I picked up Verity from the bookstore the day I heard it was a different genre than Colleen Hoover’s favorite, new adult contemporary romance. Now, if this is your first time learning about Colleen Hoover, I suggest you check out The One-Stop Guide to Colleen Hoover’s Books.
Colleen Hoover wrote her fair share of young adult novels to claim her throne as queen. As she steps into the book world of “psychological thriller”, I was sure it would be refreshing to explore her writing without the romantic extravaganza as usual.
Right off the bat, the book cover caught my fancy. If you look at it closely, you can see it’s a child caught in a fishing net. It was too reminiscent of the movie IT because the yellow in the net was a dead ringer for the kid’s raincoat.
What book can be more ominous than a child on its cover? After all, even one of the greatest horror authors, Stephen King, placed his best bets on his child characters. Originality is one thing you shouldn’t seek in Colleen Hoover’s novels.
Let’s discuss further in my review of Verity then, shall we?
Verity by Colleen Hoover Summary and First Impressions
From the get-go of the book, I was sure Verity required a lot of trigger warnings. If you’re an avid CoHo (as her fanbase likes to call her) fan, domestic abuse, murder, mental abuse, and simply trauma, in general, are commonly used as plots or characteristics of her characters.
Verity was no different, if not worse, than her romance genre when it came to mentions of abuse.
The moment I picked up the book, I realized it was more captivating than any other novel written by Colleen Hoover. From the beginning, the book lures its readers into an adventure of nerve-wracking thrill.
The introduction of her female protagonist, Lowen, an up-and-coming writer, showed me a ray of hope for this book. I was hell-bent on proving myself wrong about Colleen Hoover.
Alas, that all went down the drain the moment the main male character (MMC), Jeremy, entered the scene. While his initial impression was of a noble and kind middle-aged man, his image was ruined by Lowen.
That’s because of her unnecessary attraction towards him when she was supposedly in a “state of shock”.
Her indifference towards the accident and inner dramatic monologues, like an indie film character, about the accident were a lot more intriguing than any of Colleen Hoover’s previous female main characters.
In true CoHo fashion, that’s all we have for character description.
After Lowen’s forced and pathetic attraction towards Jeremy, my initial hope and excitement for the book diminished. I knew Verity would go down the same road as all of her other novels.
Yet, I mustered up my patience and bore through Lowen’s incessant ramble about her past and her mother’s death, which only reminded me of how hollow and half-baked Hoover’s characters are.
Her writing doesn’t allow any scope for any visualizing of her characters, let alone empathizing with their needless traumatic backgrounds.
I Found the Plot Poorly Executed To Be Honest! – Here’s Verity Plot Synopsis for You
Warning: Spoilers Ahead! Only read if you want to know what happens in Verity.
You will never see me not raving about Verity’s plot if someone brings up Colleen Hoover. Like I said previously, Verity is there in my favorites list when it comes to Hoover’s novel.
If you’re a fan of suspense or psychological thrillers, my raving for this plot will seem wee to you. But as someone who has read and thoroughly been disappointed with Colleen Hoover’s plots, this book has been my holy grail.
As I mentioned earlier, the book had me hooked from the beginning with the gruesome and detailed accident. I was ecstatic to finish this book in a day or two. I wasn’t even bothered by the initial descriptions of sex because it wouldn’t truly be a Colleen Hoover novel without it.
I wasn’t going to let anything take this intriguing plot away from me. Unfortunately, when Verity goes on to ramble about her sex life with Jeremy for pages on end, I couldn’t help but be bored.
Verity tries too hard to justify her fascination for Jeremy through sex because Hoover has nothing to offer for her characters other than pure erotica.
I wonder if Hoover imagines her readers to be curious preteens kicking their feet in the air while reading it or horny middle-aged women unsatisfied with their marriages.
Because in no way would a newly adult person seek out sexual solace during their prime in books written by a middle-aged woman.
Even book and movie geeks like me would much rather enjoy Professor McGonagall calling the trio a bumbling band of baboons than read the word “fuck” every two minutes in a novel.
Despite her cause, the psychopathic side of Verity truly amused me. While she was no serial killer, Hoover certainly played with the idea of the weight words hold on our minds and how humans are quick to judge to perfection.
Why did I call the Verity Plot poorly executed, then?
The primary problem lies in Colleen Hoover’s writing. A plot with such promise requires a well-polished writing skill. The lack of this could be blamed on trying out a new genre, but not when it’s the same for all her novels.
