Understanding Booktok’s Obsession With Colleen Hoover Novels

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

Isabella Santoro

Anchor Staff Writer

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If you aren’t part of the interesting world of Booktok, it might surprise you to know that Colleen Hoover, an adult romance author with outstanding works of fiction, is currently rising to stardom. This forty one year old Texan weaves tales of the many hardships of love and romance and she does it well.


Her two most famous books are “It Ends With Us” and “Ugly Love,” two heartbreaking tales of romance gone wrong. You’re left unsure if they will have happy endings or the kind where you’re sobbing into your pillow. I can say that the one book of Colleen’s that I have read entitled “November 9” and it was extremely emotionally gripping. At the same time, it makes me wonder why she has such a cult following on Tiktok. Why did this suddenly happen when she has been writing bestsellers for almost 10 years? It shocks even me that I had no idea who this author was until a year ago.


Walking into Barnes and Noble, you might notice that they have a table called “Booktok made me read it.” This began this year and to no surprise, there are multiple Colleen Hoover novels on this one small table. They are talked about so heavily in the media and on this popular app that if you haven’t read one of her novels, you must be living under a rock.


The big reason her books are so popular and why everyone is obsessed is because she has such a large fanbase across many forms of social media and other platforms. She is all over YouTube, Tiktok, Barnes and Noble and the internet. So much so that the publisher of “It Ends With Us,” Atria, has, according to their Senior Vice President Lizzy McGuire, noticed that a rise in sales of this particular novel started in November of 2020 and only became more popular in the months that followed. On Goodreads there are nearly 456,000 ratings and 53,000 reviews of this one book, which is higher than any other book review statistics I’ve seen on Goodreads. This has happened due to the hashtag #Booktok, as noticed on Tiktok, which has nearly 18 billion views. This would garner a major response of interest from young adults when they see that a majority of videos posted under this popular hashtag include at least one of Colleen Hoover’s novels.


Every other Booktok post is about how heartbreaking her novels are, yet people just cannot seem to get enough of them. I have seen dozens of articles talking about how people are obsessed with Colleen Hover’s “Verity” or her other novels that have also topped the bestseller’s list. When I read “November 9,” which is not as popular as the three others I have mentioned, I went into it with no expectations. This is often hard to do because Colleen is so publicized that of course at some point I did expect to be blown away by the way it was written. I was shocked at times, I was heartbroken even, and I often got mad at the characters. I think the real magic behind her novels is that she truly understands how to get responses from her audience. Hoover is able to write scenes that resonate with her readers and what they really love to see in a romance novel. One thing I think is truly remarkable about her novels are the limited descriptions in her synopses and how they seem to elicit one type of response before reading. The endings always leave readers in tears or wondering what just happened. It is insane how she can catch a reader totally off guard with a simple plot twist that can feel gut-wrenching.


I do not know whether it is the harrowing way she describes relationships and their dramas within her novels, or just because she is so popular on social media platforms that people are feeling the pressure to read her novels. Nevertheless, this is truly the most fascinating case of how the internet hypes up someone so much that they can dominate an entire community.


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