Colleen Hoover Skips the Sophomore Slump

Controversial Author Maintains her Stride with ‘It Ends With Us’


Graphic by Solah Han.

DISCLAIMER – The opinions expressed throughout the article aren’t indicative of the writer’s support towards Colleen Hoover and her son’s relationship with a minor. Click this link to learn more.

Not long after Colleen Hoover’s best-seller, ‘It Ends With Us’, released, the sequel, ‘It Starts With Us’ hit the shelves just last year. Though recent, this novel continues to top the charts on many social media platforms such as Goodreads, Bookstagram, Booktok, etc. 

Lots of CoHo (Colleen Hoover) fans anticipated the signature angst and heartbreak, which scared many upon reading the first page. Expecting her usual plot as I dove in, I was shocked to discover a completely different storyline rather than her typical build-up. 

It’s not an understatement to say that, as soon as I read the book, I fell in love with Hoover’s seamless amalgamation between her experiences and the characters. I was upset when I finished, and I don’t think I’ll ever find a better novel.

This page-turner continues the story of Lily’s life and how she begins to start her story with Atlas. Lily Bloom is a beautiful and independent protagonist who risks her current corporate job as an aspiring florist. Through all the flaws of her childhood, she is a divorced single mom who doesn’t know where and how her love story will end. 

Lily’s love interest, Atlas Corrigan, is a man with the golden heart; he’s always considerate, and is the Head Chef of a reputable restaurant in Boston. Despite his bright presence, his dark childhood is concealed from everyone except Lily. Both of the characters’ brutal adolescence strengthened their bond that they had lost for a while. 

Atlas was a solid, supportive pillar for Lily when she was going through a hard time with her abusive husband. I especially loved how in this sequel, all these hidden secrets and hints between the two characters unfolded. And for once in their lives, it seemed like time and luck were on their side – which is a reader’s dream. 

When the two reunite after all the years apart, they instantly realize that they are meant for each other. One memorable experience is when they run into each other in Atlas’ restaurant, which recalls memories of when he revealed the succession of his childhood dream to Lily in the past. Sentimental and wholesome situations like these are scattered throughout Hoover’s book, which make a pleasant and shocking surprise for the readers; Atlas and Lily’s re-budding relationship seems more like fate rather than coincidence.

The on-and-off couple can’t cope with the idea that fate isn’t what brought them together. Though the pair have their own flaws, they’re willing to sacrifice everything for each other which inspires myself, and many other readers, to hope for a more realistic “fairy tale” romance in the future. 

Different from her first, Hoover’s second book has a light and easy-going way of handling the conflicts of its plot. This novel exemplifies how love, unfortunately, isn’t the solution to everything. But with enough passion, it can get you through your hard days and still stay in one piece. It made me emotional and maybe cry a little too. 

In one of her interviews, Hoover talks about how every one of her works contains a little bit about herself. She talks about how she came to write Lily and Atlas’ shared trauma of an abusive childhood, which was reflected off of her own. The couple’s love dynamic and support system for each other was inspired by Hoover’s real-life partner, who was with her through her darkest days. The author’s vulnerability makes this contemporary love story not-so-fiction-like – in fact, if anything, it makes it even more relatable. Though I was heartbroken regarding Hoover’s daunting childhood, I couldn’t help but feel thankful for her sincerity which translated into such a fantastic book. 

But behind the scenes, readers should keep in mind that Colleen Hoover’s life isn’t like some Taylor Swift love song. Currently, CoHo fans are conflicted in their support due to the author’s defense for her son, who was involved in an illegal relationship with a minor. Hoover’s stans constantly question if it’s okay to promote her books, and whether or not her corrupted ideologies might translate into future novels.

That being said, ‘It Ends With Us’ remains as an entertaining novel. I highly recommend it to those who are into contemporary romance. Undoubtedly, Hoover’s controversy remains unanswered; yet, her penmanship certainly entails interesting plot, complex characters with continuous development, and overall, a fantasy that grips you onto the edge of your seat.