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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Rutgers chapter.

[this article contains spoilers for It Ends With Us and Ugly Love]

In college, many people outgrow the phase of being a reader. While it never happened to me, I realized this within my peers. The minute we are handed intellectual books, or long Steinbeck books with chapters that take hours to read, the interest in reading subsides. I always liked fiction books, and while I told myself I would never read “cheesy romance novels,” here I am writing to you today. 

I picked up my first Colleen Hoover novel, It Ends with Us, for its pink cover almost a year ago. This was prior to the novel blowing up on TikTok. I devoured the book and its teenage-esque writing. The story was beautifully thought out, although hard to read at times, and I found myself falling for Hoover’s characters and words. I do not think the novel is perfect—in fact, I have many issues and concerns with [spoiler alert!] Lily’s choice to co-parent with Ryle at the very end of the book. But that is not to say I did not enjoy it.

Within the following six months, I would go on and read five more of her novels. It was not until recently that I realized how huge her books have become. It Ends With Us found itself viral on TikTok, on every display at the local Barnes and Noble, and even in the hands of a close friend who has not picked up a book since the tenth grade. So what about Colleen Hoover and her novels make them so, well, readable? 

Characters. Hoover’s characters are flawed, extremely flawed. While most of her main characters are older than college-aged, there is a sense of relatability I find with each of them. In Verity, the main character, Lowen, is scatterbrained and her thoughts pepper the page just as fast as we readers discover them. Tate in Ugly Love [spoiler alert!] forgives men too easily. Each character has battles they are individually fighting which complement those of the other characters. I find a huge parallel between myself and Hoover’s characters for this reason.

Romance. Hoover does not shy away from graphic steamy scenes in her books. It is raw emotion that seeps through each page, making it hard to tear away from. Each relationship and the ‘trauma’ her main characters endure throughout each novel are uncommon in other romance novels. Hoover does not romanticize heartbreak, but rather extends the message that no relationship is perfect, and that chasing after one or finding the power to leave another are not that different after all.

Pacing and writing. The chapters are diligently thought through. In Verity, [spoiler alert!] we constantly switch between the current day and Verity’s manuscript. It was confusing at first, but the flip between timelines kept it interesting and made me want to keep reading. I’ve noticed that all of Hoover’s chapters end where you do not want them to. You just cannot help but continue to flip the page. Her books are fast-paced and, while they may span over a long period of time chronologically, it has never taken me longer than three days of non-continuous reading to finish a novel of hers. 

As an avid reader, I struggled with getting my peers to read and obsess over the same books as me. But something about Colleen Hoover and her romance novels brought me and many others closer together. Maybe it’s her #1 New York Times Best Selling writing or her relatable and flawed characters, but there is no doubt that Colleen Hoover is an author you do not want to miss out on.

Annabel Park

Rutgers '25

Annabel is a sophomore at Rutgers University majoring in Marketing and minoring in Health Administration. Besides writing, she enjoys baking, going to the gym, Harry Styles, and walking around NYC hoping to run into celebrities! IG: @annabelpark3