If You’ve Never Read Colleen Hoover, Start with One of These Books
By Angela Erickson, December 21, 2022
From a social worker self-publishing her first books to topping the bestseller lists, Colleen Hoover has been on quite the journey as an author. She’s garnered stellar book reviews and been the topic of many viral TikTok videos, and her books continue to charm and entertain readers across the globe.
If you haven’t read any of Colleen’s books before, you may be struggling to figure out where to start. Never fear! In honor of her birthday this month, we are sharing seven options to help you choose what Colleen Hoover book to read first. Read on, dive in, and you can thank us later!
Lily Bloom puts her whole heart and soul into everything she does, and it’s no surprise when she falls immediately head over heels in love after meeting neurosurgeon Ryle Kincaid. He’s gorgeous and brilliant — but completely against making any serious commitments. However, their relationship grows stronger as time goes by. But when Atlas Corrigan, Lily’s first love, come back into her life, she is not prepared for the havoc his return will wreak on her relationship with Ryle. In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews says, “Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse — and the strength of the survivors.” Though Hoover calls this “the hardest book I’ve ever written,” readers are captivated by the authentic romance and the thoughtful handing of trauma.
Following the phenomenal reception of It Ends with Us, CoHo has gifted readers a sequel about Lily and Atlas, recently released in October of 2022. Once again, the old flames have been reunited, and finally the timing is right for the duo to pursue their connection. Trouble brews when Ryle — Lily’s ex-husband and father of her child — discovers their rekindled love affair and old resentments are brought back to center stage. As this story begins immediately following the ending of It Ends With Us, it is perfect for readers who have read the first title and can’t get enough of Hoover’s emotion-packed novels. (Fun fact: this was the most pre-ordered title in the history of publishing house Simon and Schuster!)
Slammed is the title that started it all for the now-ubiquitous author. Hoover published her debut young adult novel all on her own in 2012, mainly for the purpose of giving her mother something to read when she bought her first ereader. Full of the sparkle of young love — and poetry slams — this book charmed readers from the get-go. Layken is 18 and dealing with the sudden death of her father, doing all she can to stay strong for her mother and younger brother. Her new neighbor, Will, and his love for poetry are something she can connect with, but their young love seems doomed from the start…
Hoover dips her toes into the psychological thriller genre with this 2018 release. After bestselling author Verity Crawford is tragically injured in an accident, her husband Jeremy offers Lowen Ashleigh the opportunity of a lifetime: finishing the novels Verity has left unpublished. When Lowen finds Verity’s hidden autobiography filled with shocking revelations, she can’t decide whether to keep Verity’s secrets buried for the sake of her devoted husband — or if revealing the truth could benefit Lowen in unexpected ways. Of this book, Hoover says, “Verity was so different from my other books, so I wasn’t sure if the readers would follow me to a different genre entirely, but they most definitely did in a big way, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
Tate Collins and Miles Archer have a seemingly perfect no-strings-attached relationship — but the longer they spend time together, the harder it becomes to deny their growing connection. The plot switches between Tate’s point of view in the present day and flashbacks of Miles’s past, giving the reader an opportunity to see the story as a whole narrative with complex parts. In a book full of sizzling romance and exquisite soul-searching, Hoover will break your heart and put it back together before the final page.
Although It Ends With Us was the hardest book for Hoover to write, she has said that this 2018 romance was the “saddest.” Quinn and Graham are deeply in love, but marriage is hard — especially when the golden expectations don’t match the painful realities. This heart-wrenching novel of a relationship in crisis with all of its messiness and trauma will keep readers on the edge of their seats to discover if and how the couple can find a way to mend their fractured bond. (PSA: If reading this book left you aching to discover the rest of Graham and Quinn’s story, check out their next chapter in Hoover’s novella, Finding Perfect.)
Published in 2017, this moving novel is a coming-of-age-story, a romance, an exploration of dysfunctional families, and and an important discussion on mental health all rolled into one. Merit Voss keeps to herself, feeling alone even though she’s part of a family. Meeting a boy named Sagan at an antique shop sets Merit on a new path — one where she must discover what truth means to her and face the sacrifices that come with living authentically. In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews says, “This quirky, complex, and frustrating heroine will win hearts and challenge assumptions about family dysfunction and mental illness in a life-affirming story that redefines what’s normal.”