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(Verify #1)

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  1,571 ratings  ·  318 reviews
Meri Beckley lives in a world without lies. When she turns on the news, she hears only the facts. When she swipes the pages of her online textbooks, she reads only the truth. When she looks at the peaceful Chicago streets, she feels the pride everyone in the country feels about the era of unprecedented hope and prosperity over which the government presides.

But when Meri’s
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by HarperTeen
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Emily No, this book is pretty clean! A few occasional d*mn's and h*lls, but that's about it. The romance is quite clean, with one or two kisses. Romance is …moreNo, this book is pretty clean! A few occasional d*mn's and h*lls, but that's about it. The romance is quite clean, with one or two kisses. Romance is not at all the focus of the book.(less)
Harlee Quote from the book:"dish water blond hair, pale hazel eyes, and average height are not model material" I don't believe it gives much more description…moreQuote from the book:"dish water blond hair, pale hazel eyes, and average height are not model material" I don't believe it gives much more description of her than that though. (less)

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May 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Joelle Charbonneau has good ideas. I’m always down for a book that’s taking on censorship, and I love me some dystopian fiction. But this book was a mess.

1. Timeline. We have no idea when this taking place, except for that it’s “decades” from now. You expect me to believe that in the span of 60 years (or 70, or 80, depending on which part of the book you’re at, because there’s no internal consistency here), the government was able to completely erase several words to the point where our charact
Jul 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
2019 is not shaping up to be a year of great reads for me, particularly in the way of ARCs.

Verify might have been able to stand on its own at the height of the dystopian frenzy in 2012-2013. The idea has been done before, the characters have been done before, and the tropes have also been done before, yet there is just enough originality, and definitely enough similarity to the top ya dystopian novels that it could have slipped in under the radar and make the author a small bucket load of money
Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it
3-3.5 Of course, the end of the book was the best.
Jun 09, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't my favorite, but still okay overall.

The main problem for me was that I couldn't connect with the characters, and that, unfortunately, was a bit of a deal breaker for me. Since relating to characters is often what really makes me enjoy a book, I felt myself skimming through a lot of it. I felt like the storyline was very interesting and had a lot of potential, but it just wasn't executed properly.

The plot was interesting enough, though. I was intrigued by the events taking place
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult, Dystopian
*Rating* 3.5


Verify is the first installment in author Joelle Charbonneau's Verify duology. This is a series that may legitimately be compared to Fahrenheit 451, and Orwell's 1984. 16-year old Merriel (Meri) Beckley hasn't been the same since her mother died. She hasn't applied for the City Art Program which is one of Chicago's most desired places to work. Her father started drinking heavily, and on top of all of that, Meri witnesses someo
Gerardine  Betancourt
Verify is the first book in Joelle Charbonneau Verify duology.
With a slight resemblance to Fahrenheit 451 but YA we find ourselves in a future where the government has removed physical books, words from our vocabulary and they are censoring the reality of what is happening around us. The main character is a 16-year-old girl called Merri that begins to discover that perhaps not everything is as it seems after witnessing an arrest of an individual for having a piece of paper.
I understand everyon
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
Verify is the first book in a new YA futuristic/dystopian duology.

I have previously read a bunch of books by this author, including her popular The Testing series. So I was excited to see the author's newest book.

The narrator of this book is 16 year old Merriel/Meri (1st person POV). The story takes place in Chicago some time in the future (maybe 70+ years).

This book starts shortly after Meri's mom has died. The world is very different than the one we live in now. Paper is obsolete. There is no
Reading is my Escape
This is an amazing book about the power of words & truth and how they can change lives. When I looked at this book and saw reviews referencing Fahrenheit 451, I was excited because I read that book recently. The idea that government removed words from our vocabulary and pushed their reality to make people believe that crime had been eradicated instead of hidden isn't really so farfetched. Meri buys into the government's truth until her mom is killed and Meri is accidentally exposed to the truth. ...more
Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Nice promising new series. I have to know what happens next to the main characters and the plot . I did not like the insta love and some plot holes but otherwise the book was fine .
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight .

I genuinely thought that this was a contemporary book about a girl dealing with the loss of her mother until about 30% in. (I don't read synopses before I start a book, so sue me 🤷‍♀️) The thing is, there is nothing at the start to indicate that it's taking place in a different time period/world than our current one. Also, it wasn't even a particularly compelling contemporary about a gi
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Dystopia fans that don't mind plot holes
Recommended to Ashley by: The library
This was an interesting book to read. I think there were a few strong points that stopped me from knocking it down a star but overall it was a very basic dystopia with a few plot holes you just couldn't ignore.

