Rating: 5 Spice rating: 4
I worked hard to try and lower my expectations for this one, because often when books get too much hype I end up disappointed. However, I could not contain my excitement and it STILL did blew my expectations out of the water. I kept thinking, “I know where this is going!”
Narrator: “She did not know where this was going”.
Verity is my first Colleen Hoover book, and she has already shot to the top of my favorite authors list. That’s how much I enjoyed this story. The two main character’s inital meeting, (if I had to describe that scene by the way, I would describe it as a meet-NOT-cute) felt a little too forced, but the following scenes and the way that they gradually opened up to each other seemed more natural. Once Lowen had moved into the Crawford home it was only a matter of time before her and Jeremy started to get close, since they immediately trauma bonded and the law of proximity was on their side. Despite how nice he seemed, I was already muttering “nope nope nope get the hell out of there” by the time she had unpacked her bags. In Lowen’s defense, she had nowhere else to go, but honestly anywhere would have been better than that spooky ass house. Any other female author would have read Jane Eyre already and known to get the hell out of dodge. Not Lowen… she was determined to continue reading Verity’s horrible autobiography and finish writing her books. I can’t blame her too much though, those chapters are like a horrifying train wreck you can’t look away from.
Hoover’s mind is a treasure, seriously. She had me hooked from the beginning and masterfully tugged me around like a plaything, simultaneously weaving horrible twists to unravel at the end. Even though I had no investment in the romance between Lowen and Jeremy, I still was riveted by the story due to the nature of the Crawford tragedies. Of course, I also had to know what was going on with Verity’s son. Everything to do with him had me on edge, and I felt so bad for everything he had to go through. The way that this story was structured was interesting too. By switching back and forth between Lowen’s point of view and Verity’s chapters, Hoover was able to raise anticipation and present more questions than answers with each section. It was unnerving and a way of storytelling that I haven’t often read. She definitely knows how to write a mystery and I am looking forward to hopefully reading more books like these from her in the future.
As I touched on before, I didn’t care if Lowen and Jeremy ended up together. I was too busy counting red flags to have vested much interest. I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t give a nod to the spice in this. Some of it was explicit, but not sexy, due to the unsettling context and motivation. There is one section that gets steamy though, and since it’s written by a woman who knows how to write smut well, it gets 4 chili peppers. Enjoy that short reprieve in the midst of an unsettling story, heathens.
Overall, I thought this book was fantastic. It packs a punch for a story that isn’t actually that long and I think it would make an intriguing mini-series. I also would not be surprised if this is in the running for my top reads of 2022, and it’s only April. If you’re a fan of romantic suspense or mysteries I highly recommend you snag a copy of Verity.