Verity by Colleen Hoover Book Review (+ Additional Ending Thoughts)

Wednesday, 14 April 2021



Title: Verity
Author: Colleen Hoover
Pages: 314
Publication date: 7th December 2018
Publisher: Hoover Ink (self published)
Genre: fiction, romance, thriller, thriller-romance

Trigger warnings: see end of review so not to contain spoilers

About the book
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.

Review
My god. My god. MY GOD. Okay, so bear with me because this isn't my typical preferred genre but lord almighty do I have some thoughts.

This book was disturbing in a such a way that I'm at a slight loss for words on how to even go about starting this review. Although, uncomfortable as it was to read, it was equally enthralling and gripping and it made me WANT to continue reading, despite it being so sinister.

Verity is pitched as a thriller-come-romance and whilst that does perfectly sum up the book, the book should also come with a warning that it is a complete mind f**k. It's by no means an easy read - it's as creepy as everyone says it is and has you questioning everyone and everything you're reading about, and just when you think you have it nailed... NOPE. As the story drew deeper and deeper, I was left wondering who was the bad guy (or gal) in all of this? Was Lowen seeing and imagining things? Was SHE the crazy one? And Verity's chapters. Jesus. There were times when I was so outraged and disgusted by these sections but also I was so engrossed in them. I wanted to read more of the bad stuff in the hopes of figuring out what happened but each time a new Verity chapter came along, it's fair to say I took a deep breath and braced myself for what was to come.

The book had me hooked from the very beginning and the first chapter alone lets you know you're in for a wild ride. I was very drawn to Lowen, and even though there was nothing overly special about her, I still really liked her and as the chapters went on, I was equally as invested as she was to get to the bottom of whatever was going on. The atmosphere throughout the entire story is realistically creepy and this is by far one of those books that makes you doubt yourself and what you believe to be true.

And THAT ending. I think my jaw actually dropped open as I mouthed the words "what in the actual f**k'. I've heard people say the ending is mind-blowing, but I was still not prepared for THAT. That was, by far, one of the best plot twists I have ever come across in a book.

Verdict: ★★★★★

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Trigger warnings: child abuse, child neglect, attempted home abortion, murder, graphic road traffic collision involving a pedestrian

Additional thoughts on the ending (spoilers)
So, Lowen has secretly set up a video baby monitor to prove that Verity is lying about her injuries. She sees Verity move on camera and goes to confront her but Jeremy doesn't believe Lowen and asks her to leave his house. It's only after Lowen finally shows Jeremy the autobiographical manuscript that Verity wrote, detailing how she killed Harper, that Jeremy loses his shit and tells Verity that if she doesn't fess up he's going to the police. Verity then confesses that she's been faking her injuries all along and in a fit of rage - and with Lowen's help - they both kill her and make her death look like she choked on her own vomit in her sleep and died. We then skip seven months into the future and Jeremy and Lowen are still together and Lowen is heavily pregnant with Jeremy's child. They go back to Jeremy and Verity's old house to clear some stuff out ahead of its pending sale. Lowen then comes across a handwritten letter from Verity, written to Jeremy, in which she states that Jeremy has previously read the manuscript and was the one driving the car that crashed into the tree which caused Verity's 'injuries'. Verity denies everything that was written in her autobiographical manuscript and claims it was a writing exercise which helps her understands her character's better, especially given that her books are written from the villain's POV.

Okay, so. I feel like the line "where did you find this?" from Jeremy when Lowen finally hands the manuscript over to him is hyped up way too much. I've read a lot of debates since finishing this book and a lot of people are confused by this line from Jeremy as it makes him appear as if he had previous knowledge of the manuscript. That to me is just someone asking an off-the-bat question. His reaction after reading the manuscript seemed far too raw and emotional for it to not be the first time he had read it. Why would he act that way if he had previously read the manuscript? Verity even mentioned in her letter that Jeremy was a good husband and father, so would he really put on an act of being so traumatised about apparently reading the manuscript for the first time? I think not. 

There are just some things that don't add up if Verity had made everything up in the manuscript. The fact that she did say to Crew "hold your breath, Crew" as the canoe tipped over. The fact that Crew was so traumatised when Lowen was asking him questions about the day Harper died that he cut his own mouth open with a knife surely proves how petrified he is of his own mother, who, according to Crew himself, told him not to talk about the day his sister died with Lowen.

And if Jeremy did have previous knowledge of the manuscript, why didn't Verity bring this up when he and Lowen confronted her? Surely she would have said something then? Asked Jeremy why he was acting the way he was if he already knew the manuscript was a writing exercise? 

The same night Verity wrote the letter was the same night that Lowen called Verity out and said something along the lines of "I hope you die the same way you tried to kill your infant daughter, choking on your own vomit". I think Verity panicked and realised that someone was on to her. I think she wrote the letter fully intending for Lowen to find it and not Jeremy. I think Verity got to a point where she realised she had taken things too far and was probably going to die at the hands of Jeremy and wrote that letter to mess with with Lowen one last time. 

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