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Verity

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2019)
Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity's notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn't expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity's recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen's feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife's words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

323 pages, Paperback

First published December 7, 2018

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About the author

International and #1 New York Times bestselling author of romance, YA, thriller, women's fiction and paranormal romance.

I don't like to be confined to one genre. If you put me in a box, I'll claw my way out.

My social media username is @colleenhoover pretty much everywhere except my email, which is colleenhooverbooks@gmail.com

Founder of www.thebookwormbox.com charity and Book Bonanza.

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Profile Image for Mareeva.
347 reviews4,228 followers
October 5, 2022
2.5 stars?

This was straight-up hilarious. The funniest creepy book ever written. Did I hear that people cried while reading this? I sure hope it was tears of laughter (or pain) because y'all need to explain.

🛑SPOILERS🛑

So I got a real important question here.....how is it that main characters always read about the most pressing issues so damn slow? Like are you actually about to tell me this woman, this author, read one chapter of the manuscript per a ....day? She took WEEKS to read 19 bloody chapters. I would binge that shit in an hour. Hell, I bet even Jeremy read it in 3 seconds. But she took her sweet time like the annoying little vermin she is.

Immediately I want to express just how much the heroine ruined this whole book for me. Reading from her POV was like taking a knife, exposing every nerve in my body, and pouring vinegar all over them. To be truthful I don't even remember her name. Every time it was spelt out, I read it, then instantly like my brain knows self-preservation, it erases the letters as if I never saw them. Loren? Mulan? Rowan? No clue.

She kept thirsting for Jeremy, shoving her nose in Verity's business, and gatekeeping everything she learned from the hero. I mean I guess his wife did try to kill her children about a million times out of a sick obsession......but that doesn't concern you love, put down the manuscript🙂

It drove me CRAZY every time Lemon finished a chapter and had to put her two cents in. Oh but she's so evil😢, oh but she's so callous🙄, she's just so horrible😩. like shut the fuck up already, you nosy, home-wrecking ass bitch. I hope you never get a good night's sleep again for what you did to my psychotic icon.

I find it fitting that the villain and a character that in a sense was meant to be unlikable was my favourite the whole time.

Verity really did the most while doing nothing at all.

That includes:
💅Pretending to be in a vegetative state for months on end
💅Opening her eyes ONLY when Leren was watching
💅Running around the house like Casper the ghost
💅Messing with the TV to scare the shit out of Loren
💅Traumatising her son even more than he already was by talking to him

Safe to say Lupon was crying, shaking, throwing up from fear < and I mean like literally, she did do all three of those at one point or another💀.

Whereas usually I'd be shivering in me timbers right along with the heroine, the horror aspect of this book followed by Wulun's dramatic reactions were too fucking funny, it distracted me.

I put my hand on the mattress to lift myself up off the floor, but immediately shift backward onto my palms when I catch Verity watching me. Her head is in a different position, turned to the right, her eyes on mine.


description
How I imagined Verity every time she'd unexpectedly turn her creepy head on the heroine😭😭 Alright I do apologise for that one but come on.... You can tell Verity, that silly goose, was having the time of her life and so was I.

my blood runs cold when my eyes are pulled to the figure standing at the top of the stairs. She’s just standing there, watching her husband as his mouth roams over my breast.
My entire body stiffens beneath Jeremy.
Verity’s fists clench at her sides before she rushes back in the direction of her room.


Whoever thinks that letter was real, explain this comedy (which is actually much funnier with context I promise). I was half fully hoping Verity would chase her petrified ass around the house to really seal it in, the traumatisation and future years of therapy that is.
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So many missed opportunities😔

I bet every time she rose from her "coma" and gave Lavan another premature heart attack, she giggled like a maniac before carrying on with her bullshit. Really for that reason alone (making Lowyn age 10 years every time she took a breath), Verity will remain my fav.

I actually cannot believe Jeremy fell in love with an old, smelly sock of a character that is Lavash after being married to his genius wife. Talk about a downgrade. ONCE AGAIN DID SHE MURDER CHILDREN?? Yes, but at least she wasn't creepy. I know many might disagree but I found Louwon way more hair raising. I mean the sleepwalking?? Straight outta a horror movie.

He fell asleep while I was in the bathroom, attempting to abort his daughters with a wire hanger.


And look.... Verity is pro choice😌💅

You must understand that although the suspense was okay and plot twists, even if below average, were at least emotion-inducing.... the romance was the blandest, stalest, dullest, dryest, most flavourless, and uninspiring piece of crap I've ever read. EVER.

In fact, I even scrounged up some fan castings for you guys. I had such a clear picture of them in my head, I just had to share<3

🥵Jeremy:
description

🥺Luman
description

Their sex scenes were also about as hot as you'd expect two pieces of wood humping each other would be.

Anywho the ending? We're not gonna talk about it. And not even because I was mad or shocked, I simply didn't care. Verity carried this book and she was kinda brain dead for 99.9% of it, nothing will change that power.

