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7 Emotional Colleen Hoover Books That Wrecked Me

October 1 2021
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The first time I read a book by Colleen Hoover, I knew she would be an author whose career I would follow. Her writing made me fall for the characters and swept me up in their stories. Each one of her novels is an emotional roller coaster. With each turn of the page, Colleen draws you into her characters’ lives and causes you to laugh, cry, scream, or gasp aloud. The majority of her books have happy endings, but the journeys to those happy endings aren’t always easy. Her characters endure gut-wrenching events and the books cover sensitive topics such as domestic abuse, miscarriages, and sexual assault. For this reason, I recommend you check for trigger warnings despite the spoilers below.

The titles in this list can be read in any order, as they’re all stand-alones. I recommend having a few feel-good reads to enjoy between these books, because they may emotionally wreck you.

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It Ends with Us
by Colleen Hoover

I’ve read nearly every one of Colleen’s twenty-two books, and IT ENDS WITH US has always been my favorite. Lily Bloom, who works at a marketing company in Boston, realizes she isn’t happy in her career and quits her job to follow her passion and open her own florist shop. When I first read this book, I was also living in Boston and working at a marketing agency with dreams of starting my own business, so maybe that’s why I felt as though I related so strongly to this character. When Lily meets the handsome but enigmatic Ryle Kincaid, a neurosurgery resident at one of the best hospitals in the city, she starts to think that her life is taking a positive turn. Sparks fly, and they fall for each other hard and fast. But their relationship isn’t all sunshine and flowers: the pressure of their jobs starts to take a toll, and Ryle is unable to control his temper. Lily knows that she shouldn’t stay with him, but she can’t imagine a life without him anymore. Spoiler alert/trigger warning: This book deals with domestic violence and abusive relationships.

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It Ends with Us
Colleen Hoover

In this “brave and heartbreaking novel that digs its claws into you and doesn’t let go, long after you’ve finished it” (Anna Todd, New York Times bestselling author) from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of All Your Perfects, a workaholic with a too-good-to-be-true romance can’t stop thinking about her first love.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. And when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life seems too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

An honest, evocative, and tender novel, It Ends with Us is “a glorious and touching read, a forever keeper. The kind of book that gets handed down” (USA TODAY).

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Ugly Love
by Colleen Hoover

Tate Collins first meets her neighbor Miles Archer when he’s passed out in front of her brother Corbin’s apartment. She soon finds out that Miles is her brother’s friend and a commercial pilot who’s constantly on the move. Due to his traumatic past, he doesn’t want to fall in love, and, as a nurse, she doesn’t have a lot of time for love either—but they can’t resist their attraction. They decide to pursue a casual-sex situation with two rules: Never ask about the past, and don’t expect a future. But like most situations that start out casual, this one ends up being quite messy—or ugly, as the title suggests. When Tate starts to have feelings for Miles, she can’t understand why he won’t open up to her, but we as readers uncover the trauma he’s still trying to sort through. This book made me yell, laugh, and shed a few tears. Spoiler alert/trigger warning: Tragedy related to a baby.

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Ugly Love
Colleen Hoover

#1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover’s heart-wrenching love story proves that attraction at first sight can be messy.

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn't think it's love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

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November 9
by Colleen Hoover

This book throws you right into the story. Fallon meets her father for lunch before leaving Los Angeles to move across the country and pursue her dreams of being a Broadway actress. Her dad is a royal jerk, and Fallon escapes to the restaurant’s bathroom. When she returns, her father continues to be an ass, which catches the attention of the guy in the booth behind them. He saves Fallon from having to continue dining alone with her father by pretending to be her boyfriend, Ben. They keep up the ruse until her dad finally leaves, after which they continue to chat, hitting it off. Since Fallon is moving soon, they decide to meet again the following year on the same date. They continue to meet up each year, sharing stories and catching up with each other. I started to wonder how their love story would last for long when they met only once a year, but Colleen Hoover knows just how to build the tension. During one of their meetups, Fallon becomes unsure whether Ben has been telling her the truth and starts to question him. This book was uniquely gripping and full of angst, but the ending was so satisfying.

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November 9
Colleen Hoover

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Confess
by Colleen Hoover

Owen Gentry is an artist in Dallas, Texas, whose recent work was inspired by confessions left by strangers on scraps of paper in a box outside his studio. On the night of his next showing, his girlfriend/employee breaks up with him and quits, leaving him to set everything up and manage the event on his own. Luckily, Auburn Reed walks past his studio just as Owen is running out of options, and he hires her on the spot to help him with the gallery showing. After the event goes off without a hitch, the pair grab a drink and get to know each other a little better. Auburn agrees to continue helping Owen with his monthly shows. Her motivations for doing so become clear once we discover her reason for moving to Texas. As with Colleen’s other novels, this one has a bunch of emotional ups and downs. CONFESS captivated me not only with its characters and plot but also with the art that’s sprinkled throughout the novel. Colleen worked with artist Danny O’Connor to depict the confessions of the novel in real paintings. I fell so in love with the artwork that I ended up buying a few prints from the artist to hang in my apartment.

