends With Us”, while a captivating story, had such dull side characters. For instance, Alyssa was simply too good to be true. She never had any character growth, outside of working at Lily’s flower shop. The same could be said about Alyssa’s husband, Marshall, who also remains the same cover-to-cover, a work-from-home father that makes seven figures a year.

The protagonist of “It Ends With Us” was also impossible to take seriously. Everything seemed to fall into her hands without any work, starting right off the bat with her name. Lily Blossom Bloom. I understand the irony, however, it was a very unrealistic way to introduce the character. Then she proceeded to open a flower shop that was an instant success and was barely mentioned for the rest of the book. 

Despite these qualities, I did enjoy many things about Hoover’s writing. I loved the premise of Lily’s childhood and thought her first love was written very well. I adored Atlas right away and was ecstatic that Hoover involved him later in the story (even if the dear Ellen diary entries were a bit cheesy). 

I also really enjoyed another one of CoHo’s novels, “November 9″. This story follows the main characters Fallon and Ben while they meet each other on the same day every year. This story was adorable, creative, and definitely a swoon-worthy read.

After reading two of her most popular novels, I have come to the conclusion that Colleen Hoover is a major “hit or miss” author. “November 9″, was a major hit! I loved the story, and so did many other fans, however, It Ends With Us was a miss. I found the majority of the book to be boring and frustrating. 

Many agree with me, as she has stellar reviews for some of her other books, like “Verity”. “Verity” is rated a 4.41 on Goodreads, with reviews calling it bold, and unrelentingly creepy. However another one of her books, “Without Merit”, has a 3.84 star rating and has been criticized for not having a satisfying ending.

So, overall, I do recommend “CoHo”. She is a fantastic writer, but definitely read reviews for her books before reading them, unlike me.