BookTalk: “Verity”

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Senior Christiannie Anderson discusses her likes and dislikes about Colleen Hoover’s “Verity.” A romantic thriller, “Verity” stands out from Hoover’s typical brand of romance.

After devouring a new thriller movie with your friend, you both agree to read a thriller novel together. You dive into the never-ending world of suspense with “Verity” by Colleen Hoover and you can’t help but turn every page with anticipation and a slight sense of dread. 

“Verity” is the story of Lowen Ashleigh, a struggling writer about to encounter financial ruin. At the point of total hopelessness, Lowen accepts the offer of a lifetime from Jeremy Crawford, husband of best-selling author Verity Crawford. She has been hired to complete the remaining books in Verity’s successful series following an incident that has left her unable to finish. Lowen moves into their home ready to sort through all of Verity’s notes and outlines in order to do Verity’s previous works justice, but doesn’t expect to find an unpublished autobiography that was never intended for anyone else to read. Filled with bone-chilling admissions, fast-paced plot, consuming suspense and a splash of romance, Hoover transports you into the world of Verity and all it has to offer- if you can handle it. 

Madi: Going into this book, I had heard a lot about it but simultaneously knew nothing. Luckily, I had avoided any spoilers and had a fresh view throughout. It’s disturbing yet page turning plot really intrigued me. I debated whether or not this was the book for me but once I got into it, I could not put it down. Throughout the story, Lowen is forced to confront numerous obstacles, including her own self-esteem. 

She is described as being somewhat awkward and self-deprecating, which adds to the dark and disturbing tone because in a story like this, I wouldn’t expect a confident and bubbly main character. If she was, it would be kind of a contradiction to the vibe of the story and would not allow for Lowen’s opportunity to grow. Another thing I really enjoyed about this story was the setting—first in New York then moving to Vermont. The New York setting emphasizes Lowen’s desire to remain “anonymous” and unseen. She longs to blend in completely, and what better place to do that than the busy streets of Manhattan. 

Chris: I went into reading this book the same way. My sister recommended it to me, gave me a copy and I read it in less than 24 hours. However, I do not recommend reading it into the night. It caused me to not be able to sleep, so I ended up reading till the end and finished it. What really intrigued me was when Lowen sorts through Verity’s things and finds the manuscript. At that point, the entire book changes. Lowen’s character does really add to the eerie feel of the story just because of her personality and past, as the story takes place right after her mom dies. As she reads the manuscript, we see so much of her thoughts and feelings toward all the deep and dark twists of the book. 

The setting plays a major part in the book, and I think that if the book was in any other place than Vermont, it wouldn’t have been the same story. The secludedness of the house is very new to Lowen because, like you said, she was very small in New York and now she plays a major part in important people’s lives in a more secluded area. 

What I found really strange actually was Jeremy’s role in the story because you can tell there is so much running through his head all the time and it really leaves his character with a lot of imagination. His relationship with Lowen grows stronger as the book goes along but during that time Lowen is faced with so many challenges like with trust and secrets. Especially when it comes to Verity, Jeremy and their son, the dynamic between this little family is so interesting. It prompts so many questions about the past and the present, what’s real and not real, and makes you want to finish it.

Madi: I completely agree. It’s so interesting to see Jeremy’s warring thoughts play out throughout the book. Even though it’s not told through his perspective, you can tell that he is struggling with something and that there is so much more to be dug up. I also really like how you touched on the point in the story where Lowen finds the manuscript. I feel like it is a big turning point that leads the story into its whirlwind plot and it allows you to get an even deeper look into her mind when she begins to piece things together. Hoover’s writing in this book is super easy to digest, so it’s a great read for anyone looking to get into thrillers. The way she creates the element of surprise is phenomenal and definitely had me putting the book down a couple of times to take a breather before picking it right back up. This book is a nice change from Hoover’s typical romances and is done really well for being her first thriller novel. However, it’s not for everybody so it’s best to look up warnings or summaries before going into it. 

Chris: Yes, I like that you highlighted that this is a thriller. Usually, Hoover’s novels tend to stay more on the romance side of things, but this one really dives into the creepy thriller genre. She executed it perfectly, and I’m quite happy that I decided to stick with it and finish it when I did. I remember telling all my friends to read it because of how much it was different from the other romances we all enjoyed reading. I really loved the entirety of the book and the ending was so mind boggling that I will forever remember it as one of my favorite thrillers.

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