Quiz: Ranking the Queen of BookTok’s 21 Novels
Which Colleen Hoover Book Should You Read First?
Colleen Hoover has taken Booktok completely by storm. Everyone, readers, and non-readers alike, are flocking to her books. They are quick reads, they make you feel all the emotions, and she is known for her insane plot twists and opening lines. If you’re into romance or looking to start, these are the perfect books for you! In case you haven’t read these romance novels before, let’s learn a little more about their author.
Who is Colleen Hoover?
Colleen Hoover is a romance author who has taken the literary world by storm. She started by self-publishing her first three novels in 2012. After the success of her first novel “Slammed” and its sequels, she decided to quit her job as a social worker and pursue writing full-time. All her books have an element of romance to them, but her subgenres vary with each book.
Booktok, a community on TikTok that’s all about books, loves her because these novels are quick reads that keep you engaged from beginning to end. She has had 11 “New York Times” Bestselling titles, one of which being her most popular book “It Ends with Us”, which was published in 2016. Because of its popularity on Booktok, it has been #1 on the list for nine weeks so far in 2022. She has 24 published titles including 3 novellas, a novella collection written with Tarryn Fisher, and 20 novels.
There are a lot of lists ranking her books out there, so we had to put our two cents in! So, here is our spoiler-free worst-to-best ranking of the Colleen Hoover books and a quiz to help you choose which one you should read next!
I love darker and spookier books, but this book just didn’t do it for me. It was strange in a way that made it hard to get invested in. If you are a fan of twisty, paranormal romances, this one may be for you. “Layla” follows Layla and Leeds. They met at her sister’s wedding and fell in love. Then, a tragic accident happens and causes Layla to suffer from brain damage. They decide to go back to the place where they met to get a break from daily life, but while there some weird stuff starts happening, specifically regarding Layla’s behavior. Overall, this book was hard to follow and I found both main characters obnoxious.
“Too Late” ⭐⭐
This is another dark romance, but instead of a paranormal romance, it involves the darker aspects of our normal society. This story was very tragic, and it was hard to read a good amount of the time. There are a lot of trigger warnings for this book, so please check those. Some of the major ones include domestic abuse, sexual assault, drug use, etc. “Too Late” follows Sloan, who is trapped in an abusive relationship with her drug dealer boyfriend, Asa. She seemingly has no way out until she meets Carter, who has his own very interesting backstory. It is easy to get invested in the characters of this story and their safety, but the writing style wasn’t the best. This was one of her very early books, so it didn’t impress me as much and I wouldn’t reread or necessarily recommend.
“Without Merit” ⭐⭐⭐
This book wasn’t so much of a romance as it was just a family drama. The plot follows Merit Voss and her family. Each of them has an interesting quirk or personality trait that adds to the chaotic household. Overall, I liked all the character’s developments. This book is very character driven and it was interesting to follow them throughout the book even though not much happens plot wise.
“Maybe” series ⭐⭐⭐
This series was another one that was fine. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. I really liked Warren, and I liked the novella in this series that focused on him and Bridgette more than the other two main books in this series. This series follows Ridge and Sydney and their story of falling in love when they are trying desperately not to. They become friends, and Sydney begins helping Ridge write songs for his band, only increasing their connection. It brings up the question of whether you can choose who you love, and if you can love more than one person. I thought most of the characters were whiny and annoying, and I thought the story was cliché. I did enjoy the deaf representation in this series.
“Regretting You” ⭐⭐⭐
There wasn’t a character that I really loved in this book. The premise was interesting, and I enjoyed the tragic elements of this story. “Regretting You” follows Morgan and her 16-year-old daughter Clara. Tragedy strikes and Morgan’s husband and sister die together in a car accident. Her sister’s boyfriend Jonah and Morgan begin putting pieces together about what happened, only to find out some details they never could have dreamed of. I think more could have been done with those elements and the impact on the characters. It felt a little two-dimensional, though the ending was cute and satisfying. Overall, this book was fine. Again, I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it.
