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Column: My foray into BookTok and the world of Colleen Hoover

Varity, by Colleen Hoover is pictured on Oct. 5, 2022.

I love to read. And as an editor, that makes a lot of sense. 

However, I’ve loved reading since I was a kid. I loved spending hours in Barnes & Noble telling other kids what books they should get. I loved “reading” books to my classmates in kindergarten, when a lot of the time, I didn’t even know what the words said. I think I can blame a lot of my addiction to reading on being an only child, but I think my dad has a lot of fault in this too. 

“She’s going to be a reader.” 

Those were the first words my dad said to me when I was born. You would think that this is a failed attempt at a lie or a really bad opening line in a coming-of-age movie, but it’s no joke. My dad would be happy to back me up on this. 

So as I found myself hovering over our Opinion Editor, Caitlyn’s shoulder asking her to create a place for book reviews in the Opinion section — I came to the conclusion that I should do it myself.

So here I am trying to figure out what kind of books people read these days and what kind of books people want to see other people read and write a review on. And then it hit me: BookTok. 

In case you haven’t found yourself wasting hours and hours on TikTok, allow me to explain. BookTok is a trending subcommunity on the app that highlights the trending literature. A lot of the featured books have found their way to the top of the charts through this group of over-obsessed individuals behind their phone screen.

The job that I’ve bestowed upon myself for these book reviews is finding out if the books on BookTok are really worth your time, or if you should move on to the chapters of lecture readings that you haven’t done from last class. 

We’re starting off strong with the queen of BookTok herself: Colleen Hoover. 

The New York Times bestselling author has charmed the people with her adult fiction and romance novels for the past few months. After being given her book “Verity” last spring, I finally decided to see what all of the hype was about, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. 

“Verity” balances romance and suspense through a plot that I was not at all expecting when I first picked up the book. Struggling author Lowen Ashleigh and the wealthy Jeremy Crawford meet by chance at the corner of a busy New York City street — we can all see where this is going. 

And when the two depart from each other, I already knew that they would meet back up at some point, but I didn’t think that the aura of Jeremy's wife, Verity Crawford, who is in a medically-induced coma, would also join them. 

The book switches between Lowen’s point of view and a bizarre found manuscript from the perspective of Verity. I’m a fan of this writing style and Hoover does a good job of using strange cliffhangers to pull readers back in.

Now, I have to say that I’m usually not a romance novel girl, but I can respect them every once in a while. Without spoiling too much, "Verity" gives an adequate balance between mystery and romance. But the romance parts are, well, very romantic. You’ll see what I mean. 

Overall, I would say that the hype around “Verity” is worth it for a quick read. The suspense and strange plot line kept my attention and I would suggest you pick it up, too. Unless you are my dad reading this article, then definitely don’t pick it up. 


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