Bestselling author Colleen Hoover apologized for a planned coloring book based on her novel about domestic violence, “It Ends with Us,” following criticism from readers, and announced that the project will be canceled.
Hoover posted a statement on her Instagram story, which disappeared after 24 hours but was widely reported by media outlets and on social media, apologizing for the “tone-deaf” idea.
“The coloring book was developed with Lily’s strength in mind, but I can absolutely see how this was tone-deaf. I hear you guys and I agree with you. No excuses. No finger pointing. I have contacted the publisher to let them know I would prefer we don’t move forward with it. Thank you for the respectful discourse and accountability. Nothing but love,” she wrote.
“It Ends with Us” is the story of a young woman, Lily Bloom, detailing her descent into an abusive relationship and her eventual escape from it, while recalling her childhood growing up in an abusive home. Hoover has said the novel’s central relationship is based on her parents’.
On the popular site Goodreads, users had given the planned coloring book an average rating of one star, criticizing the decision to release a coloring book based on a story about domestic violence.
“I don’t even know what to say,” one user commented, while another wrote, “This is not okay. This coloring book shouldn’t be a thing.
Hoover’s publisher, Atria Books, confirmed the cancellation of the coloring book, saying in a statement: “Atria Books will not move forward with the publication of The Official It Ends with Us Coloring Book. We developed this book to be uplifting and empowering, mirroring Lily Bloom’s story; we appreciate the feedback and discourse and have the greatest respect for Colleen Hoover’s fans.
“Thank you for the honest conversation and passion for the world Colleen has created in her books and the character within.”
Hoover is currently the United States’ bestselling novelist, with six of the top 10 bestselling individual books in 2022, according to figures from NPD BookScan. She sold 14.3 million print books in the US last year alone, more copies than James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and John Grisham combined, NPD BookScan told CNN.
“It Ends with Us” was first published in 2016, but it gained popularity on TikTok two years ago and has remained on the New York Times Best Sellers List for 82 weeks, as of January 13.