There’s a difference between writing literature and stringing a bunch of words together just to say something. Unfortunately, for Colleen Hoover, the latter is truer.
It was hard to follow up with certain parts of the plot that were key to the “thriller” component of the novel due to her weak descriptions that not only lacked vision but also consistency.
It became even more prominent during Lowen’s encounter with Verity and, finally, her death. Her death was rushed and hazy, which derailed her as the main antagonist.
Overall, the book kept me on the edge only for the hope of how great the plot could’ve been. Alas, only disappointment followed.
Could it be me only? Maybe. But for a psychological thriller book, you wouldn’t expect to only get smut and plot lines as predictable; even a third grader can see them coming a mile away.
Quite a contradicting choice of words, but that’s what every Hoover novel felt like to me — a preteen attempting to write erotica.
Unrealistic Characters? Umm… Now that You Look at Them…
The plot of Verity was the best Colleen Hoover had to offer in the entirety of her career. Everything else about the book was disappointing. Her execution of the plot and characters lacked vastly.
It was easy to predict Jeremy was here to stay as a main character the moment Lowen had that god-awful attraction towards him due to his mere kindness. In no way did it surprise me that Jeremy and Lowen crossed each other’s paths again, not minutes after coming into contact.
And, of course, what are women to Colleen Hoover if they don’t like men in committed relationships or marriage?
What finally got me hooked on the book again was none other than Verity herself. A successful and excellent author with an undeniably beautiful name struck by the grief of mysteriously losing both of her daughters that led to her own mysterious accident?
I was ready to write Hoover fan emails pleading to create more characters like Verity.
Verity was the breath of fresh air Hoover required so desperately in her novels. Her backstory was the first traumatic convolution written by Hoover that added to the plot instead of acting as unnecessary filler.
The design of their house was implied to be ominous as a warning to the person Verity was and a total contradiction to warm cozy Vermont.
But Hoover’s description of the house was so amateur. My imagination of the house was only of Edward Scissorhands’ house in the movie – how cartoonish both his house and the pastel houses in the neighborhood looked in comparison.
Colleen Hoover perfectly brought out my empathy for Verity with the back-and-forth description of her bedridden room and her office, which was the most intimate part of her, from elegance to being in a total state of comatose.
The more Lowen explored Verity’s home and her family, she rounded up to one of my favorite characters by Hoover. It was so close to the finish line that she had to ruin Verity by making her obsessed with Jeremy again.
A gorgeous blonde author who turns out to be a psychopath? Hallelujah, more power to her! But for Jeremy? Eugh!
Just as she was turning into this divine femme fatale, Colleen Hoover had to strip her of a personality only to make Verity obsessed enough to kill for her man’s attention.
Not to forget how Verity wasn’t even regarded to be described as herself unless she was with Jeremy. Carelessly throwing it in the air that she had blonde hair is NOT a character description.
Speaking of Jeremy, I could see how perfect Hoover wanted him to be. Yet, once again, he only came out as this unrealistic character.
Idolizing main male characters for doing the bare minimum and just because they look “good” enough to get two women obsessed enough to kill for him was already too good to be true.
But Hoover expecting us to swoon over a man who felt no remorse for cheating on his wife in the SAME HOUSE she is bedridden and lost their two daughters was infuriating.
Not only did they stop there, but their incessant justification of something this low through Verity’s evilness made me despise them more.
Speaking of Lowen, she started as this character with boastful self-righteousness about what’s right and wrong when it was her relationship with her publisher. But, oh well, how could Hoover’s reader fangirl on Jeremy if the morally great Lowen didn’t get weak in the knees for him?
What truly tickles me the wrong way with Hoover’s characters is how they are forced into the plot instead of any character development.
Hoover stripped Verity into even less of a human with her quick death. The hastened description of Verity in her end moments was disappointing, to say the least. It felt rushed, and it felt as though her entire novel wasn’t supposed to revolve around Verity herself.
Her manner of death made her look weak and feasible instead of the powerful villain she portrayed throughout the entire novel.
My Take on Which Was True: The Manuscript or The Letter
It’s easy to say this was the section I was eagerly waiting for. I spent weeks debating with my friends about what is true. Finally, I came to a controversial conclusion — it doesn’t matter.
The novel should’ve ended with the end of the manuscript. Till then, all was good because I didn’t feel the urge to rip my hair out of frustration.
As I mentioned earlier, Verity’s death was the biggest disappointment of all this novel brought forward. So were the events that followed up to it.
