The film adaptation of Colleen Hoover’s ‘It Ends With Us’ marks the pinnacle of BookTok’s power


Sabrina Khan

‘It Ends With Us,’ a contemporary ro- mance novel by Colleen Hoover, has sat atop the New York Times Best Seller list for 84 straight weeks. Photo contributed by

Melina Khan, Editor in Chief

With the age-old pipeline of book to motion picture, movie adaptations of preexisting stories are far from uncommon. But as development for the film version of Colleen Hoover’s best-selling novel “It Ends With Us” advances, what sets the adaptation apart is the source of the story’s popularity: TikTok.

The book follows the story of Lily Bloom, a woman who aims to combat a generational cycle of abuse while both navigating a new relationship and attempting to move on from an old one.

Sales of the novel — originally released in 2016 — increased in the summer of 2021, a publisher from the book’s publishing house, Atria Books, told Publisher’s Weekly in September 2021. The book has sat atop the New York Times Best Seller list for 84 straight weeks, since June 2021.

Its rise in popularity five years after it was first published came thanks to a community of content creators who began discussing the book just under two years ago on a corner of TikTok known as BookTok. The community is maintained by videos reviewing novels, most often those in the contemporary fiction or romance genres. To date, the hashtag that houses #BookTok on the platform has been viewed more than 106 billion times.

Hoover’s more than 20 published books have long monopolized the BookTok community. Videos tagged with Hoover’s name or nickname, CoHo, have been viewed nearly 4 billion times on the app. Videos featuring “It Ends With Us,” her most popular book, have been viewed a collective more than 3 billion times alone.

Hoover even thanked the TikTok world in March 2022 for “single-handedly reviving” the book, which she said allowed her to buy a car for her mother, who initially inspired the story.

As Buzzfeed News reported in July 2022, the BookTok community has the power to turn internet popularity into real-world success and Hoover is the primary example of that. This sentiment has only been amplified by the news that “It Ends With Us” is set to be turned into a film.

On Thursday, Deadline reported that Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni are set to star in the movie, playing Bloom and Ryle Kincaid, respectively. Baldoni will also be directing the film. The movie is in the development stages, with no word yet on when it’s set to be released.

However, the announcement was not met without controversy because many users previously shared their own ideal cast for the film that didn’t include Lively or Baldoni. In protest of Baldoni’s casting, some TikTokers began tagging videos with #NotMyRyle. The tag has been viewed nearly 9 million times to date, further emphasizing the far reach of BookTok.

Regardless, the effect of the platform on the widespread success of “It Ends With Us” is undeniable. TikTok’s influence on popular culture has been explosive in the past few years, and this adaptation is just the latest example.

“It Ends With Us” won’t be the first or last example of BookTok entering the mainstream, either. Another fan favorite, “Daisy Jones and the Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, will be hitting Amazon Prime Video as a mini series in March.

Of course, social platforms don’t have an eternal lifespan, and TikTok— and BookTok, for that matter — are no different. But as the reach of the community continues to extend beyond a nook of the internet, it’s fair to say the power of BookTok is only at its height.