Colleen Hoover books are addictive (and toxic)

July 24, 2022

If you haven’t seen or at least heard about Colleen Hoover in the last year I’m assuming you live under a rock or in a jungle far from society. With the surge of TikTok came the revival of Colleen Hoover romance novels. They are EVERYWHERE. I finally gave in to the hype train and dipped a toe into the waters of the romance queen.

So far I have read 3 Colleen Hoover books and I have very mixed feelings. I knew what I was getting myself into and I got exactly that – lots of cheese and lots of spice. This is definitely not high quality literature but Hoover’s stories are easy to read, addictive like crappy TV shows and always come with a plot twist or two.

My final rating at the bottom of this post is on Hoover’s overall writing based on these three books:

November 9 book cover

Pages: 310
My rating: 2.5/5
Goodreads rating: 4.3/5

Fallon was an up and coming teen actress until an accident scarred her face and body. The day before she moves cross-country to pursue theatre in New York she meets Ben. Their immediate attraction ends up in a promise to spend November 9 together every year. In the meantime, Fallon must date and regain her confidence while Ben will write his debut novel – based on their story.

Welcome to Controversy Central. November 9 might be one of Colleen Hoovers most popular books but so far it’s my least favorite. I was very disappointed by the plot twists and I so wished that our two MCs would go their separate ways in the end. That wouldn’t be much of a romance ending I suppose.

What I liked: the message of beauty being subjective and that scars do not define us was quite beautiful. The idea of two people meeting on the same day every year was fun.

What I didn’t like: oh boy.. the plot twists threw me off completely. Without giving away any details, eeeww and how dare you?! I definitely stopped rooting for our two MCs for the final portion of the story. Some scenes and lines were over-the-top cheesy and I would appreciate more diversity (in Colleen Hoover books in general).

Find more standalone books from the author

verity book cover

Pages: 314
My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 4.4/5

Lowen’s life is in a downward spiral. Her mother has passed away after years of sickness, she can’t pay her bills and her books aren’t selling. When Lowen gets the opportunity to finish a popular book series written by Verity, she jumps on it. However, Verity’s illness and supposed inability to function is more than suspicious. A secret manuscript in her study leaves Lowen horrified and she seeks safety in the arms of Verity’s husband, Jeremy.

What I liked: Colleen Hoover books are always about romance, spice and extreme emotions. Verity had more of a thriller vibe with a dash of suspense and frankly, I prefer this style from Hoover. I would actually love to read a full-on thriller series (sans romance) from her. It was a nice break from the usual pattern. While I still found the characters very unsympathetic, there were more to them than a couple of twenty-somethings trying to balance trauma/romance.

What I didn’t like: the relationship was still kind of toxic and based on things like selfish desire and proximity. Jeremy is for sure more mature than most of Hoovers love interests but Lowen is a real mess. Insecure yet selfish, she falls in love with a man based on his wife’s detailed account of their.. intimate relations. girl, that’s just wrong. It’s always fun to hate on book characters though (when they are flawed on purpose) so I’m not complaining.

Notes and highlights from the author

Ugly Love book cover

Pages: 324
My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 4.2/5

This is a universally known story of a boy and a girl who wants to keep things strictly physical. Tate is working long hours at the hospital and Miles, being a pilot, has a very unusual schedule. They are instantly attracted to each other though and agree on a physical relationship. There are only two rules: never ask about the past and don’t expect a future. Feelings eventually begin to bubble between them but guilt and secrets keep them from moving forward.

What I liked: this was an easy, relatable story (for the most part). The side characters were great and brought some humor to the otherwise angsty situation. The “big secret” made sense this time around and explained some of the awkward behaviour we had seen earlier.

What I didn’t like: the strictly physical plot is so over used in romance and before we even start the book we know where things are heading. Throw in a secret past and it’s another classic Hoover story. I understand supply and demand but I really hope the rest of her books are less repetitive. Yet again, it’s a toxic relationship that honestly reminded me of Rory and Logan in the early days (hi Gilmore fans who get this). If people would just TALK TO EACH OTHER they could spare themselves lots of tears, confusion and heartache.

More romance books, different authors

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