Courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

April 18, 2022

BookTok Brings Renewed Fame to Colleen Hoover’s ‘It Ends With Us’

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The queen of heart-wrenching romance, Colleen Hoover, never fails to publish a five-star worthy book, and her uber-popular It Ends With Us is no exception. 

Although published in 2016, this book has been on the New York Times Best Sellers list under “Paperback Trade Fiction” for the 49th week in a row and currently sits at number one — the handiwork of BookTok, the side of TikTok where passionate readers talk about their favorite books. This isn’t to discredit Hoover’s literary prowess but to emphasize the power of TikTok as a social media platform in the digital age, especially during peak pandemic times. 

As a frequent TikTok user, I’ve watched countless BookTokers rave about It Ends With Us and their posts gain thousands of views and likes. When a book goes viral on BookTok, it immediately assumes a cult following. This also happened with other books such as The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, A Little Life, The Song of Achilles and many many more. 

But, does It Ends With Us live up to the hype attributed by BookTok? 

Whether you’ve read Hoover’s works before or don’t know about her at all, she specializes in the new adult and adult contemporary romance genres, with a style that leaves you wanting more and rethinking love and its consequences. Since her book regained popularity, I picked it up again for a re-read. 

I’m a very vocal and emotional reader, so while reading this novel, my emotions were scattered all over the place. There were times when I laughed, swooned and during romantic scenes, giggled like a madwoman. But, there were also several times when I was crestfallen and had to fight the urge to throw the book out the window. 

Without giving away too much (wouldn’t want to spoil it!), the book follows the story of main characters —Lily and Ryle — who, by chance, meet each other on a rooftop. From there, sparks fly and everything seems to go smoothly until an old lover from Lily’s past reemerges and her relationships with both of them turn complicated. This book does address sensitive topics, which can be triggering for some, so I suggest you check out the trigger warnings first. 

What stood out to me was the format of the novel. While most chapters are set in the present, there are several that take place in the past in the form of a diary entry as a way to reveal Lily’s past with the mystery figure. I found this really interesting, in contemporary romance novels, you usually don’t really see authors going back and forth between past and present. I’ve noticed that this is Hoover’s trademark: the element of weaving between past and present is also present in her other works, like the extremely popular Ugly Love. 

With the thrill of reading a newly released book gone, I can see how the romance could seem a bit implausible, but that’s also the very reason I loved it. People read romance novels because it can’t possibly happen in real life, and if it does, then you’re one lucky person. Most people, myself included, read romance as a pleasurable escape or for a guaranteed, no-nonsense happy story. Others read it to compensate for a lack of love in their lives or simply as a way to pass time. Whatever the reason, It Ends With Us meets all those goals, so it’s not hard to see why it gained such a following. 

Hoover is well aware of what BookTok has done for her, and in the acknowledgments of her newly released Reminders of Him, gave a special shoutout to TikTok: “Also, um, TikTok! What the heck? WHAT IN THE HECK? I don’t even know what to say. Those of you on the BookTok side of that app have helped not only my books reach new readers, but the books of so many authors.”

Much to her readers’ pleasure, she also announced a sequel to It End With Us, aptly named It Starts With Us as thanks to her readers. Its expected release date is Oct. 18, 2022, and I’ve already pre-ordered a copy.

Not to sound dramatic, but reading one of Ms. Colleen Hoover’s books is basically a rite of passage for contemporary romance readers, so I suggest you pick this one up if you haven’t!

Tenzin Dhasel is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected]