Over the past year, “BookTok” has become widely influential amongst the population of teenage girls, resulting in the widespread fascination with reading. Colleen Hoover, an American author, has become the source of many teenagers’ new interest in books. Hoover has sold over 20 million books, wrote half of the top 10 books in sales last year and achieved the top three books of 2022. Although these books have become quite popular, they have also become controversial due to the mature content being exposed to younger audiences. On the Colleen Hoover website there is a graphic providing the recommended age level for each of her books and many are recommended for ages 17 and older, with many of her readers being below this age. Park High students, Naomi Maurer, and Kamryn Miller, think that the recommended age level should be no younger than 13 years old.  

       Some have described the books to normalize abusive situations and give distorted ideas of romance, while others argue that they bring awareness to these situations and provide insight into how one might deal with certain circumstances. Maurer and Miller enjoy these books because they can relate to some aspects of the stories, and the books are entertaining and easy to read, but others find them predictable and notice that they tend to follow a certain formula. “I am a fan of anything that gets kids’ reading, but I wish that her books were written so I could have them in my library at the school.” said the school librarian, Kate Lende.  

       When asked, several PHS students agree that they would feel uncomfortable if their mother knew that they were reading these books due to the graphic romantic details and sensitive subjects, while others state that their mothers enjoy the books because they find them informative and realistic. Some mothers do question if their daughter is mature enough to consume this material, but the intensity of the content may vary for each book. Nevertheless, Hoover has proved to the younger generation that reading can be enjoyable, therefore inspiring them to seek more advanced material.