7 Books to Read if You Love Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover is one the most popular current authors. You can’t scroll through Bookstagram on any given day without seeing at least one of her titles! From her website, Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty two novels and novellas. Hoover’s novels fall into the New Adult and Young Adult contemporary romance categories, as well as psychological thriller. 

I’ve read several of Hoover’s novels, some are incredible and others are just meh. But regardless of my opinion, her books are widely loved by readers around the world.

The only “issue” I have with her books is that they’re often referred to as romance novels when they’re not. Since I’ve gotten into romance, I’ve discovered this happens a lot. In order to be a romance novel, a book MUST have two things: 1) a love story that’s central to the plot and 2) a happy ending.

Not all of Hoover’s novels meet those criteria, nor do the one’s I’m recommending on today’s list. That doesn’t mean they’re bad books or worse than a romance novel, they’re just DIFFERENT.

So if you love Hoover’s style of ripping your heart out and then putting it back together again, here are seven more books that you’ll surely enjoy.

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Oh this book is one heck of an emotional roller coaster. I read it in a single day, which made the story even more intense. Or I should says stories plural because there are two different threads here. Hannah moves home to LA, meets up with an ex and is faced with a decision: to stay out with him that night or head home and take things slow. The book follows what happens in two different stories – what happened when she stayed and what happened when she went home. In each thread, things are revealed that the reader knows will affect the alternate story but those characters don’t know yet. It made for an intense reading experience, I was utterly hooked from the moment the two timelines popped up. It’s an interesting exploration of fate and destiny.

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

 As I mentioned above, this novel is often referred to as a romance but it’s not. I like to describe it as a love story between two platonic female friends. Dannie and Bella have been best friends since childhood. Now as adults, their friendship is tested in different ways, and the way they preserve is beyond moving. All of the characters in the story are flawed yet loving, which makes them wonderfully realistic and relatable. Even when they make “poor choices,” it’s easy to see why. This book had me laughing, cheering, gasping, and almost in tears. It’s a complex story, because life is complicated, and human hearts are complicated.

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

This was one of my top reads of 2021, it’s absolutely perfect! Our heroine Ruthie is 25 and she’s been working and living on site at a retirement community for six years. She prefers the company of the residents to people her own age. Teddy is a rebellious tattoo artist who just so happens to be the son of the owner of the company who just bought the retirement village. He’s Ruthie’s temporary new neighbor, oh and by the way he’s totally gorgeous and immediately smitten with Ruthie. This is a story about finding your own identity separate from your family’s expectations, and creating a chosen family. It’s also about recovering from childhood trauma and learning you are worthy of love. All the side characters are fantastic and the scenery is gorgeous, plus there’s some great humor.

Out of Love by Hazel Hayes

This is a love story told in reverse. The novel starts with a break up. We then go backward in time with the couple, to learn how they feel apart and how they had come together to start with. It’s an emotional, deep story which was particularly intense for me because the relationship and its demise reminded me a lot of my first marriage. It brought up a lot of sad and embarrassing memoirs. But it also reminded me there had been happy moments and that just because a relationship ends doesn’t mean it was a waste of time. Break ups are Universal, and anyone whose been though one (or a few) will relate to this beautiful story and appreciate the unique structure.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

I could tell from the beginning that this book was going to rip my heart out. That didn’t make it any easier. It’s a sprawling love story, of two people, who keep finding their way back to each other. At the core, this novel is about choices people make and how they deal with those repercussions. It’s also about navigating through the different stages of life. The second person writing style is a nice change of pace, and adds to the emotional intensity of the story. The writing itself is top notch, skillful use of dialogue and imagery. New York City is a character, and 9/11 is addressed beautifully. This wasn’t an easy read. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, though I’m grateful to have experienced it.

Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score

This book is truly something special, it had me feeling so many things. Knox is the grumpiest grump I’ve ever encountered in a romance novel. I didn’t like him at first but I came around as I got to know him, though he was always a bit too alpha for my tastes. He and Naomi had great chemistry and their witty banter was exceptional. This is a complicated story, about loss and grief and being disappointed by our loved ones. It’s also about hope and fresh starts. 

The No Show by Beth O’Leary

It’s difficult to discuss this book without spoiling it so I’ll keep things vague. I absolutely loved it so much! It ripped my heart out and put it back together, in the best way. The middle is a little confusing but the rest more than makes up for it. The author makes some choices while telling the story that feel manipulative but again, it’s worth it. It’s one of those books that you appreciate more once you’re finished than when you’re reading it.  It’s a love story for sure and has romance elements but it’s something all its own. 

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