Verity by Colleen Hoover

Yesterday I posted about one of my favorite romance authors, but Colleen Hoover is the author that started my love affair with the genre. Before her, I always thought romance books just weren’t for me, to put it lightly. But so many people on bookstagram talked about her that I had to give one of her books a try, and I’m so glad I did! She has a way of evoking every emotion and writes beautifully. I quickly read every single thing she’s written, and now she is an auto-buy author for me!

So today, I wanted to share information about her latest release, a romantic thriller.

Verity RB Banner.jpg

“Sublimely creepy with a true Hoover pulse. I’ve been waiting on a thriller like this for years.” Tarryn Fisher, New York Times bestselling author

Verity, an all-new romantic thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, is available now!


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 likely didn’t intend for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of the night their family was forever altered.

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.


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About Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times and International bestselling author of thirteen novels and multiple novellas. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. She is the founder of The Bookworm Box, a non-profit book subscription service and bookstore in Sulphur Springs, Texas.


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Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories | Edited by Stephanie Perkins

“Now summer was round and full, fruit ready to burst, a sun emerging fat, yellow, and happy from the sea.”
– Leigh Bardugo

This is a collection of twelve short stories that all take place in the summer, and they are definitely a perfect summer read (well, the ones I enjoyed anyway), but I think they can be enjoyed at any time of the year. This book was worth it for the stories by Leigh Bardugo, Libba Bray, Lev Grossman, and Veronica Roth. Others were a hit and miss, but I’ve written my thoughts on each of them so you can get an idea what they’re about.

 Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★★
This review was posted to my blog two days ago!

 The End of Love by Nina LaCour ★★★★
This story is about Flora, who is taking geometry in summer school after 11th grade even though she did well in it the first time around. She says she just needs something to keep her out of the house because her parents are going through a divorce. It’s in this class that she runs into a group of her ex-boyfriend’s friends, including the girl she had a crush on while she was dating her boyfriend. It was this girl that made her realize that she had feelings for girls, but then they lost touch because they went to different schools. Anyway, this girl invites her on a camping trip, and the description of this camping trip was so beautiful, and this is where their relationship begins to develop.

 Last Stand at the Cinegore by Libba Bray ★★★★★
This review was posted to my blog yesterday!

 Sick Pleasure by Francesca Lia Block 0 ★s
This one just had me going WTF the whole time. It’s so confusing because the narrator doesn’t refer to anyone by name, just initials. So in my head, I jokingly thought I guess her initial is “I” since that’s how she refers to herself in the first person… But then when a character asks her her name, she actually says it’s “I.” Creative much?

But I was willing to get past that because I’ve loved the first three stories in this book and thought this one must be worth it too, but nope. It only got worse as the story progressed. It felt like I was reading this book through a haze, and that’s exactly what other reviewers have said. There’s a bunch of disjointed scenes thrown all together and really no plot.

There IS what seems like a date rape, but it’s never called such and never mentioned again. No repercussions, nothing. And the story just got even more depressing from there. It made no sense and I absolutely regret reading this thing. Like, my life would have been better had I never read this. That’s how much I hated it.

 In Ninety Minutes, Turn North by Stephanie Perkins ★★★
I expected this to be one of my favorites in this collection because I’ve loved all three YA romances that Stephanie Perkins has written, but I just found this one slightly gloomy and not so happy. Marigold Moon Ling has traveled from Atlanta back to North Carolina to meet up with, and try to “rescue”, her recent ex-boyfriend North from a boring life of working at his parents’ Christmas tree farm. When she gets there, she finds out that he’s actually working an hour away at a mountain working a funicular, so she heads there. The description of the mountain and the funicular were absolutely beautiful and made me feel like I was right there. But her meeting with North left a lot to be desired because he was really short and curt with her. In the end, he does explain why, but I just wasn’t feeling the little “romance” in this that was there.

 Souvenirs by Tim Federle ★★
This takes place at a local Pennsylvania amusement park, and while I loved the setting, I couldn’t have cared less for the story. And it’s the only one that ends with the two breaking up by the end (which is fine, because one of them seemed rather narcissistic anyway).

