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How Colleen Hoover Novels Illustrate the Dark Side of Love

One of the fastest growing social media platforms has been Tiktok and this is because there is a community for everyone.  Within the last six months, I’ve found myself on “BookTok,” a small side of TikTok focused on sharing and discussing book recommendations.

After reading recommended books, I’ve concluded that my favourite author is Colleen Hoover because her novels provide a heightened level of angst and gut-wrenching emotions that will always keep you on the edge of your seat. Hoover’s books are also popular because they address relationship problems and barriers that aren’t always discussed publicly. In this article, I will be going through books by Hoover that discuss what these problems may look like.

Trigger Warning: Many of the issues discussed in these books may be sensitive to some individuals. The sensitive topics discussed are domestic violence, infertility, and death.

It ends with us

It Ends With Us is a contemporary romance novel about a hardworking girl who falls in love with a neurosurgeon, only to find herself caught in the cycle of domestic violence.

Upon finishing this book, I experienced the worst book hangover and was unable to pick up and read another book for a few days. This novel shines a light on the implications of domestic abuse from a different, yet very realistic, point of view. In the Author’s Note, Hoover mentions that the story was written in a way where you’re supposed to fall in love with Ryle’s character and really hope for his character development. This attachment to his character is meant to reflect why someone, like Lily, might continuously disregard abusive treatment from their partners. This is how many fall into a pattern of convincing themselves that it won’t happen again or that it was a mistake. While someone might feel like the right person for you, it’s important to recognize that although it’ll be difficult to walk away at first, caring for yourself is of the utmost importance and you deserve more than defending an abusive partner.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can seek assistance through a local helpline.

All your perfects

Of all the Colleen Hoover books I’ve read, this one is my favourite. This novel alternates between a ‘then’ and ‘now’ perspective which intricately portrays the couple falling in love in the ‘then’ chapters and then their relationship falling apart seven years later due to infertility in the ‘now’ chapters.

This book is an emotional rollercoaster and I could not rave about this book enough. All Your Perfects emphasizes how suffering from infertility can be incredibly damaging and that it’s a topic that isn’t talked about enough. This book portrays how important the foundation of a relationship is. While Quinn and Graham’s marriage was beginning to falter, the foundation that they built and the love they had for one another was so strong that they were able to learn how to move on and heal from their infertility. Communication was also important for their relationship, as even though Quinn didn’t realize it at first, she was more hurt by the circumstances because she believed she was taking away Graham’s chances of becoming a father. It was through communication when she learned that Graham didn’t care and just wanted them to be happy like they used to be.

Ugly Love

This book follows the story of Tate and Miles who develop a friends-with-benefits relationship. As their feelings begin to grow deeper than a casual fling, Miles has to learn how to confront his past unless he wants his emotional scars to hinder his relationship with Tate.

When Miles and Rachel’s relationship ended, the emotional damage that the couple suffered collectively was left unattended to because they were young. Again, it’s crucial for there to be effective communication to lessen the agony. This responsibility to communicate with your partner also extends into future relationships because hiding your past traumas creates cracks that weaken the foundation. It’s okay to accept that you’re hurting and that you need professional assistance to heal. Although it might be difficult, it’s better to prioritize improving your emotional stability rather than bottling up negative emotions. The most important lesson is that when your intentions are right, the right person will understand, support, and wait for you until you reach a point where you can grow together.

Final Thoughts

Colleen Hoover does an exceptional job of portraying realistic relationship issues and the depths of each emotion experienced by the characters. You learn that many problems relationships face are not always surface level. Taking care of yourself or of someone else should always be a priority. Ultimately, books can be creative and informative but they can also illustrate heavy and sensitive topics.

Jaskiran Guraya

McMaster '23

Jaskiran is currently in her third year of honours social psychology at McMaster University. She has recently found a strong interest in reading, one of her favourite authors being Colleen Hoover. During her free time, Jaskiran also enjoys true crime stories, watching Modern Family and Friends, and fangirling over Harry Styles.
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