“Slammed” trilogy ⭐⭐⭐
This trilogy was the first that Colleen Hoover ever published. They don’t get as much hype as her other books on Booktok, so I went in with low expectations. It’s the story of Lake and Will as they navigate their complicated relationship and tragedy together with their little brothers. I love Caulder and Kel, the little brother characters, and I really like the character of Lake’s best friend Eddie. I like the development of the two main characters throughout the series, and I think it was sweet to follow them through multiple books. These are some of her young adult titles, so they aren’t smutty at all, but they are very quick and emotional reads. Overall, this trilogy was alright, but forgettable.
“All Your Perfects” ⭐⭐⭐
This is another one that a lot of people seem to love, but I just thought it was fine. It didn’t blow me away. This book follows Graham and Quinn through two different points in their love story. I don’t love romances about fixing a marriage on the brink of divorce, but if you do, you might like this one more than me. I did like how this book ended though, and I liked the two different timelines.
“Heart Bones” ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I really enjoyed the premise and the characters in this book. The lesson of not being judgmental when people slip through the cracks of our failed judicial system is such an important one. I love that Hoover pointed out the flawed criminal justice system in our country, because more fiction should draw attention to that fact. I loved how they bettered each other throughout the story, but I felt like the plot twist and the ending felt a bit rushed. But overall, I really enjoyed reading this book.
“It Ends with Us” ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Some might be shocked to see this one a little lower on the ranking than they expect. While it was very good, I think that it might get a little overhyped. I went in with very high expectations. Ryle, as a character, had a lot of issues and was very toxic. Overall, I felt like the hype has just gotten a little intense, but it was a fun read, and I LOVED the ending. Check out her new book coming out October 18th called “It Starts with Us” for a prequel/sequel of Lily’s story!
“November 9” ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This book takes readers on a roller coaster. I loved the story of Fallon and Ben, and I think they were both well written characters. It all begins when these two characters have a chance meeting the day before she moves across the country. They decide to spend the day together, and they end up really hitting it off. They then decide to meet up each November 9th for five years, so they don’t give up their dreams for each other. This annual meetup also acts as inspiration for Ben’s novel. But they have no contact at all the rest of the year. I only took a star away because a couple of the scenes were a bit cheesy/cringey, but the plot twist threw me for a LOOP.
I loved reading this. This is one of those “knock your socks off” Colleen Hoover books. The premise, of the artist who takes anonymous confessions from people to inspire his art, was fascinating. I loved the plot, and the main characters were so lovable. I also loved the sadder elements. They weren’t cheesy, they were done very well. Also, the full circle elements are very satisfying.
“Hopeless” series ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
After reading the synopsis and seeing the cover, I went into this book with low expectations. But it shocked me with how much I enjoyed it. In the story, Dean and Sky are high school seniors. Meeting Dean brings up some very deeply repressed memories for Sky, and it teaches us how much healing the truth can bring. Please check trigger warnings because there are a couple. The second book in this series is the story of “Hopeless” but from Dean’s perspective, called “Losing Hope”. Overall, I really enjoyed this one and I would definitely recommend it!
Are you wanting a book that is going to stun and whip you from one emotion to another with roller coaster speeds? Then this is the one for you. This is very different than all of Colleen Hoover’s other novels, with it being a psychological thriller romance instead of an emotional romance. The plot twists will have you gasping like you’re watching a scary movie. You won’t be able to put this book down, so it is great if you are in a reading slump. I will never stop recommending this one!
“Ugly Love” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This book is beautifully written. I loved the storyline of Miles and Tate, and the way that she did the brother’s best friend trope without being too cliché. I loved the backstory given to Miles and that it felt really human. This book makes you feel the most intense versions of every emotion and I loved it.
“Reminders of Him” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Well, here we are, the winner of the title #1 Colleen Hoover book. Wow. This book was incredible. The storyline of tragedy and no one truly being at fault was so heart wrenching and compelling. I loved literally every character, especially Diem, the main character’s daughter. She was such an authentically written kid, just flexible and ready to go with anything and everything thrown at her. I cried, I laughed, and everything in between. It’s stunning and I’m so glad I read it.