 Inertia by Veronica Roth ★★★★
I enjoyed this story, and I think it’s one that will stay with me. It’s about a girl who suffers from depression but doesn’t want to take treatment for it, and the guy who used to be her best friend. He gets in a car crash and suffers near fatal injuries.

 Love is the Last Resort by Jon Skvron ★
What even was this story? And how did it end up in this collection? It was full of cliches. There was no character development, no buildup to the relationships, just everyone pairing off by the end. The writing was so cringey and had me rolling my eyes. I skimmed through this as fast as I could.

 Good Luck and Farewell by Brandy Colbert ★★
This was about a girl, Rashida, who is sad that her cousin is leaving her in Chicago to move to San Francisco with her gf. This cousin has been like a surrogate mother to her the past four years since her own mother passed away from taking a bottle of anti-depressants. There is a good-bye party for her cousin Audrey and Gillian, and while there, Rashida snaps at Gillian for offering her something to drink when she very well knows she’s in high school and her family is here. Immediately, Gillian’s brother Pierre steps in to snap back at Rashida. A little while later, Rashida is in the bathroom fixing her makeup or something, and there Pierre is again to bully her some more, letting her know that he’s sad too but it’s not like anyone’s dying or anything. And that’s exactly what you don’t say to someone whose mother passed away.

Gillian ends up drinking so much that she’s ready to pass out, and it somehow takes all three of them to take her back to the apartment. And that sums up this story. Oh, and if you can’t tell, Rashida and Pierre end up having a thing after she decides she’d like to stay in the apartment to watch Gillian with him rather than return to the party: as if staying with a guy who was such a jerk to you is the better option. Eye roll.

I’m giving this an extra star because it does cover an important talk: the taboo of talking about mental health/anti-depressants in the African American community.

 Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare ★★★

“It was a dark carnival. You know the drill. Evil clowns lurching out of the shadows, blood on their puffy white gloves. Tattered Big Top, blowing in a hot summer breeze. insane giggling children running in and out of the shadows. The hall of mirrors that throws back terrifying, distorted reflections. The tattooed man whose tattoos move and crawl on his skin, the merry-go-round that turns back time, the bearded lady who comes at you with a carving knife, and the forutne-teller who gives you only bad news.”

I loved the atmostphere/setting for this, but I just didn’t care too much for the characters or the story.

 A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E. Smith ★★★
This one takes place at a summer camp for kids, where the main character is a counselor. She spends a lot of time helping a kid with autism. One night after camp she’s at a grocery store, and she runs into a cute guy from school that she decides to ask out. And by the end of the story, you find out that he too is on the spectrum (Aspergers). It was very obvious to the reader from the beginning, but not at all to her. When she finds out, she decides it changes everything, yet when she verbalizes her feelings, she says she still wants to date him. That made no sense to me. One second it seemed like she had lost all interested in him, and the next, it didn’t? I don’t know. I couldn’t connect with this story either.

 The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman ★★★★★
This story was absolutely beautiful and made trudging through some of the above stories worth it just to get to this. I don’t even have words, but if you only read one story in this collection, make it this one. I’m looking forward to reading more by Lev Grossman now!

Cast Long Shadows (Ghosts of the Shadow Market, #2) by Cassandra Clare

“Old sins cast long shadows.” 

Before I begin, a couple of notes: this is the second story in The Ghosts of the Shadow Market anthology, and it takes place in 1901. This whole book should be read after The Infernal Devices because there will be major spoilers for one of the characters in that series at least. Also, this book is about Matthew Fairchild, Charlotte Branwell’s son (from The Infernal Devices). He has her last (maiden) name of Fairchild because she was the Consul. He’s not directly mentioned in The Infernal Devices, but his older brother is mentioned at the end of Clockwork Princess. I think he’ll be one of the main characters in the upcoming series, The Last Hours. So I guess these books could also be considered a prequel for that?