EDIT 08.2022: 8 months later and I've decided we're gonna talk about the ending. Here's a hot take. If I HAD to pick a team, I'm gonna choose the letter. As we've already established, The FMC was a sleepwalking red flag and MMC wasn't any better. Personally being impressed with the author's ability to manipulate her readers is one of my favourite feelings, so Jeremy and the Lochness monster turning out to be the real villains would be a phenomenal plot twist... WOULD BE if this book was written better, with smart (but not obvious) foreshadowing. Unfortunately it wasn't, so the manuscript being legitimate is a more satisfying thought meanwhile the letter a more infuriating one.

all in all:
I know it seems like I really hated this book but if you squint a little YOU WILL SEE that I did mention some positive highlights. Like this being a comedy. A+ miss Hoover. Or how Verity was the determined, obsessive psycho of my dreams. And I did actually get sad during one scene (When Jeremy pulled his daughter out of the river).

Yuh that's about it.

EDIT 10.2022: I've read the bonus chapter and I liked it because they are all suffering😍
Profile Image for words stay.
259 reviews
December 29, 2022
Full Review: Maybe I should stop reading Colleen Hoover, maybe its not these books and it's me. Anyhow, I am thinking the reason I keep coming back is because, her plots are very interesting and the execution always falls flat.

OK...where do I even begin with this mess?

The story was captivating, probably the best plot I've seen in Colleen Hoover books so far. Everything else sucked. The characters were shallow and convoluted, I tried my best to relate to Lowen, but I disliked her just as much as I dislike Colleen Hoover's other main characters. They all have similar personalities and nothing to offer. Maybe because they sound so righteous but are wrong is many places. All the characters she writes are cookie cutter adult contemporary heroines, wrapped in tragedies and trying to get through life. There is no distinct 'voice' in Hoover's characters and it's a shame because with the plots she sets, the characterization can do better. You know how some things only feel good in theory? But in practicality, they make no sense? That's how CH writes.

Speaking of characters, Jeremy was nothing special either. He didn't play much of a role in the book, at least not actively. He was there to serve Verity's storyline and being the love interest. And that's that. He has a personality of a dry leaf and why both Verity and Lowen were obsessed with him...is a question for another day. Jeremy is not enigmatic, he is not mysterious, he is not anything and that's one of my biggest problems in the book. He is just so badly written, when there could have been soooo much Hoover could have done with his character. Why should I care about him?

The fact that both main characters thought it was OK to cheat when Jeremy's wife was camatose in the SAME house made things worse. And they constantly try to justify this. Now I know that it was intended and everything but the fact that they showed little to no remorse was enough to make me hate both of them. The book itself does not acknowledge their cheating, there is no retribution, no consequence of their actions - everything is brushed off without thought. When a book has problematic aspects, it's perfectly okay. When these aspects are romanticized and their flaws are not pointed out (as it should be), then we have a problem. With Lowen and Jeremy not acknowledging the fact they cheated, it just sends a wrong message.

Verity is supposed to be a psychotic and obsessive wife to Jeremy who had hated her children even before they were born. Again, sounds better in theory. The plotline should give you chills but ends up being cartoonish and cringey. Jeremy being a cement wall with no personality, her obsession made little sense. Still, she is a better 'character' than the other two. CH tried to write a dark character, but honestly with the wattpad-esque writing, there was no impact.

I am glad that the author tried something different, and her writing has changed since her first books but that wasn't enough to cover up the bigger holes here. I have already talked about the characters, which were my biggest issue, specially because I prefer good characterisation over good plot. Here are a list of other reasons why Verity sucks.

1. It's not an erotica so why were there pages upon pages of repetitive sex scenes? In fact Verity and Jeremy's entire story was just that. It annoyed me because they clouded the story the whole time. The book was 10% story and 90% sex scenes. The publisher should market it as an erotica if that's the case??? Why is this a problem for me? Missed opportunity. Using sex as a tool to fill Verity and Jeremy's storyline is lazy writing, when those scenes could have been used to give Jeremy more personality and explore other aspects of their relationships.

2. CH might be a bestseller, but she is TERRIBLE at writing tragedy and trauma. Both are needlessly used as characters back stories and important part of their personalities but treated dismissively. The MC mom died of cancer a month ago and while it's talked about in first two chapters or so, it's forgotten quickly and Lowen in too horny to remember her. The man who died in front of her? No follow up on that trauma, nothing at all. It just served as a way for her to meet Jeremy. Hoover takes these heavy plot points to add drama, but she never treats them well enough. You do not need to shove one traumatic event in vain to add substance. A well-rounded protagonist can be formed without relying on trauma at all. If the purpose was for us to sympathize with Lowen and make her edgy, then obviously this too failed. I am not a fan of authors using trauma porn, where excessively bad events are used to riddle backstories or even current stories. This is also an obvious pattern in CH other books. MC with tragic past, an asshole love interest with equally tragic circumstances = sexy times.

Jeremy's daughters died and his wife is in a coma, but his character often showed little to no sadness while there were a lot of paragraphs describing how crushed he was. Guess he too was so horny that it was OK to cheat on his wife. Oh and the solution? Transfer her to a nursing home so he could hook up with Lowen as much as he wants? Bad execution, bad writing, bad everything.

