It Ends With Us Coloring

It Ends With Us Coloring

By: MJ Lenk

February 7th, 2023

The name Colleen Hoover is no longer a stranger to the reading world. Thanks to Booktok, many writers and stories have been praised with reviews and recommendations, boosting their sales. 

Hoover’s book It Ends With Us — originally released in August of 2016 — became a familiar face due to its popularity on TikTok in 2020, causing it to then spend 79 weeks on the New York Times’ bestsellers list. The rapid rise of this story catalyzed sales of Hoover’s other books like All Your Perfects, Ugly Love and November 9th—all of which follow a young adult fiction and or romance genre.

Nevertheless, It Ends With Us remains different from the rest. This story follows Lily Bloom, the book’s main character and protagonist, and her relationship with Ryle Kincaid. This dynamic already begins rocky because the two want very different things: Lily wants a relationship and Ryle more of a hookup. Along with this chemistry, the toxicity between them escalates.

Lily is reminiscent of her first love, Atlas Corrigan, and has been reading her old journals that tell their story. Ryle exhibits incredibly insecure behavior throughout the novel, the most apparent is when he finds Lily’s journal and begins to connect doubtful dots.

Although Lily is not cheating on Ryle, he can’t help but think so, and it mixes dangerously with his aggression and abusive tendencies.  

Many readers and content creators have bonded over the love of the story and its intensity. Some will share their love of specific characters and ships over others. Some fans even went as far as to create a fan cast of who they’d want in a movie version of Hoover’s story. The most popular fan cast candidates include actors such as Sadie Sink, Abigail Cowen, Lily Collins, Louis Partridge, and Theo James.

Each fan-selected actor or actress was chosen due to their physical appearance and how similar they are to the characters described in the book, such as a girl and woman with light eyes and red hair to act as both younger and older Lily Bloom. 

Due to the story’s uproar and social media take over, its demand has led to a film adaptation. In July of 2019, Actor and filmmaker Justin Baldoni shared via Instagram that he will be working with Hoover to bring this story to the big screen.

Updates on the film and its timeline were not highly publicized afterwards, but fans remained persistent with Twitter demands, TikTok edits, and recommendations. In July of 2022, Baldoni shared a video with Hoover saying that they, along with a few select fans, were reading and reviewing the possible script for the film. 

However, the adaptations of Hoover’s book don’t stop there. In October Hoover released a second book titled It Starts With Us, which acts as a sequel to It Ends With Us, while also giving perspective from the character Atlas. More recently, Hoover announced that an It Ends With Us coloring book could be expected in April.

She did not get the accepting feedback she was probably expecting. Both fans of the novel and those who strongly dislike the story due to its contents agreed that a coloring book was incredibly inappropriate.

There was an obvious confusion on what coloring pages could be created for a story like this. A page where you color in Lily’s bruises? Perhaps the staircase Ryle pushed her down? Maybe the broken casserole dish that Ryle burnt his hand on and then smacked Lily for laughing at? 

There is no right way to execute a coloring book for a novel that focuses so heavily on domestic violence, gaslighting, manipulation, and as some have described as, “trauma porn”. These are the factors that cause the other half of readers to have a distaste for Hoover, claiming that she is capitalizing on real world traumas and romanticizing toxic relationships. 

When interviewing Olivia Householder, a student here at Michigan State University, about her thoughts on It Ends With Us she said, “I liked it and thought it gave a good insight on domestic violence that [Lily] went through. It portrayed the story well. Even though I think it’s a little hypocritical because [Hoover’s] son has sexual assault allegations against him.” 

The scandal Householder referred to resurfaced in December of 2022, as more evidence was collected on Hoover’s son, who snapchatted a 16-year-old asking for inappropriate photos when he was 21.

Colleen Hoover has publicly addressed these allegations and said she dealt with the matter privately. This furthers the argument made by some readers that her books glorify abuse, as she fails to recognize wrong-doing. 

Furthermore, when asking Householder if she thought an It Ends With Us coloring book was doable she answered, “No, I think it is insensitive to people who really related to the book and the point of view of the person in an abusive relationship, and it’s just insensitive in general.” This opinion seems to agree with the majority of individuals who responded to the idea. 

Since the initial announcement, Hoover has canceled the creation of a coloring book and issued an apology post on Instagram. She admitted her idea was “tone-deaf” and said “I hear you guys and I agree with you.” Atria Books also issued a statement on not moving forward with the project and thanked fans for “honest conversation.” 

There have since been no new updates on the expected film, and it is safe to assume that there will be no more proposals for It Ends With Us merchandise or further adaptations.

MJ Lenk is a senior English major with a concentration in Creative Writing. She aspires to work as an editor for a major publishing house, and to publish her own work as a writer and poet. In her free time she resets by spending time with friends and family and for hobbies she enjoys  writing, reading, art, cooking, and exploring new places.