The Setting:
This book takes place in Chicago, but very different from the one we know. This one is nice and idealistic with only screens and pretty scenes or is it...? Overall in the beginning I found the book really preachy about the dangers of not reading any books outside of online
Verify tries to reach out to our generation with a warning message. Stay alert, read more books, be aware of what is going on in your world or someday the government is going to control your whole life by taking away words which in turn narrow the way people think, and then if anybody else DARES to speak of these words they are going to hunt HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE until EVERYBODY falls in line...*

Seems a tad unrealistic, yet at the same time, seems like small potatoes next to the daily
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Compelling and a bit scary, Verify is a book that needs to be read by many teens.

Meri's world, a future Chicago, is as close to a utopia as any city has ever been. Everyone and everything is safe. There is no poverty and very little crime. The environment has been preserved, partly by getting rid of paper. All communications are done electronically. Miri believes everything she hears on the three TV channels that have been provided by the government. What else is needed? Citizens are paid for tu
I may have never dared to thread the complexities of Fahrenheit 451, but when Moonlightcrate spoke about a book where a heroine is fighting for the return of books, I was instantly captivated. Regrettably, the content wasn’t as absorbing as the premise.

Bias and free opinion is non-existent in Meri Beckley’s world. A new hope is spreading among everyone now that only the truth gets shared. Meri is fairly happy, until her mother ends up dead, and Meri has no idea why. Pushed forward by grief, she’
Melanie  Brinkman
Protect the truth or you might never know it's been lost.

Meri lives in a world that's as close to perfection as possible. In a peaceful, environmentally friendly Chicago, she's full of pride and at peace with the wonders the government has given the country. But when Meri's mother dies in an astonishing accident, no one seems to question it. Desperate for answers, she tries to understand the parts of her mother's legacy that remain. She never expects to uncover a whole world of hidden truth. Sud
Jackie ϟ Bookseller
I received an ARC of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

"The only way we can be sure what we want to do when we go out into the world is to first understand what is happening in it."

2.5/5 stars: ★★1/2☆☆

Meri has grown up in a world where nothing one hears should ever be questioned. The government never lies. Her teachers never lie. The news never lies. Everything she has ever heard must be true, and everyone around her seems happy and carefree because of that. But when
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed the first installment to Ms. Charbonneau's new "Verify" series. This new series delves into the world on censorship where the news is only what the city wants you to hear. There are no books and no paper. Yes, there is no violence, no guns, etc., and everything seems honky dorey. But, like they want you to believe, things are not as they seem. Anyone who goes against what they say just disappears. Meri's mother was run down "by accident" the police say but again, Meri finds out th ...more
Tasha  Ní Mhiacháin
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“The things on the screen aren’t real. What we can touch – that’s real.”

This book has really made me think.. Technology has advantages but with it comes separation, instead of calling to see a friend you send a text. Instead of kids going outside to play, they turn on a console. Instead of picking up a book, you turn on a device.. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kindle and audio books but it has me thinking..

In schools they are trying to get rid of textbooks to replace them with tablets. It’ll s
This was... Okay. It was one of those books that suffered from the intended message taking over the story, to the point where the plot and characters are pushed aside. I never connected with the story, nor its characters, and some of the situations were laughable.

With that being said, I know I'm a critical reader which is the only reason I didn't rate this lower than 3 stars. I can see people, especially younger YA readers, looking past some of the technicalities that I found myself irritated by
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review is hard for me to write. I really liked the concept behind the book, and the ending, in particular, bears real promise. However, the execution felt lacking.

Meri is fairly surface level as a main character. Other than being driven by grief around her mother's death, we don't know that much about her. And she pushes back against what she learns, but then like a day later is fully on board to the extreme? Meh.