The end where he realizes truth about Verity and kind of kills her? It's treated as nothing. No consequence at all? He just goes on to make a lie about the incident and live a life with Lowen...like what the fuck? Where is the PTSD? Where is the follow up trauma or messed up mental health when you become a murderer of your murderous wife?

3. THAT ENDING....THAT DAMN ENDING. I said this is in my other reviews as well but the thing I dislike the MOST about the author is her endings. She's bad at writing them. There was a huge lead up on Verity being NOT comatose and there was the whole creepy thing going on with her but in the end. No psychotic behavior at all? She just opens her eyes and admit she was lying and that's it??? Then she dies??????? Like what was the point in a psychotic character if she was gonna do that??? It all felt so flat??

ALSO the letter at the end that makes us doubt if Verity was actually a victim and Jeremy was the villain?? Like no that's not an amazing twist or anything, that's CH trying too hard. This kind of plot twist is overdone, it's a cliche you will find in horror movies or thrillers from early 2000s. I expected better.

In a nutshell, I have ISSUES with this book. It could have done better. But this is where Hoover and I part ways. I won't be reading her books anymore.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
July 13, 2022
First and foremost, thank you to my buddy Chantel for enduring this for me and ranting in tandem. S/o to WhatsApp as well. Also reviews are subjective so I don't mean to offend anyone who liked this book. I've 5-starred plenty of poorly rated books in my time.

Follow me on insta @girlwiththepinkskimask to see my memes while I read (pls)

Writing: offensively bad/5 | Plot: nonexistent/5 | Ending: abysmal/5

THE PLOT

Lowen is a struggling writer who gets the opportunity of a lifetime to co-write a series with acclaimed author, Verity Crawford. When she arrives at Verity's home to do some research, she comes across a disturbing autobiography revealing the truth about all the tragic events in her life. Should Lowen let Verity's "dreamy" husband, Jeremy, know wassup? Or just sex him instead? Find out!

MY OPINION

NOW LET'S BUCKLE TF IN BECAUSE IT'S ABOUT TO BE A ROUGH RIDE (not the sexual kind Verity LOVED).

I want to keep this "short", but I'm not sure I have it in me. This book tops Stay Awake and Unmissing by a MILE. I picked this up even though romance isn't my thing because I literally cannot log onto Goodreads without seeing a Colleen Hoover book. So I had to find out for myself, and I certainly did, and as they say... curiosity killed the cat.

OK. SO LET'S GET INTO IT.

- Lowen was unnecessary. Literally this whole story could be told without her POV. You could've just had the diary entries as a POV, with Jeremy struggling in real life, and then BAM that "twist" at the end. Not only was she unnecessary, but she was ANNOYING. BIG pick me energy. So you thought Amos choking you was rock bottom but you sexing a comatose woman's husband in her marital bed was chill? Ight. And honestly her whole sleepwalking story to create empathy in the reader was garbagio.

- The writing was appallingly bad. This was BEYOND closed caption ass writing. Even a blind person didn't need this much detail. Did we need to know that Verity's writing software of choice is Microsoft word? No. Did we need to know that Lowen picked up her drink, took it to the stove, filled her bowl was spaghetti, reheated it in the microwave, then went to the fridge to grab a glass of water before sitting down at the dining room table? NO. But yet we do.

- The gratuitous sex was literally like being in a 14 yo boy's wet dream. DISGUSTING. I literally skipped PAGES and PAGES of sex. What in the 50 shades of gross is this? How did it add to the story? If you're horny, there's p0rn. PLZ. We don't need this in a "thriller." ALSO. The whole "oh I was just exaggerating for the sake of it" doesn't hold up WHEN YOUR OTHER CHARACTERS ARE LITERALLY SEXING IN THE EXACT WAY YOU DEPICTED IT IN THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY SO???????

- Jeremy had the personality of a wet cardboard box. Legit how did ANYONE fall in love with the man when he said/did nothing of substance. This is what they call dickmatized. Free my ladies.

- Also, also... this book did no favours for writers tbh. Saying shit like "I write suspense novels, of course I know about your girlfriend" doesn't make any sense???? I'm not like WOW HER BRAIN, I'm like... wow.... is her brain ok? What is the correlation?

I'M ABOUT TO WRITE SOME SPOILERS SO SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THIS BOOK




- Plot holes? Nah, plot CRATERS. How did she fake the brain scans? Why didn't Jeremy just kill her when she came home from the hospital? (maybe I missed something?) Girl is up at night sneaking around opening bank accounts but can't reach out to a friend and be like HALP??? And don't use this whole autobiography as the reason, because your publisher could corroborate your story and you're telling me you never discussed it with her afterward????

- The letter at the end was atrocious. A perfect example of when authors try to hand-hold the reader through the twist to make sure it lands. I didn't need a perfect play-by-play of what your pretending ass was up to in a letter. I gleaned it from you just saying "SIKE I WAS FAKING."

- Lowen "forgiving" or "justifying" Jeremy's double murder attempts was brutal. C'mon. Not during women's history month.

