You’ll Either Love Them or Hate Them—Here’s Where to Start if You Want to Read Colleen Hoover Books

You either love them or hate them, but either way, you definitely know Colleen Hoover books: She’s one of the most controversial and popular authors of the 2020s. In 2023, Hoover was named one of the top 100 most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine. Her rise to fame can be accredited to her ability to turn romance tropes on their heads, creating contemporary and fresh, albeit sometimes ugly, approaches to the romance novel. It’s this approach that has crowned her BookTok royalty and has gotten so much hype from readers—but not everyone agrees on CoHo.

CoHo critics believe the themes in Hoover’s books romanticize triggering content and that her writing style falls flat. This is where the love-hate divide begins. Much like Sarah J. Maas books, Colleen Hoover books are an accessible re-entry into reading for anyone who hasn’t read in a while, in spite of the moral grey areas they explore. Many of Hoover’s novels contain extremely mature themes, including but not limited to domestic abuse, child abuse, rape, cheating, and death. If you do not want to see dark, violent themes incorporated into an otherwise romantic plotline, maybe avoid adding It Ends With Us to your TBR list. We recommend researching all trigger warnings before reading if you are sensitive to specific types of content.

At the end of the day, the best way to decide whether you’re on team love or hate is to dive into the world that is Colleen Hoover. Here’s the order in which you should read Colleen Hoover books for the ultimate introduction to the viral author.

1. Verity

Goodreads Rating: 4.32 out of 5 (2,782,814 ratings)

Colleen Hoover’s book Verity is an adult content book with themes like murder, manipulation, mystery, and yes—there’s spice. Hoover’s attention to detail sets every eerie scene, keeping readers on the edge of their seats throughout the book. This page-turner is ideal for lovers of psychological and dark thrillers with a touch of romance.

Colleen Hoover

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she gets the offer of a lifetime: to ghostwrite the final books of best-selling author Verity Crawford’s most famous series. Jeremy, Verity’s husband, hired Lowen after Verity was severely injured in an accident. He invites her to their home and encourages her to go through Verity’s office and notes for ideas for the rest of the series—and while she’s there, she finds dangerous truths daring her to expose them.

Trigger warning: This book contains extremely mature themes, including child abuse and death. Please research all trigger warnings before reading if you are sensitive to specific types of content.

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“I’ve read just about every thriller known to man, and Verity remains one of my favorites. It’s an easy read, and the end left me speechless. Despite occasionally indulging in a light romance book, I’ve found that Colleen Hoover’s other books are just a little too cheesy for me.”

— Madeline Galassi, Fashion & Beauty Editor

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“I read Verity and It Ends With Us because I heard lots of buzz, but felt kind of meh about them. They’re definitely fast-paced and entertaining, but after reading both, I wasn’t too fond of Colleen Hoover’s writing style or the tropes she uses often.”

— Bella Gil, Associate Commerce Editor

2. It Ends With Us

Goodreads Rating: 4.16 out of 5 (3,456,049 ratings)

New York Times #1 Best Seller It Ends With Us is a story that reminds readers that love is fragile. This heart-wrenching romance draws readers into a complicated love triangle. Its growing fan base led to its big-screen debut being announced nearly eight years after being published. It Ends With Us is one of summer 2024’s most anticipated blockbusters starring lead actress Blake Lively. This story is a must-read and watch for any dramatic romance enthusiasts.

Colleen Hoover Books

Colleen Hoover

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants and opening her dream business away from home. Amid her new journey, she meets Ryle. Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant, but also sensitive and brilliant. Alarmingly, Ryle has a complete aversion to relationships. But Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule. As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

Trigger warning: This book contains extremely mature themes, including domestic abuse, depression, and rape. Please research all trigger warnings before reading if you are sensitive to specific types of content.

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“I still remember the feeling I had when I finished this book—this is not your average romance novel. It End With Us is a unique love triangle story that will keep you captivated until the very end. It’s one of those books that you just don’t forget about!”