The book also doesn't really deal with anything in it much, though I suspect
Mayuri Hullur
Apr 30, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like the dystopian topics, just more modernized.
Recommended to Mayuri by: English teacher for an assignment
I liked the concept of the book, but Meri (the main character) was slightly annoying, and the plot was very not well spread out. It was slow at the beginning and rushed at the end, and there was a very bad cliffhanger because it's a series. Other than that, this book featured many dystopian themes such as censorship, restricted use of technology, and it reflected books like 1989 and Fahrenheit 451. It wasn't a terrible book, just not the best one either. ...more
Gregory Taylor
Fascinating, timely premise -- boring execution.
I really wanted this to be better. :(
Jul 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: review-copy, arcs
*I received a copy via the publisher in return for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.*

Meri Beckley is forced on the run when she discovers the world she lives in isn’t as truthful as she was thought it was. Months after the death of her artist mother, Meri tries to understand her mother’s thoughts in her unfinished pieces. Then one day, someone thrusts a piece of paper in her hands with one world: verify. There she discovers questions no one is willing to answer an
Brenna Clark
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks so much to Edelweiss for this ARC! When I was looking through their selection of eARCs, this cover stood out to me. I clicked it, and the first thing my eyes laid upon was the comparison between it to Scythe, which is my favorite dystopian novel. I instantly clicked Request, knowing that I would love it. I'm happy to say that I was able to verify that fact as I finished it today!

We are shown a world much different from our own via Chicago some decades from now. Crime has been obliterated.
Melanie Dulaney
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian, ya
Chicago! The Windy City with The Pier, Grant Park, The Magnificent Mile and probably even The Bean! But this is future Chicago and one we all probably hope for: almost non-existent crime, no gangs, revitalized neighborhoods, and all manner of people living the good life together. Meri never had any reason to think that there was anything sinister behind such a phenomenal shift from her present-day United States and beloved Chicago and that of just 30 years ago. But then her mother is killed and ...more
Fast read that I'm upset I didn't realize was a first in a series before I began reading.

Verify showcases that when we get rid of the printed word we open every book to censorship and erasure. It reminds us that a small group of people can make a difference, if they're willing to take that dangerous stand.
Cameron [Beacon Book Box]
One of my most anticipated 2019 reads and it did not disappoint! Charbonneau knows how to craft a good story and I was hooked from the start.
Jessi (Novel Heartbeat)
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-star

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

I have some pretty mixed feelings about this book, but overall I feel pretty meh about it. Which makes it hard to review.

The concept was fairly awesome. And kinda scary, really: In the future, there are no physical books or written words (they're not banned, but people get paid to turn in paper and there's a tax for using it, so they're super rare) - basically everything is digital. Which leaves the government to con

Not great. The longer I think about it, the more I feel I'm being exceedingly generous with two stars. Granted, I have read books much worse, but this is one of the worst ones I've read recently.

I do think the author had good intentions. She was trying to write something meaningful with a good message, but this book thinks far too highly of itself. I kept thinking how much better Fahrenheit 451 is. She was obviously going for similar themes.

First off, the whole plot makes zero sense. Maybe if
Mara (marasfoldedpages)
Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me this novel for an honest review!

This is a story about morals. About the difference between what's right and wrong, who to trust and how to believe them.
I really enjoyed this dystopian novel! In a world where paper is obsolete and becoming illegal, the concept was very interesting and eye opening to me. The beginning did build kinda slowly, and I do wish there was more action. However, halfway through the novel the moral complications began to sur
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YA Apocalyptic an...: July BOTM: Verify (Verify #1) by Joelle Charbonneau 1 10 Jun 25, 2020 01:22AM  

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I am a storyteller at heart. I have performed in a variety of operas, musical theatre and children's theatre productions across the Chicagoland area.

While I'm happy to perform for an audience, I am equally delighted to teach private voice lessons and use my experience from the stage to create compelling characters on the page. I am the author of the Rebecca Robbins mystery series (Minotaur Books)

Other books in the series

Verify (2 books)
  • Disclose (Verify #2)

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When author Amor Towles published his second novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, in 2016, everything changed.   Towles’ first novel, Rules of...
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“Words have power. They are the way we pass along history and knowledge and thoughts and ideas. Sometimes conflicting ideas about the same subject. Books - real books like the one in your hands - give everyone equal access to those ideas. Limit the words people can see and you limit their power. Limit the words heard on the news and you shrink people's understanding of the world to what you want them to see. [...] Is it really a choice if you aren't able to see all the options?” 0 likes
“[My great-grandfather] warned my grandfather before he died about the danger of destroying books, because, no matter the justification, the action is always meant to eliminate the ideas and the history those books contain. History can only be rewritten if no one remembers the way it existed before.” 0 likes
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