PROS AND CONS

Pros: I finished this and had plenty of laughs with Chantel

Cons: I read this
Profile Image for chai ♡.
321 reviews150k followers
August 11, 2022
Me, rollerblading into my therapist’s office with heart-shaped sunglasses and a piña colada and dropping this book on the desk with a loud thud: Boy do we have much to talk about today!

Why read Verity when you can just pull out an Ouija board and summon a demon from hell? I'm sure it’ll have the same effect. I finished this book feeling completely sapped of life, as if I've been bleeding freely for the past few hours instead of simply reading. That ending. What the hell. If I could just shake my head to dissolve the memory of it, to disarrange it somehow, I would. Because of all the things I’d braced myself for, that was not it.

Right. Let's talk plot.

Lowen Ashleigh is set free from the long tedium of her daily life when she’s employed by Jeremy Crawford to ghostwrite the remaining books in a popular series his wife, Verity, is unable to finish due to an unfortunate accident. Lowe acquiesces in the spirit of hope: that this opportunity would help her acquire some small measure of celebrity and that celebrity would be oxygen to the fire of her career. But nothing prepares Lowe for Verity’s autobiography, which she accidentally stumbles upon one day. For the horror of it. Verity’s secrets paint a different picture of what Lowen thought she knew of Verity, Jeremy, and their lives together. But sooner or later, as these things often go, the whole truth will spill, and the fraught waiting in-between would come to an end, with havoc and screaming and loss.

“After all, this is a house full of Chronics. The next tragedy is already long overdue.”

I love books that make me backtrack my own declarations of preference. The books that catch me completely off-guard, astonish me, keep me on my toes. Verity is not at all what I expected, and I think it is all the better for it. I picked it up with a great deal of skepticism. I did not enjoy any of Hoover's previous work, and didn't think Verity would tip the scales. I’ve never been happier to be so wrong because this book absolutely lives up to the buzz.

Verity is a huge departure from Hoover's catalogue. It's a fiendishly clever, mind-bending whirligig of a book. The plot is a hall of mirrors where everything is a vacant reflection, including the people who live there. Hoover draws you into a world where illusion informs reality, and time enfolds hauntingly. She lures and tricks and wrong-foots. Always, she wields her unreliable characters to stunning effect: confounding, disturbing and delighting in turn. Not only is nothing what it seems, it’s not even what it seems after it’s been revealed to be not what it seems. And I was entrapped in this story long before I even realized the net was already cast.

The book's biggest triumph to me was the sheer energy threaded the pages, how it feels uncontrollable, yet it is perfectly under control by the author. I like the way Hoover makes you feel Lowe’s deep-skin unease and confusion as if it's your own. You can sense the danger pulsing all around, and while you can scarcely see the freshly hideous future taking shape ahead, you can feel it all the same. In short, if I were Lowe, I’d have gotten the hell out of there. I’d have been impressed by her courage if I weren’t too preoccupied repeating a litany of “GET OUT OF THERE, YOU IDIOT” in my head.

And, oh my God, the ending. That shit struck me backhanded. I'm still reverberating from it. Because here's the thing: Verity offers its reader no solidity of truth that they could hold in their hands. Even as I was reading and rereading the last chapter I was mining it for clues, trying to make sense of something that felt so utterly senseless. Everything I’ve read up until that point felt like a false memory and I was left shaking my fist at the whole book for leaving me on such a hideous note as it did. Because, what.

So, yeah. I'm going to let this story haunt me for a long time.
Profile Image for Melissa.
647 reviews28.6k followers
December 13, 2018
Bold. Unrelenting. All-consuming. Creepy. Unputdownable.

What I’ve come to appreciate most about Colleen Hoover’s work—whether it’s an emotionally charged love story or in this case, her first go at suspense—is her penchant for pushing boundaries. For telling the unexpected story.

“It’s got bad things in it. Bad words, bad people, bad scenes.”

Hoover preempted Verity’s release with a warning of sorts—although facetious and comical in delivery, it’s something sensitive readers should take to heart. This storyline is dark, and the lives of the characters that inhabit the pages are far from perfect—so, don’t kid yourself into thinking this is something it’s not. Verity is horrifying, maddening, and what-the-hell-inducing, but it’s also sustenance for that bibliophile looking to satisfy a craving for something different.

From chapter one, it’s blatantly obvious this comes from an entirely different side of Hoover’s psyche than her typical love stories. Blood spatter accompanies the all-consuming, addictive quality of her words. Storytelling with the power to crawl inside of your mind, take over, and demand your undivided attention.

Lowen’s life is literally in shambles—her mom just passed, she’s broke, on the brink of eviction and even though she’s a talented author, the crippling anxiety involved with marketing herself to fans has made her work less than popular.

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime that uproots Lowen from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan to the quiet Vermont countryside. Contracted by a publisher to ghostwrite the three remaining books in an uber-popular series after the author was involved in an accident, Lowen has a ton of work ahead. Research lands her in Verity Crawford’s home office, looking for anything that might indicate the direction the author wanted to take the series. Instead, she finds herself caught-up in Verity’s life. Living in her home, sleeping in her bed, and spending time with Verity's husband, Jeremy, and their young son. Inescapable is the grief and pain marring it all.

