You’ve probably heard of Colleen Hoover, even if you haven’t gotten around to reading her books. Hoover has been publishing books since 2012. In the last few years she’s gained a huge social media following, catapulting her to the top of the bestseller lists. She’s now the second most followed author on Goodreads, right behind Stephen King, and a multiple #1 New York Times bestselling author.
So what’s the big deal about CoHo, as her fans call her? For one thing, Hoover is very candid about her life and honest about her “hot mess” moments. Readers love getting to know the person behind the books. And of course, the books are really good, well-written and emotionally powerful. Hoover’s stories often deal with tricky topics and don’t shy away from the dark side of love. I’ve read two so far and was really impressed with both. I see you, CoHo!
Wide range of fiction
Hoover is proud of writing a wide range of fiction. Her Goodreads biography says she is an author of YA, thriller, women’s fiction and paranormal romance. Hoover adds, “I don’t like to be confined to one genre. If you put me in a box, I’ll claw my way out.”
I started with Verity, which is a bit of an outlier among her books. It’s super suspenseful with big twists and an unreliable narrator, making me think of work by authors such as Lisa Jewell, Megan Miranda or Alice Feeney. My second pick was All Your Perfects about a couple deeply in love, but also struggling with infertility. I cried my eyes out.
If you’re looking for either meaningful relationship fiction or another twisty read to keep you up way too late, I’ve got you covered. Check out the books below to keep you reading while you wait for a Colleen Hoover book or after you’ve binged her books.
The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren
So, so good! This romantic story will get into your heart and give you so many feels. Christina Lauren is an author duo who are masters of creating characters you care about in memorable stories. Their novel Love and Other Words is one of my all-time favorites.
The Soulmate Equation is the story of a single mom who is done with the dating game. Then an opportunity to connect with her genetic soulmate comes along. Jess is a statistician, a facts person. She’s not sure she believes in soulmates. However, a new DNA-based dating app called GeneticAlly says she’s made a record-breaking 98% match with a man named River. If she’s willing to get to know him and spend some time with him publicly, the company will pay her. Jess is pretty sure the stubborn and stuck-up man she’s matched with couldn’t possibly be a good date, much less a soulmate. But she needs the money. As the two travel to events and get to know each other, Jess begins to reconsider her ideas about love.
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
Looking for a romantic read that will make your heart hurt in a good and beautiful way? Check out this story of romance, friendship and loss, with a tiny twist of time travel. Dannie has a 5-year plan. She knows where she’ll be working, and where she and her fiancé will be living. Then she wakes up five years in the future and nothing is right. She’s not married to her long-term boyfriend – she’s in bed with another man. When she’s snapped back to the current time, she knows she really saw the future. Dannie can’t help but wonder what happened. Is the vision she saw a destiny she can’t avoid? Or can she get back on track? At the heart of the story is a long-term friendship between two women who mean everything to each other.
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Check this one out if you’re looking for a relationship story that is not formulaic or cut and dried. It’s messy, like Hoover’s Ugly Love. In Normal People, a teenage romance results in an on-again off-again connection that changes two people’s lives forever. In high school, Marianne is a social outcast. She’s a wealthy girl who her is not well-liked because her peers think she is stuck up. Connell is well-liked, confident, handsome and athletic.
Connell’s mother is a housekeeper for Marianne’s family. When he stops by to give his mom a ride home from work, Marianne and Connell talk and connect. They begin exchanging books and seeing each other. However, Connell wants to keep the relationship a secret so his reputation won’t be damaged. Marianne is fully aware of the terms of their romance, but eventually it’s not enough and she cuts Connell off.
When they meet again in college, the roles have reversed. Marianne is comfortable with the mostly wealthy, elite crowd. Connell doesn’t fit in and feels out of place. As the two figure out who they are and who they want to be, their paths will diverge and cross. They are each trying to determine if the other has a final place in their future. Normal People is both painful and beautiful, a story you won’t forget.
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
If you’re looking for the twisty side of Hoover, you might love the work of Alice Feeney. She writes twisty suspense that will keep you up way too late to see what happens. Several of Feeney’s books are available on Hoopla with no holds as audiobooks.
My first Feeney was Sometimes I Lie. Amber comes to awareness in a hospital, in a coma. She can hear what is going on around her, but she can’t move or open her eyes. Amber hears she was in a car accident and the police think her husband had something to do with it. When she flashes back to the weeks leading up to the accident, she starts to piece together why she is there. Amber also flashes back to childhood, to a sometimes sinister 10-year-old’s diary, which never mentions her younger sister Claire. In pieces and fragments, the story slowly comes together. Although is changes just as you think you have a handle on what is true and what isn’t. You’ll never guess the ending!
The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
For more twisty goodness, check out this page-turner from Tarryn Fisher. Thursday has willingly entered into a plural marriage. She has never met the other wives and she only sees her husband one day a week. Thursday loves him so much that she doesn’t care. At least that’s what she told herself.
One day, while she’s doing laundry, she finds a scrap of paper in his pocket. It’s an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah who isn’t one of the wives. Thursday can’t help herself – she tracks Hannah down and, under false pretense, strikes up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who Thursday is.
Hannah starts showing up to meet Thursday with telltale bruises. Thursday realizes Hannah’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also Thursday’s husband. But he’s never been violent with her. Who exactly is her husband, and how far will she go to find the truth? Will she risk her own life?
If you love The Wives, you’ll definitely want to pick up Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher writing together. Two superstar authors in one book.