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, 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 terrible light. As Lowen realises 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 thriller 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 seems very unrealistic (despite the impression that since they both have had the 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 Jeremy’s situation and the other issues in his family, I was surprised that Lowen was not even a bit concerned about a healthy relationship with Jeremy (until towards the end of the novel) and thus began questioning her feelings just lust or infatuation.
Regarding the thriller aspect of the novel, Hoover tried hard to add every stereotypical element for a thriller novel without genuinely exploring them. Many deaths, toxic relationships, and mental health issues could have been better analysed. Sadly, the medical condition that Verity was in and Lowen’s suspicion of it was severely tackled.
In addition, Jeremy’s lack of first-person narration made him quite an unrealistic character. There were many questions left unanswered about him, especially how he was dealing with all the tragic events happening to him and his family.
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, it left a bad taste in my mouth with the nature of the story and its issues. In addition, 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.