Colleen Hoover is queen of the best sellers list. Who is she, and why are her books so popular?




There has never been an author who has dominated the USA TODAY Best-Selling Books list week after week like Colleen Hoover has in 2022. Sure, other authors have had multiple titles appear on the bestseller list for multiple weeks, but they have all fallen well short of Hoover, who has 15 titles on this week's list.

This year alone, the author has managed to write half of the top 10 books in sales. In only 10 years, she has gone from self-published newbie to bestselling powerhouse. And there is no sign of her slowing down.

So just who is Colleen Hoover, and how did she and her novels get so popular?

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 Author Colleen Hoover.
Author Colleen Hoover.  

Who is Colleen Hoover?

Colleen Hoover, 42, lives in a small town in east Texas just outside Sulphur Springs. She worked for several years in social work settings before becoming a counselor at WIC, a nutrition program for women, children and infants. While at WIC, Hoover began to pursue her writing career. She would write on a laptop borrowed from her mother during her off hours, often while one of her sons was at play rehearsals. She gave the novel to her mother as a Christmas gift, and not long after, she self-published it to share with friends and family. "Slammed" (2012) would become her first published novel and her first book to appear on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list. In total, she has written 22 novels and three novellas, and contributed to two anthologies.

What types of books does Colleen Hoover write?

Hoover's books fall into new adult and young adult genres. The subject matter varies. For instance, the author's interest in slam poetry heavily influenced "Slammed." Both the "Slammed" and the "Hopeless" series were inspired by Hoover's social work career.

But Hoover has explored different genres in her novels. For example, her interest in the paranormal led her to write "Layla," in which the title character survives a life-threatening attack, after which inexplicable things start happening around her. Hoover also has written thrillers and love stories with twists and turns involving heartbreak and mental health struggles.

Colleen Hoover: Author dominates best sellers list with 15 books, including 'It Ends With Us'

Book cover of
Book cover of  

Which Colleen Hoover book should you read first?

"It Ends With Us" is one of Hoover's most popular and well-received novels, and a good starting point. It has been the highest-ranking novel of Hoover's on the bestsellers list in anticipation of its sequel, "It Starts With Us," which arrives Oct. 18.

Many of Hoover's plot lines involve emotionally intense situations including sexual assault, surviving trauma, infertility and abusive relationships. If you want to start out with something less intense, try "Maybe Someday." For young adult fans, the "Slammed" series, "Regretting You" and "Without Merit" are good choices.

How did Colleen Hoover's novels become popular?

While Hoover has steadily had bestsellers since her debut on USA TODAY's list, her popularity has exploded in the past two years. Her sales surge can be attributed in part to her massive popularity on TikTok, particularly in the platform's #booktok subculture. Publishers Weekly chronicled the phenomenon when Hoover's 2016 book "It Ends With Us" started climbing the bestsellers lists in 2020.

Fifteen of Hoover's novels are on this week's list; "It Ends With Us" tops them all at No. 2. The novel, which has reached No. 1 before, has been on the list for a total of 76 weeks. Her latest novel, "Reminders of Him," now on the list, debuted at No. 1 in January.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Colleen Hoover: Who is she, and why are her books so popular?

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