Verity, by Colleen Hoover
It is JUST just a book.
Slam said book shut every five seconds to take a break from its pure intensity.
Resumes reading anyways.
Reach the end.
Finish the book and stare at the ceiling in shock, trying to process everything that just happened.
Five hours. That's the time it took for me to read this book from start to finish. Coincidentally, also the time this book took to cause me lasting emotional damage because my mind wasn’t built to handle such TRAUMA, INTENSITY AND JUST PURE DARKNESS. I might seem dramatic right now, but you’ll understand and completely agree with me when you read it. Until then, here’s a little teaser of what the book is about.
Verity Crawford – best-selling author, doting wife, and mother, or dark, twisted, psychopath that would do anything to keep her husband all to herself. Choices, choices. Which version to believe. The sweet illusion projected to the rest of the world, or the manuscript of her secret, unpublished autobiography that delves into the deepest recesses of her mind. This is the question our protagonist, Lowen, finds herself grappling with throughout the book. After a tragic accident leaves Verity Crawford, world famous writer, incapacitated, struggling author Lowen Ashleigh finds herself recruited by Jeremy, Verity’s husband, for the rather unusual job of finishing his wife’s incomplete book series. In it for the money, Lowen agrees to the offer and moves into Jeremy and Verity’s house and begins searching the latter’s office for any notes or drafts that could help her in her journey.
During her rather resigned search, Lowen stumbles across the manuscript of Verity’s unpublished autobiography. Unable to resist, Lowen starts reading it and begins peeling back the seemingly infinite layers to Verity. The more Lowen reads, the more horrified she gets. The woman that Lowen discovers in the manuscript is a whole another person than the one that the rest of the world seems to know, remember, and love.
They say curiosity killed the cat. Well, in this instance, the ‘cat’ may not be killed, but she definitely won’t walk away unscathed. And neither will you. I’ve always heard my friends talk about “book hangovers” - which was a concept that I never really understood. Then I read ‘Verity’ and this is definitely a ‘book hangover’ inducing novel. After reading it, I was in a complete state of shock and confusion and also just the tiniest bit scared. The manuscript chapters were so disturbing that one scene involving a hanger actually made me stop reading for a good twenty minutes.
Let’s just say that you won’t be the same after reading the book, because I am definitely not. Every single chapter was like a masterclass in evoking conflicting emotions in the reader. The manuscript extracts in particular were what hooked me. Verity’s mind was so deliciously messed up that her insane actions and justifications just drew me in further. I couldn’t help reading one chapter, then the next, and the one after that, and then yet another one, just to reach the manuscript extracts sprinkled throughout the book.
Of course, it would be a crime if I didn’t mention our three main characters themselves. Jeremy, Lowen, and Verity. Jeremy is the loyal husband, and loving father, but again like everyone else, he has another side. Tormented by his own demons, as you find out, he’s not the perfect man that everyone seems to believe he is.
Lowen, our protagonist has been through a lot, and she really should learn how to make better choices, but unfortunately she doesn’t. I can’t really complain about that as some of her rather dumb choices are integral plot points, but still, her lack of common sense sometimes really made me wonder. Watching Lowen and Jeremy interact was like waiting for an accident to happen. An attractive single woman and a man who has been lonely for far too long. Of course, they would go down that path. They were definitely an inevitable train wreck, but that’s exactly why I couldn’t pull myself away.
And finally, we come to Verity. Verity, oh Verity, where do I start with her. She may not have been the star, but she definitely stole the show. All said and done, she was a truly phenomenal character. I absolutely loved her, which may say something about me, but I’m being honest. She had so many different shades that it’s quite impossible to think of her various personas as part of the same character.
Reading the book, I was initially skeptical because Colleen Hoover is known for her proficiency in romance books - and I’m not the biggest fan of that genre. However, ‘Verity’ gave me a high unlike any other book I’ve read. I spent the next few days in a daze, craving a book as good as this one. I wanted to feel the same intensity and rush of emotions again. I haven’t found such a book yet, and it’s been months now.
‘Verity’ is truly a very tough book to beat. It is addicting in the best way possible. Upon finishing it, you’ll be left with quite a lot of feelings, a very unstable state of mind, and a burning need to find the answer to one question. It’s the same question Lowen finds herself asking as well. A question that quite beautifully sums up the entire book.
‘No matter which way I look at it, it’s clear that Verity was a master at manipulating the truth. The only question that remains is: Which truth was she manipulating?’ - Lowen
- Publisher : Sphere (18 February 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1408726602
- ISBN-13 : 978-1408726600
© 2022, Anika Agarwal. All rights reserved.