The Controversy of Colleen Hoover’s “It Ends With Us”


Cami Trauschke, Staff Writer

The book “It Ends With Us” tells the story of Lily Bloom, a young woman who moves to Boston after graduating from college. The novel begins with Lily on the rooftop of her new apartment building, where she meets a guy named Ryle and they start a relationship. However, things become complicated when her first love, Atlas, returns to her life, causing her to question her feelings for Ryle and if their relationship is all that great. 

When Lily first encounters Ryle, he implores her for physical and emotional closeness. However, he expresses his desire for a fling, whereas she is seeking a committed partnership. When she declines his advances, he persistently knocks on 29 doors in her apartment complex until he finds hers and persists in his pleading. Despite her rejection, she eventually gives in and they enter into a relationship.

Ryle begging for attention is one of the most controversial parts of the book. When she doesn’t comply at the time they first meet, he leaves angry. Knocking on every door can be seen as creepy rather than romantic. This is upsetting and scary to people because the book describes this as a romance novel, while this can seem more like stalking. This concept can be very dangerous for young people to read as they will think this type of behavior is normal. The reality is, this is emotional manipulation. Lily is coerced into doing something because she doesn’t want to hurt Ryle, pinning her kind nature against her real desires.  Ryle shows very big red flags which Colleen Hoover writes as romantic. 

Ryle and Lily were the right person at the wrong time. He clearly isn’t ready for a relationship and is not ready for Lily.” -Kiara Hidalgo, junior. 

As her relationship with Ryle starts to bloom, she runs into her first love, Atlas. We are introduced to Atlas through Lily’s high school journal, where she recounts finding him homeless in her backyard after his mother kicked him out. Lily takes him in and provides him with shelter. They develop a romantic relationship, but it ends when Atlas graduates and goes to cooking school. 

While reading the journal entries from Lily’s high school experience, it is noteworthy that she addresses them to Ellen Degeneres. This sparked another bit of controversy, as Colleen Hoover in the past has been known to be somewhat homophobic in her books. In her book, Maybe Someday, the main character, Sydney Blake, says her biggest flaw is when she kissed a girl. Readers gave her backlash for this and have said that Lily addressing her journal entries to Ellen is a copout for Colleen Hoover to say she is an ally. It can be seen as a lazy attempt at diversity, especially using one of the most infamous gay people, as Ellen herself has gotten her own amount of backlash for being mean to her employees on her show. 

Readers have often compared Colleen Hoover’s writing to Wattpad, an app where anyone can release a story. Wattpad is usually known for young teens who like to read fanfiction, which is most of the time seen as ‘cringe’ by the older generation. The storyline of the book is far-fetched and cheesy. It’s widely understood that staying with your high school lover is unlikely to succeed. Lily grew up in Maine with Atlas, and it just so happened that they both moved to the same part of Boston at the same time. 

But the question is, why is this book so hyped? It all starts with the media. A reader will recommend an amazing book that you just can’t miss out on – and in many cases, it is Colleen Hoover. TikTok is notoriously known for making things viral instantly. The hashtag #BookTok has been trending since 2020 and has been especially prominent with quarantine going on.

“I feel as if the book is overhyped and just popular because of TikTok. I do not think that a problematic author should be getting as much praise as she is.” -Lydia Pastorelli, junior.

The novel ends with Lily getting pregnant and leaving Ryle due to his abusive behavior. Despite this, the book is classified as romance, which has upset many readers. Abuse is not romantic, and some speculate that the author is trying to romanticize their relationship. The book should be categorized as fiction rather than romance since the main message is that the cycle of abuse ends with Lily and her daughter.