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Review: ‘Verity’ is a chilling romantic thriller

The romantic thriller “Verity” by Colleen Hoover is so chilling Hoover suggests joining a Facebook support group solely for people who have read this book just pages after the unsettling ending.

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

The romantic thriller “Verity” by Colleen Hoover is so chilling Hoover suggests joining a Facebook support group solely for people who have read this book just pages after the unsettling ending.

This book went viral on TikTok after users gave it high ratings, but warned readers about the adult content, cursed romance and psychological torment that awaited them if they chose to read.

Lowen Ashleigh is a New York City-based struggling author with a mountain of debt and eviction looming over her head. 

That changes when she reluctantly accepts an offer from Jeremy Crawford to finish the successful book series of his wife, bestselling author Verity Crawford, after she becomes medically unable to continue.

This offer entails so much more than a big payday for Lowen.

What she first thought would be a short trip to sort through Verity’s notes in the Crawford home turns into a two-week-long discovery of the tragedy of Verity and her family.

Lowen quickly learns that the Crawford family are no strangers to loss and heartache before even arriving at their home, and her interest in their story intensifies after she finds a manuscript of Verity’s autobiography hidden in her home office.

At this point, the story begins to unfold in almost unimaginable ways. The chapters alternate between Lowen’s perspective at the Crawford house as she gets to know Jeremy and his son, Crew, through Verity’s autobiography.

Lowen is just as determined as the reader is to learn the truth about the Crawfords.

Hoover’s choice to make Verity unable to speak for herself due to a tragic accident that left her in a vegetative state is a bold, yet smart decision. This way, we must explore Verity through the gaze of others.

However, the manuscript provides both Lowen and the reader a glimpse into Verity’s past. Her autobiography is proof that there are two sides to every story, and some sides are darker than others.

As Lowen gets to know Jeremy in real life and via Verity’s sexually graphic autobiography, her attraction to him grows deeper than her initial crush.

Readers should prepare to hold their breath for the entirety of the climax of this novel. Tensions in the house reach a boiling point as truths are finally revealed. 

Up until this point, Lowen has been the perfect protagonist. Her actions and thoughts seemed warranted given all that she uncovered during her time at the Crawford house. 

However, as the story reaches its peak, Lowen’s self-interest overshadows the typical moral decision we expect from a leading lady. It makes the reader question if she is justified or just threatened.

Following that fateful night, the next chapter picks up seven months later as Lowen revisits the Crawford house at a completely new stage in life.

She is no longer the aloof author worrying about where she’d live but now a financially secure woman looking forward to her next chapter.

During this visit to the house that is now on the market, Lowen discovers a letter hidden in the floorboard of Verity’s room. This marks the second piece of writing of Verity’s that completely shatters our reality.

After reading the letter, Lowen quickly decides that it is best to destroy it without mentioning its contents to a soul.

“Verity” is impossible to put down from start to finish. Hoover ensures that no character is trustworthy in this story as they all have their interests at heart. 

In the end, the reader will question if there were any heroes to root for at all. A warm hug is recommended after finishing this book.

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