Most surprising was the level of creepiness Hoover managed to incite. A level even some seasoned suspense writers fail to attain. From someone who reads in the genre consistently and watches horror, it’s quite the feat for me to feel this level of anxiety. For my stomach to be twisted in knots, in anticipation of what’s to come—but, it happened.

And that finale . . . stunning. I was so sure I’d pinpointed exactly what was happening and why, but I was wrong. So very wrong.

Hoover mentions in her Acknowledgements that this was an indie project she wanted to branch out and write on her own, which is commendable and exciting when you think about where her inner drive might take readers next. While there’s no denying her love stories are fierce, my hope is for more suspense. To be this taken with her first try, I can only imagine what that mind of hers might dream up next.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,921 reviews290k followers
January 4, 2019
"Find what you love and let it kill you."
-Charles Bukowski

Woah, this was fuuuucked up. It should really come with a warning: do not start reading this at night if you want to sleep.

For two reasons, actually. One, it is so compulsively readable that it's almost impossible to put it down until you've finished it. And two, it is seriously creepy and disturbing. Warnings for depictions of child abuse and some graphic violence.

Perhaps this doesn't need to be said, but Verity is definitely not a regular Colleen Hoover romance. There's a love story, and sex, but it is predominantly a creepy thriller. And a mindfuck, if we're being honest.

Verity is mainly about three people - struggling author Lowen Ashleigh, a man called Jeremy Crawford, and Jeremy's wife, Verity, who was recently left incapacitated by a car accident. Verity is a successful writer, but she is no longer able to continue her bestselling series. That's why Lowen is brought in to complete the remaining three books. To do so, she stays at the couple's house so she can go through Verity's notes.

But Lowen finds something else in Verity's office. An unfinished autobiography. As she reads, her fear grows. Lowen begins to dig into dark truths about the family and the deaths of their twin daughters. At the same time, she finds herself falling for Jeremy and wondering if perhaps she should reveal the truth to him.

I don't want to say too much, but I thought it was excellent. Hoover expertly leads us on a winding trail of lies and manipulation. As the story is essentially Hoover - an author - writing about an author reading about another author, there's this constant sense that someone is lying to you-- but who is it? Now, that's not so easy to tell.
I was good at spewing bullshit. It’s why I became a writer.

This may seem like a bit of a backhanded compliment, but I think I enjoy Hoover’s fucked-up books so much because I usually find her regular romances kinda fucked up. I like her books so much more when she's writing about trauma and morally-questionable characters than when she's trying to sell me a douche as a love interest.

It's a clever book, and I don't simply mean because of its twists and turns. It's clever because of the fear and uncertainty the author creates. That all three authors create. The aptly-named Verity is a novel about fictions and truths, about authors and characters, and about how it can sometimes be hard to separate the two.

I found it absolutely riveting.

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Profile Image for Misty.
287 reviews135 followers
January 4, 2019
Ok, this one has me scratching my head. I chose to read this piece of nonsense based on the myriad 5-star reviews on Amazon—I’m talking HUNDREDS. Now there are two reasons this novel may have so much positive feedback. First, it could be that there are hundreds of readers who don’t often step beyond this author’s normal genre (of which this book did not belong) and are simply ride-or-die fans. Second, it could be that I’ve gone round the twist and am missing the value. I’m betting on the former.

The writing here is, admittedly, pretty amazing. Character development and plot movement, as well as the establishment of tone, is all done masterfully. What is ludicrous, however, is the plot itself.

**SPOILER ALERT AHEAD** Verity is a well-known and well liked author with a huge fan base. She and her husband lose their young twin girls some months apart in separate tragedies, then Verity herself is in a car accident. The accident leaves her in a semi-vegetative state, unable to move or communicate. Her husband seeks to hire an author to finish the last three books his wife had promised as part of a series of nine. In steps Lowen, a talented author in her own right, though certainly not as famous as Verity. She travels to the couple’s home, where Verity is under constant care (fed, diapered, etc.), in order to look over the woman’s notes in preparation for the writing Lowen has been commissioned to complete. Whilst rummaging through Verity’s office, and falling in love with Verity’s husband, Lowen discovers a manuscript that is supposedly an autobiography written by Verity before her accident. It is beyond disturbing and paints the now comatose author as a raging psychopath who despised her twins, feeling only raging jealousy at the attention they garner from their father. So far so good, right? Here’s where it all goes to hell. VERITY IS FAKING HER INJURIES. Really? Doctors and nurses, specialists in their respective fields, can’t tell SHE IS FAKING IT?? For MONTHS? She has been cleaned, turned and fed and NO ONE KNEW? Additionally, we are to believe that she wrote the most disturbing things about herself and her children and labeled the manuscript an autobiography as a WRITING EXERCISE? What woman writes that she tried to abort her own children with a coat hanger as part of an exercise?? I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. Absurd is the only word that adequately conveys the entire premise.

I wish someone, anyone, would have said to this author, “hey, you’re damn good, but this story just doesn’t make an iota of sense.” I’m left wishing back the hours it took me to read this insanely ridiculous drivel. Two stars for the obvious talent, but nless you are a die-hard fan of this writer, I’d skip this one altogether.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Yun.
505 reviews18k followers
March 5, 2022
How did Colleen Hoover ever think up this dark and twisted tale? It is so unique, so completely shocking that it blows away every other suspense story I've ever read.

