Verity by Colleen Hoover, released in December 2018 has mixed reviews from romance lovers.
Is this a romantic physicological thriller worth your time? Let’s find out in a romance fiction book review.
The narrative unfolds with Lowen Ashleigh at a vulnerable crossroads in her life. Struggling with the recent loss of her mother and facing financial hardships, she becomes the unexpected recipient of a proposition that could change her circumstances.
Jeremy Crawford, the husband of the renowned author Verity Crawford, offers Lowen a chance to complete Verity’s bestselling book series.
Verity, incapacitated after a severe accident, cannot finish her work, and Jeremy believes Lowen’s writing style aligns with Verity’s vision.
Lowen, initially hesitant due to ethical concerns and her precarious financial situation, ultimately accepts the offer. As she moves into the Crawford residence to immerse herself in Verity’s notes and outlines, she becomes privy to the complex dynamics of the Crawford family.
The mansion, with its eerie atmosphere and hidden corners, becomes a character in itself, contributing to the overall sense of suspense and unease.
The central intrigue unfolds when Lowen stumbles upon an incomplete autobiographical manuscript written by Verity. This manuscript, hidden among Verity’s belongings, serves as a confessional outlet for Verity’s darkest secrets and unfiltered thoughts.
The narrative structure alternates between Lowen’s present-day experiences and the revelations from Verity’s manuscript, creating a dual timeline that adds layers to the storytelling.
Verity’s autobiography is a psychological labyrinth, delving into her troubled past,
questionable choices, and the motivations behind her actions. It explores themes of guilt, trauma, and a warped sense of morality that challenges the conventional perceptions of Verity as a successful and loving wife and mother.
The manuscript becomes a narrative within a narrative, blurring the boundaries between fiction and reality, and inviting readers to question the reliability of the storyteller.
Lowen grapples with the ethical dilemma of whether to expose the shocking truths within Verity’s manuscript or to protect the image of Verity that Jeremy holds dear. The internal conflict adds a moral dimension to the story, complicating Lowen’s relationship with both Verity and Jeremy.
The growing emotional intimacy between Lowen and Jeremy further intensifies the suspense, as readers are left to wonder about the consequences of their connection.
As the tension escalates, Hoover skillfully utilizes the setting to amplify the psychological impact of the story. The Crawford mansion becomes a claustrophobic and ominous backdrop, heightening the sense of foreboding. Every creak and shadow contribute to the overall atmospheric tension, creating an immersive reading experience that goes beyond the traditional boundaries of the thriller genre.
The psychological complexity of the characters is a hallmark of Hoover’s storytelling. Lowen’s internal struggles, Verity’s enigmatic persona, and Jeremy’s unsuspecting innocence form a trifecta of perspectives that shape the narrative.
The intricacies of human relationships and the consequences of secrets and lies are explored with a keen psychological acuity that elevates “Verity” beyond a conventional thriller.
The climax of the novel is a masterful culmination of the building suspense. The shocking twist not only redefines the dynamics between the characters but also prompts a reevaluation of the entire narrative. Hoover seamlessly ties together the loose threads of the story, providing a resolution that is both unexpected and deeply satisfying.
“Verity” transcends the boundaries of its genre, offering readers a thought-provoking exploration of the nature of truth and the complexities of human behavior.
The thematic richness of the novel invites readers to reflect on the blurred lines between reality and fiction, morality and deception. It’s not merely a story of suspense but a profound examination of the human psyche.
“Verity” by Colleen Hoover offers a mixed experience. The book, which starts strong with an intriguing premise and compelling character dynamics, takes a turn that leaves the reader with conflicting emotions by the end.
One notable aspect of the narrative is the apparent shift in tone and pacing that occurs around the time when Lowen and Jeremy, two central characters, share an intimate moment. The plot becomes somewhat formulaic, and the manuscript, initially a source of suspense, loses its grip on Lowen’s interest. This shift can make the narrative feel stagnant, as the storyline begins to revolve around predictable events.
The climax and resolution of the story warrant sharp criticism. Regardless of which interpretation of the events is favored—Jeremy being the mastermind, the authenticity of the letter, or the reality of the manuscript—there are perceived plot holes and questionable character decisions.
You will find logical inconsistencies in the choices made by the characters, particularly in scenarios involving hiding crucial information and the believability of character amnesia.
The final twist involving the letter can be seen as a cheap attempt to leave the narrative unresolved in a way that feels forced.
However, the book is not all bad. I can list more good here than bad. Contrary to my complaints about the lack of characterization, I appreciate the depth in the personalities of the characters, distancing this criticism from physical appearances. The setup and buildup of the plot are commended, thanks to Hoover’s writing style, which is described as quick, descriptive, and engaging.
The moments of genuine horror and suspense are the strengths of the novel. Specific scenes, such as Verity’s eerie presence and the unsettling incidents involving Crew, are noted for their effectiveness. The portrayal of disturbing elements, including instances of child abuse, is acknowledged as chilling and well-executed. I would also praise the manuscript’s convincing depiction of Verity’s disturbed psyche, acknowledging the author’s ability to create genuinely unsettling moments.
In conclusion, “Verity” showcases Colleen Hoover’s talent for crafting an engaging thriller with well-developed characters and moments of genuine horror. The book successfully builds suspense and intrigue for most of its narrative. However, the criticisms regarding a perceived decline in quality in the latter part of the story, explicit content, and contrived plot points should be considered by readers who value a tightly woven and satisfying conclusion in their psychological thrillers.
Colleen Hoover – Author Background
Colleen Hoover is an American author known for her work in contemporary romance and young adult fiction. Born on December 11, 1979, in Sulphur Springs, Texas, she grew up in Saltillo, Texas. Hoover’s journey into the world of writing began when she self-published her debut novel, “Slammed,” in 2012.
“Slammed” quickly gained popularity and became a New York Times bestseller. This success marked the start of Hoover’s prolific writing career.
She followed up with a series of well-received novels, including “Point of Retreat,” the sequel to “Slammed,” and “Hopeless,” another bestseller that further solidified her position in the romance fiction genre.
Colleen Hoover’s writing is often characterized by emotionally charged storytelling, well-developed characters, and a mix of romance and contemporary themes. Her ability to tackle complex and poignant subjects has resonated with a broad readership.
In addition to her success in the romance genre, Hoover has ventured into young adult fiction with novels like “It Ends with Us” and “November 9.” These books have received critical acclaim for addressing relevant and sometimes challenging topics while maintaining a compelling narrative.
Colleen Hoover’s contributions to the literary world have earned her numerous awards and accolades. She has consistently demonstrated a knack for creating narratives that evoke strong emotions and connect with readers on a personal level.
Verity by Colleen Hoover: Navigating Twists and Tensions
In the realm of contemporary romance and young adult fiction, Colleen Hoover’s artistry shines. With emotionally charged narratives and relatable characters, she has secured her place as a bestselling author. Hoover’s ability to navigate complex themes ensures her enduring impact on readers seeking poignant and resonant storytelling.
And if you are hunting for more books for your reading marathon, check out our other fiction book reviews on our blog. We are sure, you will find something that you love.