This story starts in the same way as The Son of the Dawn, with Brother Zachariah at The Shadow Market, but in London 1901. He runs into Matthew Fairchild here, and then there’s a flashback to Idris 1899. We learn that he’s best friends with James Herondale, who has the ability to transform into a shadow. James is at odds with Alastair Carstairs, who ends up getting James expelled from the Shadowhunter Academy.

And then Will Herondale makes an appearance! (And he now runs the London Institute.)

We learn Matthew tried to befriend James, but James typically keeps to himself and is found reading. James does eventually agree to be his parabatai! And here begins a Herondale/Fairchild friendship.

One of the main conflicts seems to be that Alastair has put it into Matthew’s head that he is Gideon’s child, not Henry’s as Henry is an “invalid”. Meanwhile, Jem is on a commission to find a book at the Shadow Market.

Matthew runs into a faerie at the Market and has this exchange:

“Ah, well. ‘He has nothing, but he looks everything. What more can one desire?” Matthew quoted. “Oscar Wilde. Do you know his work? I heard faeries like to steal poets. You should definitely have tried to steal him.”

The woman laughed. “Perchance we did. Do you wish to be stolen, honey sweet boy?”

I liked the random bits of humor that are present in all of Clare’s work as well: Perhaps Matthew should spend his time brooding over a forbidden passion like James was currently doing.

Matthew decided to give unrequited love a try. He stared out the window with all the pensive force he could muster. He was preparing to pass a hand across his fevered brow and murmur “Alas, my lost love” or some other such rot when he was abruptly rapped upon the head with a book.

Honestly, Jamie was lethal with that thing.

“Are you quite well, Matthew?” Jamie inquired. “Your face suggests you are suffering from an ague.” 

Back to the story: Later on, Matthew slips some truth serum into the scones everyone will eat for breakfast to see if there is any truth to Alastair’s accusation and when there are consequences, Brother Zachariah is called in. Jem tells him he will keep his secret, but that he should share it with someone. Matthew replies coldly denying everything about the Shadow Market. I didn’t understand this scene at all because we know he’s ridden with guilt, and immediately after this scene he does try to go and confess to James, so why the sudden coldness with Jem?

The story ends with a short scene from Jem’s perspective where he is re-united with Tessa and we even get a brief scene with him and Will!

Other characters:
Christopher and Thomas Lightwood Christopher and Thomas are cousins (Christopher is Gabriel and Cecily’s child, Thomas is Gideon and Sophie’s). That makes James Herondale Christopher’s cousin. And Thomas is one of the few people Alastair will listen to.
Charles Buford – Matthew’s older brother and Charlotte’s son. Charlotte has no close family and Henry’s family didn’t approve of Charlotte being Consul.
Alastair Carstairs – Jem’s cousin. (It’s his uncle Elias’s son.) Has a sister named Cordelia who is much nicer and actually likes Jem/Brother Zachariah. Lucie Herondale plans to be Cordelia’s parabatai.
Anna – a cousin of Matthew’s and who the next short story will be about
Ragnor Fell – a professor at the Shadowhunter Academy currently.

Why does Thomas look up to Alastair? Because he’s seen another side of him. (x) He is the fourth person Alastair likes, the first three being Cordelia, Charles Fairchild, and his mom. Alastair has issues at home (his dad didn’t come to get him) and at the Academy (because he’s half Persian). And there’s a whole lot more about Alastair in the post I linked.

[april 10] A sample of this novella can be found at the end of “Son of the Dawn.” This one will be released May 8. I just need to figure out who Matthew Fairchild is before then haha (I guess by reading The Infernal Devices. I’m stuck on the last book of The Mortal Instruments for now.)

1. Son of the Dawn by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan (takes place in New York City 2000) ★★★★★
2. Cast Long Shadows by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan (takes place in London 1901)
3. Every Exquisite Thing by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson (also takes place in 1901)
4. Learn about Loss by Cassandra Clare and Kelly Link
5. A Deeper Love by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson
6. The Wicked One by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman
7. Through Blood, Through Fire by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman
8. The Land I Lost by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan