Colleen Hoover, having sold 14.3 million print copies in 2022 alone has her books displayed as best-selling romances in virtually every bookstore. However, there have been a number of controversies surrounding her and her novels, though they don’t seem to deter people (particularly adolescent girls) from buying and reading her questionable books.
In all of Hoover's stories the female characters share the same repetitive and generic characteristics. These women are portrayed as extremely one-dimensional, weak, ever-forgiving, and overly dependent on men. They never seem to strive for their own goals and always need some ‘big strong man’ to come and validate or rescue them. Furthermore, the male love interests come with an abundance of major red flags, and do rather odd things to get the female character’s attention or affections - for example in the book “November 9th”, the main character’s love interest literally sets fire to the main character’s house… This is clearly problematic, and whilst it’s fine to write about emotional or physical abuse, Hoover writes these stories in a way that could influence young girls into thinking that such obsessive, controlling and abusive behaviour is normal and a normal part of ‘love’. Colleen Hoover’s questionable tropes about sexual assault even link to controversies surrounding her own personal life. In February of 2022, her son was accused of alleged sexual harassment of a minor. The victim, who was 16 at the time, explained that when Hoover’s son was 21 he sexually harassed her and asked her for nudes. When the victim went to message Colleen Hoover about the situation, she said that the writer blocked her. However, Hoover denies this, and has accused the victim of lying, or exaggerating the situation.
Aside from all of her controversies her books are, simply put, poorly written and have very little diversity, especially considering she has a total of 26 published books. Her stories are extremely formulaic, with all her books containing very similar, easily anticipated plot twists. This, on top of the fact that her main characters and their love interests are almost identical, make her books predictable and unimaginative. Hoover also writes some very questionable and simply bizarre phrases such as in “Ugly Love”, where she writes, “we both laugh at our son’s big balls”. Considering the plethora of issues regarding her and her writing, it's a mystery why her books are still so popular.