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Soapie or not, this author’s novels are veritable page-turners

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Soapie or not, this author’s novels are veritable page-turners

Colleen Hoover shot to fame after someone drew attention to ‘Verity’. She now has three Exclusive Books best-sellers

Sunday Times books editor
If I'd had my way, I'd have wrapped myself up with Colleen Hoover for days.
HOT STUFF If I'd had my way, I'd have wrapped myself up with Colleen Hoover for days.
Image: 123RF/CherriesJD

If you’d mentioned Colleen Hoover to me at the beginning of this year I would not have known who you were talking about. But she has become a phenomenon in the past few months. Thanks mostly to BookTok.

What is most impressive is that this week she has three books on the Exclusive Books best-seller list. Yes, three!

Colleen Hoover's 'Verity' is unputdownable.
Colleen Hoover's 'Verity' is unputdownable.
Image: Supplied

I have written about Verity before, her offering that probably started the craze. It was released in 2018, but last year someone on BookTok wrote about it and it took off. One reader on goodreads wrote: “Why read Verity when you can just pull out a Ouija board and summon a demon? I’m sure it’ll have the same effect.” Hoover even suggests readers join a Facebook support group after reading it, even if it’s for a virtual hug, because the ending is so unsettling.

I read Verity in two sittings (it’s number 18 on the list) and I would have spent the weekend reading her other books, but events called. As I was socialising, all I could think about was Verity. It keeps one completely embroiled in its world.

It’s totally a soap opera, but in a Days of Our Lives 1980s/1990s heyday way. Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer. Her mother has just died and after taking care of her needs, she has to secure some money quickly. Thank goodness she is engaged to continue the series of best-selling author Verity Crawford. To do that she must move into the house where Verity is in a vegetative state due to a car crash. Lowen has to sort through the piles of papers in Verity’s office to make sense of the world the author has created in her books. The house is eerie and Verity’s husband Jeremy is the quintessential tall, dark, broody man. Lowen uncovers an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended anyone to read. It’s filled with bone-chilling admissions, including how their twin daughters died. The more Lowen reads, the closer and more protective she feels towards Jeremy and the more she thinks Verity is watching them. 

If 'Verity' is anything to go by, Colleen Hoover's new novel is sure to fly off the shelves.
If 'Verity' is anything to go by, Colleen Hoover's new novel is sure to fly off the shelves.
Image: Supplied

Tawdry, impossible to put down and with an ending that is more jaw-dropping than Gone Girl, it’s no wonder this did well on BookTok. 

So on to the two next books. Ugly Love is at number 12 on the Exclusive Books list. Out in 2014, it’s straight romance. There’s heartbreak, sadness and I think just brokenness between Tate Collins and Miles Archer. It’s a bit 50 Shades of Meh, but there’s lots of love for it from Hoover fans.

It Ends with Us is her 2016 novel, featuring the awesomely named Lily Bloom and Ryle Kincaid, who meet on a rooftop one night in Boston (number 5 on the list). She being small, delicate, yet fearsomely clever; he being a gorgeous neurosurgeon, funny and wry, they fall for each other, but Lily has baggage that threatens their relationship.

Hoover’s new book, Reminders of Him, will undoubtedly fly off the shelves. She sticks with her romance genre, but does spike it up with thrills, like she did with Verity

The author has indeed created the perfect holiday binge read.

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