Oh girl. Oh girlllll. Girlllllllllll. This book is awful. Easily in the bottom five books I’ve ever read. And I’ve read a lot of books. So TLDR: DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. If you want to know why I’m lambasting Verity, and by association Hoover, read on. But be warned, it ain’t pretty…
*** THIS REVIEW IS 60% SPOILERS.***
Wow. Thinking about how terrible this book is has me fired up again. It was like if a high schooler tried to write a version of Girl on the Train. And the high schooler only had a loose grip on literature. Now, I know that’s harsh. But I absolutely stand by it.
You may be wondering, Allison, why did you pick up this book? And when it proved to be God awful, why did you finish it? Great questions.
I’m a member of several virtual book groups on FaceB**k. People share plot thoughts, offer recommendations, and discuss general bookish things. And normally it’s great. So when roughly one million people recommended Verity as a book that ‘was super good’ and ‘had an insane plot twist’ or ‘kept me up late thinking about it,’ I figured that was a good sign. So when Hoover and the powers that be put the book on KindleUnlimited, I borrowed it. And it was terrible.
But I finished it. Partly because I always finish books. And partly because I was hoping the ending would redeem the terrible beginning and middle. It didn’t.
Plot snippet: Jeremy hires Lowen (LOWEN) to ghost write a book. His successful author wife, Verity, has a super popular book series that needs finishing but she’s basically comatose. Lowen is broke and in a rough spot so she agreeds. Also two of Jeremy’s three kids have died semi suspiciously. Lowen ignores this.
Then we learn some //deep, dark, evil// things about Verity and it’s like omg she’s so evil.
But it’s fine because she’s in a coma, right? She can’t do anything. Then Lowen sees her move like 19 times and then it turns out she wasn’t evil or in a comatose state. And Jeremy, who has been acting weird and creepy the whole time, is actually the one who’s evil. SHOCKING. I only saw that 100 pages away.
And to top it all off, Lowen ignores everything that has happened and decides to stay with Jeremy. Because she’s a dummy.
Let’s start there.
The characters were so flat and the Lowen is completely unsympathetic. There were so many chances for Hoover to make us like her. The way Lowen cared for her sick mother. The first scene (which was so random and useless in retrospect) where she is shaken by someone dying in front of her. The way she wants connection with people but feels like she doesn’t fit into the world. Instead, she’s two dimensional and unrelatable to the point of being unrealistic. Also seems like she has ~loose morals.~
The other characters are the same; they’re all based on tropes with virtually nothing that makes them unique or memorable. The book agent. Really? The husband, the nurse, the kid. Yeah, very unimpressed.
But it wasn’t just the terrible characters, the writing was horrendous. Lowen reads Verity’s ‘secret memoir’ and justifies it to herself over several chapters the exact same way. Like, I’m talking Hoover copy and pasted the same weak excuse, word for word, more than once.
Also the whole point is that Lowen has to finish this book series. But do we learn anything about the series? No! Is it (supposed to be) a huge part of the plot? Yes! Some information would have been nice! But no. We just know that they’re written from the villain’s point of view and they’re ‘amazing.’
Speaking of written. In the last scene Lowen finds a letter Verity had written then hidden beneath the floorboards. She wrote it while pretending to be a vegetable because she was worried her husband was going to killer. I don’t know about you, but if I was afraid for my life, I wouldn’t stop and write a 20 or more page letter that explains every single detail of everything. Seriously, it was so long it must have taken a whole notebook’s worth of paper.
P.S. For a best selling author, she had poor syntax and rudimentary vocab.
I would bet money Hoover got to the end of the book and was like oh snap, that was predictable. Lemme throw something in last minute to switch it up and make it a huge twist. Alas, it was not a twist.
And that leads us to the final, and truly criminal, element of the story. The plot.
The plot is predictable and poorly executed. Maybe if it had been innovative or well done, I wouldn’t think this had been a waste of time. As it is, it was incredibly predictable. And not because I detected a bunch of hidden clues. They weren’t hidden at all!!!!!! From the very beginning, there can only be one reason something in Verity’s room moves when she’s in there alone. Because she isn’t comatose. She moved it.
Then 100 pages later when somehow, very mysterious, something else moves and Lowen is shook, I’m like wait. But you acknowledged something was moved and it would have to have been her. So why are we acting surprised?
OH MY GOSH AND THE SLEEP WALKING THING. SO DUMB. Literally the most irrelevant sub plot OF ALL TIME. I’m not even going to bother explaining it. It’s a waste of time.
Then at one point, she’s having sex with Jeremy and looks up and sees Verity standing there. BUT her lack of sleep has her convinced she is seeing things. Really? That’s the best you can do? That’s what Hoover did with that?
Deep breaths Allison. Get it out of your system.
Lastly, the big, earth moving shocker. Unfortunately, not a shocker. We knew. The husband was weird and shady since legit page 3.
So, dear reader, please please please avoid this book. Your time is valuable and to read this book would be a total waste of it. If you do want to read something with a good plot, try The Turn of the Key or even freaking Girl on The Train if you haven’t. Anything else.
I’m glad I finally got that off my chest. I’ll sleep better knowing I warned who I could.