Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: Romantic Thriller, Adult Fiction
Pages: 324 pages
Level of difficulty: 2/5 Dictionaries
My Rating: 2/5 Stars
Lowen Ashleigh is a writer who gets a big break when the husband of a severely injured author, Verity Crawford, seeks her to help continue the author’s beloved thriller book series. Lowen who is struggling financially accepts the opportunity and goes to their house with their husband, Jeremy, to read over Verity’s manuscripts. However, she ends up stumbling upon an unfinished autobiography that paints Verity in a very bad light. As Lowen begins to realise that Verity is evil and grows suspicious of the author’s current medical condition, all while developing feelings for Jeremy, she battles with what to do.
Unfortunately, this was a thriller that had so much potential but failed to deliver.
At the very beginning of the novel, Lowen and Jeremy meet in a traumatic manner but the weight of that incident is brushed upon, which seemed very unrealistic (despite the impression that since they both have had worst traumatic experiences they could look past the one that had happened in the beginning scene). This situation is very concerning since it’s a romance that grows on the foundation of (unresolved) trauma.
Furthermore, the romance that brewed between Lowen and Jeremy seemed very instant-love. There wasn’t any significant reason why Lowen liked Jeremy so much, apart from the fact that he was nice to her (which I would argue is a low standard). Considering the situation that Jeremy was in, and the other issues in his family, I was surprised that Lowen was not even a bit concerned about how a relationship with Jeremy could develop in a healthy manner (until towards the end of the novel), and thus began questioning if her feelings were just lust or infatuation.
Regarding the thriller aspect of the novel, it felt like Hoover tried hard to add every element that is stereotypical for a thriller novel without truly exploring them. There were many deaths, toxic relationships and mental health issues that could have been better analysed. Sadly, the medical condition that Verity was in and Lowen’s suspicion of it was badly tackled.
In addition, the lack of first-person narration by Jeremy made him quite an unrealistic character. There were many questions left unanswered about him, especially how he was dealing and had dealt with all the heartbreaking events that had been happening to him and his family.
Worst more, Hoover added a chapter that turned the whole novel/storyline on its head. While, there is nothing wrong with such an element in a novel, for the nature of the story and the issues in it, it left a bad taste in my mouth. It felt solely for shock value and thus very unnecessary.
Nevertheless, Colleen Hoover is a beloved romance writer and while I might not pick up another thriller by her, I would definitely give one of her romance novels a chance.