Lowen is a struggling writer when she gets an offer too good to pass up. Jeremy, the husband of successful author Verity Crawford, hires Lowen to complete Verity's series when his injured wife is unable to do so. Once Lowen arrives at their home to start compiling notes and do research, she discovers an unfinished manuscript that looks to be Verity's autobiography. What is written in those pages will horrify and haunt anyone who reads it.

So many books advertise as suspenseful thrillers, but hardly any of them cause my heart to blip even a little. (I know, I'm a stone cold reader.) But this book! There is such a deliciously creepy atmosphere that permeates throughout and it got me good. I'll admit to heart palpitations, cold clammy hands, and being startled at the smallest noises. And as the story progresses and we find out more and more, the tension ratchets up to almost unbearable levels.

There was never any hope for me. I was hooked from the very first page. There is a creativity to this story that makes it hard to look away. I've never read anything like this, not even close. As a result, every page was a surprise and I just wanted to keep going. And as the truth gets darker and more tortuous, I had no choice but to hold on for the ride of my life.

This book employs one of my favorite formats, a story within a story. I've loved pretty much every book I've come across that uses this format, and it works especially well here. The interspersing of the inner manuscript with the outer story allows us to find out what's going on at the same time that Lowen is figuring things out.

I cannot believe this is Colleen Hoover's first thriller. Reading this feels like watching a master at their craft, setting the bar higher than I ever thought possible. This story is so astonishing and unsettling and completely original. It will stay with me for a long time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
See also, my thoughts on:
It Ends with Us
Layla
Regretting You
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Profile Image for Chelsea *Slowly Catching Up* Humphrey.
1,388 reviews77.2k followers
October 5, 2022
I've pulled up this review and tried to make the words come for a couple of days now, but every time I try to write the words all that comes to mind is WTF Colleen?! Obviously we were warned going in that this one would but much different than her other novels, but she didn't tell us that it would be so compulsive and I wouldn't be able to live my life while reading it. How dare she?? But seriously, this book was so delicious in a seriously twisted way, and I feel slightly guilty admitting that I loved Verity so much due to its dark and disturbing nature.

"Find what you love and let it kill you." -Charles Bukowski

There's not really much you can say about the plot here, other than read it for yourself ya filthy animal you really should just go into it blind. Obviously there are numerous content warnings, , but it you're open to picking up this book with as little knowledge of the story as possible it will be in your best interest.

"Most people come to New York to be discovered. The rest of us come here to hide."

The characters here are deviously flawed, every last one of them, and I love this. I'm a sucker for storylines that feature the writing of a book inside the plot, and this was no exception. The varying between Low's present tense POV and the chapters featuring Verity's autobiography built the most exquisite tension, and by the end of the novel we are flipping pages as quickly as Low is, trying to decipher where this is going and what's going to happen. Also, that epilogue. That is all I will say, other than I'm respectful and grateful to CoHo for leaving this book without the neat wrapping and shiny bow. There are pieces of the story that are essentially left up to the reader to determine their thoughts on, and while a bloody and gruesome story, this will make a fabulous book club novel with copious discussion points. Highly recommended if you can stomach the content, but beware reader-once you pick it up, you certainly won't want to set it down until you turn the final page.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,709 reviews31.6k followers
December 11, 2018
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Have you ever finished a book and thought… WTF did I just read? Verity is one of those books that will do that to you. Word to the wise for CoHo fans: this is not your typical book from Colleen Hoover. It’s amazingly written and it’s a completely captivating read, but it’s so different from anything she’s ever put out before.
“Some families are lucky enough to never experience a single tragedy. But then there are those families that seem to have tragedies waiting on the back burner. What can go wrong, goes wrong. And then gets worse.”

Verity is a complex story about an author who is ghost writing a series for Verity Crawford, an author who is injured in a way she can’t write right now- maybe ever. Her husband, Jeremy, commissions Lowen to do this work. Lowen goes to the Crawford’s house to do some research but that house and that family is more than she ever expected. While searching through old paperwork pertaining to the series Verity has written, she finds a manuscript of a truly messed up autobiography that changes her life and the life of the Crawford family forever.

The word I would use to describe this book is disturbing. I was seriously disturbed the whole time I read. It wasn’t too spooky for me, but it was thrilling and horrifying at times. The writing was out of this world and the story messed with my mind. I’m not sure if I loved it, hated it, liked the characters or hated them. It’s a story that’s not always likable, but dang it was good. It was enthralling and made me think. That ending messed with my mind so bad, I don’t even know how to feel.

If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers with romance thrown in and don’t mind a book that’s disturbing and thrilling because it’s also brilliant, check out Verity. I’m glad I went outside the box with this one and read it!!
Profile Image for Holly  B (busy month catching up).
788 reviews1,741 followers
January 18, 2019
** UNPOPULAR OPINION

This is the second novel that I've read by the author.  I'm not really familiar with her writing or style, but I was seeing many 4-5 star ratings on this book and it was a "thriller" so that was enough to push me to give it a try. 

