Criticism follows Colleen Hoover’s adaptation of It Ends With Us

Leah Wilhelm, Reporter

Picture a bestselling book about domestic abuse that’s beloved by millions of readers. It starts conversations and opens people’s eyes to the real horrors of abuse.  Now imagine a coloring book based on the novel.

The backlash was swift and strong.  Colleen Hoover, author of 2022’s bestselling novel (It Ends With Us) announced then retracted an It Ends With Us coloring book. 

After being praised by USA Today for selling over 4 million copies of It Ends With Us and 800,000 copies of its sequel It Starts With Us, Colleen Hoover surprised fans with the idea of a coloring book meant to display key moments of the series’ first novel. The book was set to be released in April of 2023. 

Fans were less than thrilled with the announcement and several began to speak out against the idea. As a novel focused on domestic abuse, childhood trauma, and manipulation, many readers believed its release was insensitive to the several individuals who have had similar experiences. According to Pennsylvania Coalition against Domestic Abuse (PCADA), approximately 10,000,000 U.S citizens per year experience domestic abuse alone. 

Hershey High School sophomore Sydney Bogush read “It Ends With Us” and worried about the over commercialization of this issue.  “She should have chosen a better way to bring in money than to take a book that most people found sad and impactful and turn it into a lighthearted children’s activity,” said Bogush. “I’m sure it would sell, but not for the right reasons.” 

Bougush’s views were shared by several other readers over countless social media platforms. Only a day after the author’s announcement, Hoover apologized for her mistake and canceled plans for the adaptation, but several are still concerned about the message the coloring book sent. Domestic abuse is a serious topic not to be taken lightly. 

Many feel the adaptation degraded the seriousness of abuse. According to (PCADA) domestic abuse led to the death of seven in Derry Township in the year of 2021. Although the book’s pitch was insensitive it did lead to a spread of domestic abuse awareness over social media. 

In an interview with Prosperity Now, Mona Kafeel, Executive Director of the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation shares how awareness can help to end domestic violence. “It is an opportunity to bring the issue to the forefront, advocate for change, celebrate survivors, and mourn those who have tragically lost their lives to domestic violence.”