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"BookTok" or BookFlop

By Fiona O'Reilly

“It Ends with Us, a surprising read targeted at teenagers, has swept bookshelves clean and readers off their feet. New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a writer inspired by her own personal experiences, has become popular with a young generation of readers. Hoover has recently grown famous for her young adult rom-com novels and has had multiple novels dominate social media book trends due to “BookTok” and “BookTube” favorites, the book-loving communities of TikTok and YouTube. Despite being released six years ago, “It Ends With Us” reappeared on the bestseller list in 2021. It currently holds the number one spot on the New York Times paperback list, with over four million copies sold in over 20 languages.

Artwork by Ashwathi Chemban

Hoover's books soar to the top of many fans' lists of favorites.

At first glance, this novel about a young woman from Boston named Lily seems to be about a typical love triangle between a first love and a new love. However, the story takes a dark turn about halfway through. Readers are torn in different directions as Lily struggles to find who she truly loves.

“It was a very interesting portrayal of a relationship, and the characters were very dynamic,” junior Michayla Rinaldi said.

The novel was described by Hoover as “the hardest book she’s ever written” due to its intensity and dramatic plot, but many teens have seemingly breezed through it.

However, despite the book’s popularity, some readers do not understand the obsession.

“Colleen Hoover’s writing style is overhyped, and her plots are dramatic and over-fantasized. She romanticizes toxic relationships, which should be called out,” junior Safiya Hamdani said.

“Her novels romanticize people’s trauma, and make ‘Booktok’ and ‘Booktube’ consider her writing to be ‘good writing.’ There are way better novels that don’t get the attention. At the end of the day, she can write what she wants, but I personally don’t believe it to be good,” junior Manal Rashid said.

With a recent trend in romantic novels, specifically by Colleen Hoover, the question exists if traumatic love stories are appropriate to write about and profit off of, not just for young adults, but for all ages. The prequel titled “It Starts With Us” releases October 18 and is anticipated by BookTok, BookTube and other communities of fictional romance lovers to be a success for Hoover.


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