Column: Colleen Hoover tells stories that are good, not great

Hope Leinen, Staff Writer

Over the summer, author Colleen Hoover has soared in popularity – and it’s not just because of one book.

A handful of her books have been flying off the shelves.

One of the reasons I think Hoover’s books have become so popular is because her writing style is simple and easy to read. The simplicity of her novels makes them accessible to a greater majority of people. Her books are relatively short, which is perfect for her target readers – young women looking for an engaging, juicy beach read.

As a result, her books have quickly become some of the most sought-after novels. Her popularity has even led to the adaptation of one of her novels to the big screen for the movie: “It Ends with Us.”

Another reason why I think Hoover has become such a popular author is because of the romance genre she writes in.

While it can be agreed that there is merit in her work regarding her influence over her target audience, I find it hard to consider her a ‘revolutionary author.’ She is not creating some impactful piece of writing that reaches out to thousands of people, she’s simply creating books that are short and fun to read.

Many people have said that her books kickstarted them into reading again.

However, many of her books have been criticized for romanticizing unhealthy relationships.

It is hard to appreciate a piece of writing without noticing that she uses very serious issues like violence in relationships to create drama in her books. This is an especially important issue to raise, given that many of her readers are younger women.

The only exception to this would be her novel “It Ends with Us.” This novel was written based on her mom’s experience, so it is not meant to romanticize or glorify assault, but to bring attention to someone’s story. 

Some that have been called out for promoting toxic relationships are “Ugly Love” and “November 9th.”

While I was captivated by the stories Hoover told, there was a lot of unhealthy behavior from the characters that was hard to overlook.

This is not to say that many authors do not do this as well.

However, due to the popularity of Hoover’s work, it is easy to look at them and say that they are more influential.

Her books are entertaining, but they aren’t classics and they don’t reveal anything new or deeply nuanced about human nature. 

I think it’s great that her work has the potential to get people to enjoy reading again, but in my opinion she will always just be an author who kickstarts people to want to read more.