Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Verify (Verify #1)” as Want to Read:
Verify (Verify #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Verify #1)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  358 ratings  ·  96 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
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  358 ratings  ·  96 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Verify (Verify #1)
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
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
Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it
3-3.5 Of course, the end of the book was the best.
*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
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
Jun 30, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr
Shelves: reviewed
this title just makes me think of:
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 isnothing 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 particularlycompelling contemporary about a girl
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
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
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 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
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
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 ...more
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.
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.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arcs, review-copy
*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
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 prettymehabout 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 control
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, dystopia
Ever since real life has veered closer to dystopia, I have avoided reading dystopias. However, I am a Joelle Charbonneau fanboy, ever since she pulled off a spectacular dystopian trilogy with The Testing. So with some trepidation, I dove into Verify.

As far as teen dystopias go, Verify does not exactly reinvent the wheel. Readers who’ve read even a little in this genre will see major story beats coming from a mile away. Merri makes some questionable decisions, though none so bad as to ruin the
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
I won an ARC of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I had no prior knowledge/expectations going into this book. I thought it was just okay. It felt like a mediocre YA book I would've read a few years ago. I'm interested in checking out Joelle Charbonneau's other books!
Becca Mee
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book blew me away in the best way. I've been a fan of Joelle Charbonneau's writing since the Dividing Eden series, so I knew whatever she was writing next was going to be good. I didn't expect it to be this good.

The book centers around sixteen-year-old Merriell Beckley, a young artist who has just lost her mother. She lives in a paperless society where crime barely exists. As Meri attempts to move forward with her life after the loss of her mother, she finds herself caught up with the
Melanie Dulaney
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, dystopian
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
Cross-posted from my blog:

I'm currently teaching a unit on dystopian fiction to my eighth graders, and I needed a novel to read alongside of them. I had recently picked up Verify by Joelle Charbonneau, so I decided to give that one a shot. I had read and mildly enjoyed Charbonneau's The Testing trilogy years ago, so I figured that this would be a pretty safe pick to read quickly and recommend to my students afterward. As I was to discover, I was only kind of right.

Oct 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed, 2k19
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss-2019
You can read my full review on my blog, The Writerly Way, here.

Many thanks to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for an eARC in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Verify is a world along the lines of Fahrenheit 451, where those in charge seek to change the narrative simply by controlling words. Control the words, and you control the past and the future.

And if that idea isn’t terrifying, I don’t know what is. This book was comped to Scythe, which instantly caught my attention (because duh). Besides
Jennifer Shanahan
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book once I got into it. Verify takes place in the future where technology has replaced everything that used to come in print including all books, textbooks, newspapers, magazines etc... Paper is not really used anymore for any type of writing. The government has complete control of the the content and spread of information that people are receiving. Meri, the main character--an only child, has just lost her mom who died in a car accident. Her death is still very fresh and ...more
Ingrid Petrine
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
I finally finished Verify by Joelle Charbonneau. It took me long and I read several other books in between because this didn't hold my interest enough.

There are parts I like a lot. The premise is good and I love reading books about books. Paper and paper books are banned, everything is digitalized, and the society is more peaceful and happy than ever. But what happens when the government decides which books, parts of history and even specific words shouldn't be brought into this new age of
Lena Montgomery
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it
I got this from Edelweiss to do an early review. I nabbed it because I liked that it was about books and that it seemed to have a lot to say on our current world.

But oh my gosh, did I almost put it down.

I had a really hard time getting into it. It was such a slow start and I really didn't see what the point was for a long time. Meri's world really wasn't all that different from ours in the beginning, which could be kind of scary if you think about it too much, but it just seemed kind of boring.
Aug 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: a2, september, harperteen, a3e, 2019
In a future version of Chicago, the death of a teenager's mother is the catalyst for her to begin questioning, peeling back the layers of her world to discover the truth hidden underneath.

The summary led me to believe this would be a bit different than it is. This isn't a world without lies so much as a world without questions from the public, which isn't the same thing at all.

The idea of removing words to control people isn't wasn't new when George Orwell made it famous in 1984...but
Aug 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, 2019
3 - 3.5 stars

Verify is a bit like a modern (and better) Fahrenheit 451 when it comes to its premise. Sure, it's a very different genre but books being taken away, the truth being bent and indoctrination into a patriotic and "everything is fine" kind of society are certainly very similar tropes. And, as Charbonneau takes this premise and updates it in a way that hits too close to home sometimes, this is definitely my favourite part of the book.

What I didn't like quite as much was, well,
Caradith Craven
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this futuristic story of a remnant underground group committed to preserving the written word and uncovering lies that are told by the government and a controlled press. In a society that believes everything, doesn't question what it is being told, and has no access to original texts and books, Meri Beckley discovers the truth. Once she does, nothing will stop her from revealing the fake news propagated by the government and news media.
Joelle Charbonneau is an extraordinary storyteller,
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Hive
  • Suggested Reading
  • Look Both Ways
  • Now Entering Addamsville
  • Rated
  • Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All
  • In the Hall with the Knife (Clue Mystery, #1)
  • What Kind of Girl
  • A Treason of Thorns
  • Maybe He Just Likes You
  • Run, Hide, Fight Back
  • I Hope You Get This Message
  • Crown of Oblivion
  • Dear Sweet Pea
  • The End and Other Beginnings: Stories from the Future
  • The Last True Poets of the Sea
  • Pet
  • The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1)
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

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