There are many, many high reviews for the book so I'm not here to dissuade anyone from reading it. It just wasn't a good fit for me. I read hundreds of thriller/mysteries and love the genre.

I've read darker novels and enjoyed them, but this one gave me an uncomfortable feeling that it is hard to express. Was it because it involved the characters children? Maybe. Was it the graphic sex scenes? May have contributed  Was it the improbable plot? I don't usually have an issue with this if I'm entertained. I wasn't. I can't explain more without giving spoilers.

Again, this novel didn't work for me. If you decide to read it, you may enjoy it like so many others. Just my opinion. I wish I could unread it.

Profile Image for Ayman.
180 reviews66.7k followers
November 11, 2021
oh my fucking god. i finished this book at 4am thinking “what the fuck did this author do to me?!?”

this shit was brilliant. idek how to comprehend this. like was everyone a victim or a villain?!? am i team manuscripts or letters?!? i don’t fucking know. tbh only Crew can set us free, he knows the truth.

i don’t get disturbed easily but this shook me to the core. i could feel it in my bones. i don’t even know how to function and move on with my life. i’m a changed woman.

you’ll be catching me blankly staring at walls lost in thought over this book
Profile Image for A. .
1,163 reviews4,066 followers
December 8, 2018
Brilliant author.
Brillianty written.
Brilliant idea.

Except...

I didn't like it.
I didn't like the heroine. Couldn't relate to her.
I didn't the hero.
I didn't like the story. Implausible and kind of revolting.

I normally like fucked up, unpredictable stories. The darker and more twisted the better.
This one didn't resonate with me.
Sorry.
And watch out for triggers.
Profile Image for ELLIAS (elliasreads).
478 reviews37.3k followers
April 21, 2019
Um no. This ain’t it chief.
Also that ending?? NO.

I feel like the high ratings and amazing reviews for this book are mostly people who already love CoHo's books and this is their, 'dip of the toe' moment, for them in the 'thriller' genre lol.

Profile Image for Bibi.
1,282 reviews3,328 followers
April 8, 2022
*Laughs hysterically* What?!

Three hours later and I’m still laughing and head-shaking at the mindfuck that was this story....
Profile Image for Kat.
256 reviews78.7k followers
July 22, 2021
what fucking bullshit!!
Profile Image for Hannah Azerang.
124 reviews90k followers
December 5, 2022
the unseasoned, Walmart brand version of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Profile Image for Christine Riccio.
Author 3 books101k followers
February 14, 2019
I LOVED THIS BOOK. Just posted my full booktalk on youtube (polandbananasbooks). I BLEW THROUGH IT IN TWO DAYS COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN. It's way up at the top of my coho favorites =)
Profile Image for Sophia Judice.
57 reviews11.9k followers
August 1, 2021
It’s currently 5:00 am, and I read Verity in one sitting. Dear god this book is FUCKED UP, and I love it. I'm obsessed with twisted, disturbing, dark stuff that messes with my brain. It feels like a mix between The Silent Patient and Gone Girl. I physically could not put this book down. Definitely my favorite Colleen Hoover book I've read. This had everything I love: smut, sadness, and mind-bending plot twists. This book felt like a rollercoaster, and I implore you all to read it. Such a thrilling read.
Profile Image for Mary Beth .
377 reviews1,595 followers
April 23, 2019
🎉 FIVE MIND BLOWING STARS!🎉

This one is a killer! So dark and disturbing. I was not expecting to love this one so much. Colleen Hoover writes romance books. This one is a thriller. I have seen authors go from romance to romantic suspense, but never have I seen an author go from Romance to a dark and disturbing crazy thriller. She knocked this one out of the ball park.

This one just blew my mind. I could not put this book down. I read it while fixing dinner and eating my dinner. I have never done this before. There are so many jaw dropping moments.

All of the characters were done so well. I could just vision them in my head. I love her writing style. This was one intense read. Let me tell you this author writes so well. OMG!OMG! OMG! The ending was just perfect. I loved that twist. Wow!

I am not a romance fan but loved this thriller so much that I went to the library and did the unexpected. I got her book, Without Merit. Hoover just changed me into picking up a romance novel. That's how good her writing is.

This book just tied with my favorite book for the year so far. When this writer writes another thriller, I will be snatching this one off the shelves right away. I strongly recommend this book to all thriller fans that love a disturbing and dark thriller.
I know! I know! I just get to overly excited when I love a book.

I recommend this one to all thriller fans!!
Profile Image for ALet.
274 reviews242 followers
September 8, 2019
★ /5

This was... stupid?

I don‘t even know how to talk about this. I don‘t think this is actual mystery thriller, it is just a romance novel with a slightly different plot. Sadly, nothing about this book, particularly impressed me or intrigue me.

Personally, I do not think that this book is worth the time.
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
376 reviews2,793 followers
October 14, 2022
I will never look at Steak n’ Shake the same way……

Colleen Hoover and Lisa of Troy finally meet. Alright that’s weird. I am never referring to myself in the third person again….

So what’s the scoop on Verity?