— Jess Welsh, Commerce Editor

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“I feel so conflicted about Colleen Hoover books. I love that she gets the girlies reading. However, I could not make it through It Ends With Us, and I’ve listened to “bad book club” podcast episodes roasting some of her books. I’ll pass, but I get why others are into them!”

— Emma Ginsberg, Editorial & Podcast Assistant

3. It Starts With Us

Goodreads Rating: 3.87 out of 5 (1,511,539 ratings)

It Starts With Us is the highly anticipated sequel to It Ends With Us. This book is lighter in subject than its predecessor and explores the topic of possible happiness in fearful new beginnings. Readers say this book is a “beautiful story of second chance love.”

Colleen Hoover Books

Colleen Hoover

This double-perspective narrative continues the story of It Ends With Us from Atlas’s point of view. Lily has separated from Ryle, and they have finally come to a civil agreement on co-parenting their daughter. Lily feels as though life has given her another chance when she runs into Atlas after her split from Ryle. She agrees to go on a date with Atlas but is quickly haunted by the memory of Ryle’s dislike for her first love. Even after the separation, Ryle is still a large part of her and her daughter’s lives. Lily is haunted by the thought of his reaction to the return of Atlas.

4. Reminders of Him

Goodreads Rating: 4.38 out of 5 (1,240,851 ratings)

Reminders of Him gives readers exclusive access into the minds of narrators Kenna and Ledger. This split narrative tells the story of a budding modern romance in the journey of rebuilding one’s life after a life-changing mistake. Colleen Hoover takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster and skillfully emulates both masculine and feminine voices throughout the narrations between the two lead characters. With Hoover’s signature blend of tortured love, hard truths, and all encapsulating narration, Reminders of Him is an all-consuming read for modern romanticists.

Colleen Hoover Books

Colleen Hoover

Kenna Rowan returns to the town where everything went wrong after serving five years in prison. Upon her return, Kenna hopes to rekindle her relationship with her 4-year-old daughter, but it seems everyone in her daughter’s life is determined to shut her out. Kenna is at a loss and feels as though it will be impossible to rebuild her life post-incarceration. The only person who hasn’t closed the door on her is Ledger Ward, a local bar owner and one of the few remaining links to Kenna’s daughter. But if anyone were to discover how Ledger is slowly becoming an important part of Kenna’s life and their budding romance, both would risk losing the trust of everyone important to them. Kenna must find a way to absolve the mistakes of her past to build a future out of hope and healing.

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“I love Colleen Hoover because she got me back into reading in adulthood! Reminders of Him remains one of my only 5 star reads. Personally, I am okay not doing mental gymnastics to be told a story so I like most of her stuff.”

— Ashley Selleke, Branded Content Managing Editor

5. Ugly Love

Goodreads Rating: 4.05 out of 5 (1,877,546 ratings)

Ugly Love sticks to the common trope of casual relationships gone wrong after someone catches feelings. Hoover includes twists, turns, and truths that keep the reader engaged. The passionate scenes between the two leads turn the spiciness levels up a few notches in this modern romance. Hoover emotionally attaches the readers to the main characters and leaves them heartbroken.

Colleen Hoover Books

Colleen Hoover

When Tate Collins meets the attractive airline pilot Miles Archer, love at first sight isn’t what comes to mind. She wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction, which turns into the perfect set-up, or so they think. He doesn’t want love, and she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her—never ask about the past and don’t expect a future. They think they can handle it, but after countless rules are broken, promises gone awry, and hearts exposed. Love gets ugly.

Trigger warning: This book contains mature themes, including neonatal death, emotional and physical abuse, and trauma. Please research all trigger warnings before reading if you are sensitive to specific types of content.

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“I love that they offer an accessible re-entry to reading for people who haven’t read in a while, but beyond that, I’m not a fan. I’m guilty of a hate read or two via book clubs, and the collective response is always pretty negative. Verity was definitely the best of what I’ve read!”

— Lauren Blue, Editorial Intern

6. November 9

Goodreads Rating: 4.14 out of 5 (1,109,916 ratings)

November 9 is an unconventional tale of romance that is full of surprises. Following common themes of manipulation, growth, and forgiveness, this novel is ideal for a modern romance reader who enjoys the secrets that lie beneath scars.