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Confess
Colleen Hoover

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends With Us, a novel about risking everything for love—and finding your heart somewhere between the truth and lies.

At age twenty-one, Auburn Reed has already lost everything important to her. In her fight to rebuild her shattered life, she has her goals in sight and there is no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is keeping a major secret from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

To save their relationship, all Owen needs to do is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin.

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MENTIONED IN:

7 Emotional Colleen Hoover Books That Wrecked Me

By Saimah Haque | October 1, 2021

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Hopeless
by Colleen Hoover

This was the first Colleen Hoover book I ever read. It was a heavy hitter, but the way she wrote the characters had me racing through the pages. Sky Davis has been homeschooled her whole life, but when she turns seventeen, she convinces her adoptive mom, Karen, to let her attend public school for her senior year. That’s when she meets Dean Holder. Dean has a reputation around school for being a bad boy, but he’s also one of the most attractive guys in town. Dean is captivated by Sky; something about her draws him in, but he can’t quite put a finger on it. Sky tries to keep him at a distance because of his reputation, but he insists on getting know her better. The pair begin to spend more time together, and Dean realizes that he knows something about Sky’s past that could destroy her. He tries to protect her from the truth, but when the secret is revealed, her trust is shattered. Spoiler alert/trigger warning: This book deals with sexual abuse, suicide, and other sensitive subjects.

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Hopeless
Colleen Hoover

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of All Your Perfects and It Ends With Us comes the beginning of Sky and Dean’s passionate love story—where well-kept secrets threaten to opens wounds of a dark past.

Would you rather know a truth that makes you feel hopeless, or keep believing the lies?

Beloved and bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with the spellbinding story of two young people with devastating pasts who embark on a passionate, intriguing journey to discover the lessons of life, love, trust—and above all, the healing power that only truth can bring.

Sky, a senior in high school, meets Dean Holder, a guy with a promiscuous reputation that rivals her own. From their very first encounter, he terrifies and captivates her. Something about him sparks memories of her deeply troubled past, a time she’s tried so hard to bury. Though Sky is determined to stay far away from him, his unwavering pursuit and enigmatic smile break down her defenses and the intensity of the bond between them grows. But the mysterious Holder has been keeping secrets of his own, and once they are revealed, Sky is changed forever and her ability to trust may be a casualty of the truth.

Only by courageously facing the stark revelations can Sky and Holder hope to heal their emotional scars and find a way to live and love without boundaries. Hopeless is a novel that will leave you breathless, entranced, and remembering your own first love.

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MENTIONED IN:

7 Emotional Colleen Hoover Books That Wrecked Me

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Verity
by Colleen Hoover

Colleen definitely took a dark turn with this book, but I’m here for it! Verity Crawford is a bestselling author who, after a terrible accident, is no longer able to finish her successful series. Her husband, Jeremy, and her publisher decide to hire another writer to complete the series. That’s when Lowen Ashleigh comes into the picture. Lowen is a financially struggling writer when the opportunity to finish the Noble Virtues series falls into her lap. She heads to the Crawford home to review Verity’s notes so that she can start writing the next book. While digging through Verity’s office, Lowen comes across the manuscript of what appears to be Verity’s autobiography. Lowen can’t resist reading it, thinking it could help with the writing of the new novel, but she soon discovers shocking secrets that the Crawfords may never want revealed to the world. This book left me spiraling for days. I had to find someone to talk to about the story’s twists and turns, especially the one at the end. This novel is great to enjoy with your book club! Spoiler alert/trigger warning: This book deals with child abuse, abortion, and other sensitive issues.

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Verity
Colleen Hoover

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Too Late
by Colleen Hoover

Continuing the theme of dark romance, Colleen presents TOO LATE, a book that’s a bit spicier than some of her other novels. This story is told from the points of view of three different characters—Asa, one of the most notorious drug dealers on campus; Sloan, a young college student who’s dating Asa; and Carter/Luke, an undercover cop who’s working to take Asa down. Asa is toxic. He lies, cheats, and steals, and has some serious mental-health issues. But he’s also charismatic and manipulative. His illegal dealings bring in a lot of money, enough to cover the medical costs for Sloan’s ailing brother, Stephen. Carter goes undercover at the university and meets Sloan while attending classes. Though he doesn’t initially realize that she’s involved with Asa, he quickly finds out that she’s a victim of Asa’s crazy manipulations and isn’t affiliated with the drug trade. Carter and his partner, Dalton, know they need to find a way to get Sloan out of the situation safely, but Carter makes a mistake—he starts to fall for Sloan. Spoiler alert/trigger warning: This book deals with domestic violence, rape, and other sensitive issues.

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Too Late
Colleen Hoover

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MENTIONED IN:

7 Emotional Colleen Hoover Books That Wrecked Me

By Saimah Haque | October 1, 2021

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