In Verity, we find Lowen Ashleigh who is a down-on-her-luck author when she gets an incredible offer to finish a series by a famous author, Verity Crawford. When Lowen goes through Verity’s office, she discovers an autobiography by Verity with salacious admissions and jaw-dropping tales. What will Lowen do with the information she has discovered?

This is my very first Colleen Hoover work so I will share with you my general impressions, not sure if these are hallmarks of her other books. Hoover keeps the action flowing with short paragraphs and sentences. There are no page long paragraphs here.

The storytelling is top notch with gossipy revelations sprinkled throughout the book. This book is filled with steam. Steam upon steam. Steamy steam. Descriptions of steamy steam. However, please be warned that this book is incredibly, incredibly dark with some graphic depictions of child abuse.

In terms of structure, Verity really reminded me of the book, Home Before Dark by Riley Sager, because it would also switch back and forth between modern day and back to an old book. The main character, Lowen, does have internal ruminations, but the author masterfully navigated these sections and did not get lost in the weeds.

Verity is page-turning and reading it is certainly not a chore.

There are two things that kind of bothered me, but with me, storytelling is everything. And this book had it in spades.

First, the ending did not surprise me at all. Without trying to spoil anything, the ending relies on a familiar trope that I saw coming very early in the book.

Second, a part of the ending did not make sense. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything, but it has to do with a certain reaction to the manuscript.

Personally, if I was the editor of this book, I would have rewritten the ending, but (sadly) Colleen Hoover has not been ringing my phone off the hook.

Overall, Verity is a dark, page-turning tale, and I look forward to reading more from Colleen Hoover. Highly recommended for those who are fans of May Cobb. Or try May Cobb if you enjoy Colleen Hoover.

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Profile Image for katia.
299 reviews210 followers
October 11, 2022
some people desperately need jesus and colleen hoover is one of them
Profile Image for Dana Ilie.
403 reviews346 followers
January 15, 2019
This book was disturbing in a way that is hard to put in words. Verity is pitched as a thriller and a romantic suspense book. Well, allow me to be as candid as I can: "Verity is a mind-fuck". Is Disturbing. Twisted. Creepy. It will have you questioning things. Brutal. Haunting.
There is no question, the story is hypnotizing. ENGROSSING even if alarmingly disconcerting. And the cherry on top? The ending. That probably held the most savage plot twist I have encountered in a romantic book.

If this is the niche that CoHo find and stick, baby I'm yours for life!

Verity is not an easy read. I am not really even sure if I can say it was an enjoyable read. But it was brilliant. Amazingly well written and unputdownable, Colleen will leave you questioning everything.

By the end of the book, I hate all characters....

Thank you so much Kim for your indirect recommendation!
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,067 reviews38.1k followers
August 4, 2022
Wow! Another Flashback Saturday and I’m rereading, reviewing ( alternated version) and discussing another brilliant and one of my favorite Colho novels.

And surprise it’s a mindf*cking, WTH I just read kind of jaw dropping, intense, shocking thriller.

Yes, there’s semi- white Colho writes about angsty love stories about sweetest characters and there’s very dark Colho who writes thrilling, heart pounding, disturbing stories about not so sweet characters.
This book is an absolute product of dark Colho targets psychological thriller lovers.

Verity has three main characters: ghost writer Lowen, grieving father and charismatic husband Jeremy and his poor ill wife/ a phenomenal best selling author Verity! All of them are dealing with inner demons kind of flawed, exhausted, damaged characters.

Lowen and Jeremy meets in the middle of the tragedy. They witness a man’s dying in the middle of Manhattan street. A truck hits a man as he checks his phone and his blood splats on Lowen’s shirt. Jeremy wants to help her, following Lowen to a men’s restroom at a cafe and borrows his white shirt because Lowen is in a hurry. She will have an important meeting with her publisher.

Guess who bumps into her in the elevator and pushes the same floor button? Lowen and Jeremy meet again and not so coincidentally they are attending the same publisher meeting.

Lowen finds out her publisher wants her service to finish famous author Verity Crawford’s last novels of very popular series. And dear Jeremy I’d husband of Verity! Sorry Lowen, your bizarre love story about the girl meets the boy in a tragic circumstances took a frustrated turn!

Well, Lowen sees this as a good chance for her career. After she loses her mother to cancer, she needs to focus on something and Jeremy who recently pulled out her little daughter’s body from the lake, dealing with his sick wife who is paralyzed, incapacitated because of car crash, lying on a bed all day were perfect traumatized team for finishing this job.

Lowen feels attraction to Jeremy from the beginning but he’s married man who is grieving so she shouldn’t take advantage of his situation, should she?

But when she finds the secret manuscript of Verity changes everything! Verity poured out her dirty secrets, her complex feelings to this manuscript: a kind of manifestation tells how far you go to be the best author!

I’m stopping right now! But I have to admit: this book is a product of genius brain! Especially that WTH ending was brilliant!

I absolutely highly definitely recommend it!

I was really hopeful Layla was also a thriller like Verity but it turned out as paranormal romance.
But I’m still keeping my hopes up and wish dark Colho comes back sooner to release more spine tingling books like this.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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