The #1 Romance Book You Have to Read Right Now, Say Experts

This prequel to a beloved novel sold nearly a million copies in just 24 hours — and it lives up to the hype.

Colleen Hoover has given us some megawatt hits over the last few years, including the twisted page-turner Verity — a thrilling deviation from her typical romance books—and Reminders of Him, which features a juicy redemption plot. 

The prolific author also penned the insta-hit It End With Us, a daringly honest and heart-wrenching romantic novel that follows Lily, a kick-ass businesswoman, who meets a gorgeous neurosurgeon but still can’t quite get her first love out of her head. 

Now, Hoover’s back with It Starts With Us, the captivating and highly anticipated prequel-sequel to It Ends With Us — and experts are saying it’s the absolute must-read romance book of the season.


“No one —and I mean no one— writes an emotional, layered romance like Hoover,” says Meghan Volchko, librarian for Libby App and book lover. “In this sequel to her New York Times Best Seller-meets- TikTok smash, she returns us to the world of Lily and Atlas.”

She adds, “This time, allowing us to see Atlas’s side of the story along with taking us beyond the action of the first book. You will cry, sigh, and be taken on a journey like no one other than Hoover can map out.”

Christina Nicholson, a self-described bookie and TV host, tells HelloGiggles that It Starts With Us was so good that she read the romance book in less than a day.

“Hoover never intended to write a sequel, but her fans on #BookTok and #Bookstagram (Instagram) begged for more so we could all see where all the characters ended up,” Nicholson says. “The sequel picks up where the last book left off, but you’re hearing another person’s point of view in this one. It’s fabulous!”

Other readers are saying they loved the book, too. Bookfluencer @chloeannewriter writes, “This book is for the Lily and Atlas fans who wanted to see their happily ever after. I loved that about it. Thanks CoHo for being so thoughtful and putting the time in to create this for your fans.”

And @jessjustreads writes, “First off, if I could give this 10 stars, I probably would. Atlas HAS to be one of my favourite characters that Colleen Hoover has written!… The whole story had me tearing up, smiling, and saying “aww” out loud! I wanted more and literally slowed down reading it so it didn’t have to end!!” 

The book was only just released in October but has already amassed roughly 25,000 reviews on Amazon — with a hard-to-obtain 4.6-star rating, we might add.

Given those numbers, it should come as no surprise to learn that the book quickly soared to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list. And to add to the accolades, the novel also claimed the #1 spot on USA Today’s Best-Selling Books list basically overnight with nearly one million sales within the first 24 hours of its release. 

For those wondering — if you haven’t read It Ends With Us yet, this is a prerequisite for Hoover’s newest romance book. There are storylines and plot details that won’t make sense if you read the novels out of order. Sounds like some pretty good homework if you ask us, though.

Oh, and both are available on audio if you prefer to listen instead.

Wendy Gould
Wendy Rose Gould is a veteran freelance lifestyle reporter based in Phoenix, Arizona. She covers travel, wellness, pets, and beauty. Read more
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