You can come up with a million questions:
Why did Jeremy doubt Verity wasn’t comatose? If the letter is true, why didn’t Jeremy reveal he read the manuscript to Lowen before or after he made her an accomplice to murder?
Why didn’t Lowen confront Jeremy afterwards? How didn’t the Police find out Jeremy was present at the accident’s site?
Suppose the manuscript was true, and Jeremy did doubt Verity disliked Harper. How could he still gush about the first night he met her? Verity would kill for a child whom she forced herself to love just for Jeremy?
Take a moment and sit back. Did these questions rise from the cliffhanger or because it feels forced?
To me, it felt forced. The letter didn’t add anything to the plot other than make you hate all the characters even more and prove what a messy writer Colleen Hoover is.
The letter and the ending could have been better. It felt like I jumped to another book’s ending and read it to have my mind deranged. Colleen Hoover failed to connect the ending like every other novel written by her, and that just shows how much her writing and literary skills lack.
I would much rather have Lowen and Jeremy remember the house and Verity and feel the sigh of relief horror movie characters feel after escaping the haunted house in the end than be left in a state of confusion over how unrealistic and unnecessary the letter seemed.
With a book that was already leaving a lot to the imagination by providing nothing to visualize, derailing the reader’s feeling of total shock that a mother would be coldhearted enough to kill her child by adding the unrealistic letter, it felt like Hoover was trying to feed her readers information hoping they would blindly believe her.
The law or Police were in no way involved with the accident. Why didn’t the Police once doubt Jeremy through any of this?
It seems an awful lot suspicious that within a span of a few months, this man lost his twin daughters and wife and is still out there trying to earn from his wife’s name and moving on with her writer, who was present in the house during his wife’s death.
I can’t help but think how even villainizing Jeremy and Lowen would’ve been a better ending than having Lowen go from this aspiring writer to a woman who is delirious enough to believe Jeremy with the justification of how manipulative Verity was despite not knowing her at all.
I will forever hold a grudge against Colleen Hoover for demeaning her female characters, who somehow always end up as sex addicts to the point they only exist to idolize her hollow main male characters.
What Are My Ratings for Verity?
I read 27 chapters of Verity AKA the whole book. Considering how invested I was in this book; this should be an easy answer. If I wasn’t introduced to her previous work and wasn’t already aware of her lack of literary skills, I would rate this a 2.5 out of 5.
Unfortunately, I had big hopes for her not ruining this ending as well, but oh well… For that sole reason, I rate this a 3.5 out of 5.
Look, I get it was her first time exploring the world of psychological thrillers. But the fact that she came up with a plot this good shows how much potential her novels have but fail due to her ignorance and adamance to try out a new writing technique.
Another thing I didn’t enjoy about the book was how see-through Colleen Hoover became. It reflected her poor writing skills and how her mind works as a writer.
As a reader, I would much rather prefer the writer compel me to bring out my imagination than have to consistently debilitate and nitpick whether the writer meant it this way or that way.
Getting an insight into how twisted and convoluted Colleen Hoover’s psychosis is didn’t sit well with me because it took the spotlight away from scavenging how Verity’s psychopath mind worked instead.
Also, her last-ditch attempt at a cliffhanger with the letter that led to the entire ending was just disappointing. Not to forget the retarded justification of the shallow male main character, Jeremy, and the horrible main character, Lowen’s affair under his comatose wife’s roof was too abhorrent for me.
My favorite female antagonist, Verity, and the plot of this book’s back must hurt from carrying the weight of being the sole reason for my rating.
My Final Thoughts and Opinion on Verity By Colleen Hoover Summarized – Did I Like This Book?
I experienced my fair share of disappointment. Keeping my disappointments aside, I have to give my hats off to the plot because it was unreputable.
It was a breath of fresh air from Colleen Hoover’s romance novels, but I wouldn’t re-read it because, despite the plot, there is nothing that will make me go back to it.
If the ending was coherent with the rest of the plot, then I would enjoy a re-read. Till then, I’m hoping Colleen Hoover explores the world of psychological thrillers and comes up with another masterpiece plot.
Would I Recommend This Book to You?
Suppose you are unfazed by the lack of writing skills and messy execution. In that case, I recommend reading this solely for the greatness of its plot.
This is one of the best books she has to offer. Unfortunately, this is the only book she has in this genre. If you wish to explore more of her books,
I highly suggest It Ends with Us despite it being a romance novel. Because you will get the true Colleen Hoover experience when she’s in her element.