Colleen Hoover Books

Colleen Hoover

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before she is set to move across the country. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in Los Angeles together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. They agree to continue meeting every year on the same day of their first sighting, and it becomes a sort of tradition. One day, Fallon becomes wary of Ben’s integrity when she begins to believe everything he has told her has been to formulate the perfect plot for his secret motives. Can Fallon’s relationship with Ben—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in turmoil?

7. Regretting You

Goodreads Rating: 4.13 out of 5 (616,295 ratings)

Regretting You is an addicting, all-consuming page-turner that follows a double romance that threatens the relationship between a mother and daughter. This story brings to the page the realities of life and love, along with the difficult conversations that surround both. Hoover brings her readers a story of hope and rebuilding a delicate relationship after a life-altering tragedy.

Colleen Hoover Books

Colleen Hoover

Morgan Grant and her 16-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike. Morgan made many mistakes in her young age that she feels have held her back in life and only wishes her daughter to not follow suit, but their clashing personalities make it increasingly hard to coexist. The only person who can bring peace is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. That peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic accident. While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart.

8. Hopeless

Goodreads Rating: 4.25 out of 5 (584,053 ratings)

This novel asks the question: Would you rather know a truth that makes you feel hopeless or keep living in blissful ignorance? Surrounding the familiar feelings of first love, Hopeless is a beautifully told story of a chance meeting that reveals secrets, reclaims memories, and gushes hope from cover to cover.

Colleen Hoover Books

Colleen Hoover

Sky, a senior in high school, meets Dean Holder, a guy with a promiscuous reputation that rivals her own. From their very first encounter, he terrifies and captivates her. Something about him sparks memories of a time she’s tried so hard to bury and forget. Though Sky is determined to stay far away from him, his unwavering pursuit breaks down her defenses, and the intensity of the bond between them grows. But the mysterious Holder has been keeping secrets of his own, and once they are revealed, Sky is changed forever. Sky and Holder hope to heal their emotional scars and find a way to live and love without boundaries.

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“While Colleen Hoover’s books aren’t my favorite, I will still pick one up if I need a quick page-turner for a flight. You’ve definitely spotted her books at the airport, and I can attest that her thriller romances will make your flight go by faster.”

— Cassandra McCook, Social Media Editor

9. Heart Bones

Goodreads Rating: 4.24 out of 5 (526,813 ratings)

Two worlds collide in Colleen Hoover’s heartwarming tale of two young lovers and one faithful summer. This novel is a slow-burn romance weaving the organic connection between the two lead characters. Heart Bones is a true love story for hopeless romantics, with intense feelings of love from page one, and it is perfect for anyone looking for a summer-themed romance.

Colleen Hoover Books

Colleen Hoover

With only two months separating her from the future she’s built and the past she desperately wants to leave behind, an unexpected death leaves Beyah with no place to go. Her only option is to spend the remainder of her summer in Texas with her father and his family, whom she barely knows. Then she meets Samson, who seems to be her exact opposite and changes the course of her summer. She comes from a life of poverty and neglect; he comes from a family of wealth and privilege. They soon bond over the unexpected and have an immediate connection. They agree to stay in the shallow end of a summer fling. What Beyah doesn’t realize is that a rip current is coming, and it’s about to drag her heart out to sea.

10. Maybe Someday

Goodreads Rating: 4.01 out of 5 (557,413 ratings)

Book one of a three-part series, Maybe Someday is on the lighter side of triggering subject matter for a Colleen Hoover book. Not only does this book engulf its reader in a can’t-look-away romance plot, but it also allows for a fully immersive experience with an accompanying soundtrack by singer Griffin Peterson. Readers can listen to the album, Maybe Someday on Spotify, inspired by the music created between the two leads.

Colleen Hoover Books

Colleen Hoover

At 22 years old, Sydney is enjoying a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend. But everything changes when she discovers that Hunter is cheating on her. It’s not long after, Sydney finds herself captivated by her mysterious and attractive neighbor, Ridge. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either. They soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.

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