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What is the truth behind Verity by Colleen Hoover?

DISCLAIMER: This is bursting with spoilers, so if you haven’t read this book, do not read this. This is for all of us who are trying to make sense of what we just read. I am not holding back on anything, so I really recommend reading the book first. If you would like to read my spoiler free review, go ahead, but you’ve been warned of what’s coming next.

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Oh. God. This book… I do not know how to cope after reading this. I am shook. For most of the book I thought that it was kind of predictable, I knew what was going on and I thought I knew how it was going to end. And I did… Sort of. (not really but humor me)

I think I’m leaning more towards believing the original story. I honestly think that Verity was a horrible human being and that she wasn’t actually writing an antagonistic journal (even though it may sound awfully convincing). But, I do have many doubts about what happened. I don’t know what I believe, so let’s talk about some of the major things that went down in this story…

The Autobiography

ALRIGHT (book reference), let’s start off with the very first and very obvious topic. The autobiography. So apparently, this horrible manuscript in which we got to know how truly horrible Verity actually was… Isn’t real? After reading the letter, we find out that it’s supposed to be an antagonistic journal in which she wrote about her life, but her internal dialogue was sinister and completely different from her. I do understand that she decided to continue on with this cause it helped her be a better writer. But damn… She went above and beyond, didn’t she?

No one is likable from the inside out. One should only walk away from an autobiography with, at best, an uncomfortable distastes for its author. I will deliver. What you read will taste so bad at times, you’ll want to spit it out, but you’ll swallow these words and they will become part of you, part of your gut, and you will hurt because of them.

I think this is enough to prove that Verity had some kind of mental issue. Besides, I think that ‘an uncomfortable distaste’ is a HUGE understatement.

The sole fact that she already wrote such disturbing books makes me doubt whether or not this manuscript was actually just her practicing her evilness. Besides, I really can’t understand how a mother who, allegedly, loves her children very much, could be able to write such horrible things about them. She insulted them and constantly described how much she hated and resented them. And she almost killed Harper!! When she was a BABY!

I cannot believe that a truly loving mother could picture herself doing something so horrible and actually put it into words. She can be the most amazing author ever and she could believe that she was writing from a character’s point of view all she wants, but, at the end of the day, those were her kids. I think that maybe she felt guilty about what a horrible person she was and how badly she treated her children, so she found a way to let off steam. But I can’t believe that everything that she wrote was actually a lie.

Crew’s injuries

This is something that I’ve been thinking about A LOT, and I think it’s a very big clue to the actual truth for both arguments (Verity Evil vs. Verity Not Evil). Towards the end of the book we see that Crew is capable of hurting himself. He felt scared when Lowen started asking him so many questions about his mom because he knew that she was faking everything. He didn’t know what to say, so he tried to find a way to avoid the conversation. Apparently he thought that the best thing to do was to bite a knife and hurt himself. Genius, I know.

It’s obvious that Colleen wanted us to know what this kid was capable of in order to throw us off with what happened before. Because at the beginning of the book, Crew is injured, also with a knife, in Verity’s room…

“Mommy said I’m not supposed to touch her knife.”

I freeze. “Your mommy says that?”

What the heck Crew? Please explain yourself.

Automatically we may think that she tried to hurt him, but he never seemed scared of her and we don’t actually know what happened in that room. He screamed and he was hurt and there was a knife on the floor. If Verity wasn’t evil and actually loved him, why would he cut himself or why would she hand him the knife? Did he bring it to her because she asked him to? Was she planning to protect herself? If Verity was, in fact, evil, then the most plausible circumstance was that she tried to kill him. But then, why wasn’t he scared of her? He already knew what she did to his sister. He was suspicious and then she tried to hurt HIM. We know that Crew is a smart kid, so why wasn’t he scared? Why did he spend so much time with her? Did she convince him to hurt himself? Did she threaten him to stay quiet and act normal?

Harper’s Death

I think this is one of the biggest uncertainties in this book. What was it that actually happened the day of Harper’s death? In the manuscript we learn that Verity did not love Harper. She thought she was very annoying and she blamed her for the death of Chastin — the only one of her kids that she actually loved. So, it’s no surprise that she got rid of her as soon as she could. But, still, we don’t know what actually happened.

Maybe I was misinterpreting my dream. Maybe it wasn’t a premonition. Maybe it was a warning. If I didn’t do something about Harper before it was too late, Chastin would die.

I literally have no comment.

My first question is… Did Verity love or hate Harper? We’re still not sure about that. There is a conversation that we read in So be it where we see Jeremy confronting Verity because she clearly likes Chastin better than Harper. Did that conversation actually happen? I am mostly certain that it did. Regardless of whether the autobiography was real or fake, she wrote about her actual life. So that conversation must have happened. This would mean that she did show a preference towards Chastin and didn’t pay much attention to Harper. However, what she said about Harper’s needs being different… That’s not entirely wrong either. But I do think that everything has it’s balance. Even if your kid processes things differently and you chose to show your love for them differently, why not talk about it with the father? Why did she wait so long to test Harper for Asperger’s? Why did she barely talk about her accomplishments with Jeremy?

I just think that Verity’s attitude towards Harper is extremely suspicious because if Jeremy hadn’t doubted her love for her daughter, maybe he would’ve been more hesitant to believe that she killed her. Maybe he wouldn’t have been so suspicious when Crew told him that Verity asked him to HOLD HIS BREATH.

SHE TOLD HIM TO HOLD HIS FREAKING BREATH. There is no way that ANYONE can make me believe that she told him that while they were tipping over. NO. WAY. I refuse to believe that. It’s way too weird. In her letter she said that she thought that Harper was right behind them when they were swimming to the shore. Ha. Yeah right. You want to make me believe that she never looked back to make sure that her daughter was behind her? She didn’t look back to make sure that she was swimming? She didn’t look back to make sure that she had actually MADE IT TO THE SURFACE OF THE WATER. No way.

Verity’s Act

We all know that Verity was faking her injuries. If it was really Jeremy who hurt Verity, it would make sense for her to fake everything because she was scared. However, I can’t really make sense of why she would’ve faked all this if she really tried to kill herself. What did she want to accomplish? Why did she wait so long to do whatever it was that she wanted to do?

I honestly don’t know what to believe in this case. I don’t know how she was able to keep up with such a horrible and big lie for sooo long. That must’ve been so uncomfortable. The only explanation that I can think about (if she was actually evil) was that she wanted to kill Crew and then, magically, start recovering, so that all of Jeremy’s efforts were directed towards her. I mean, at the end of the day, the only thing that she wanted was Jeremy’s attention and love.

Jeremy and The Murder

Oh. God. What should we believe?

Apparently, Jeremy finds the manuscript for So be it right after Harper’s death and he tries to kill Verity as revenge. Immediately I think that’s kind of weird… We know that Jeremy loves his kids more than anything, so after reading such a horrible thing (like his wife’s secret, graphic, horrendous and utterly disturbing autobiography) and knowing that she was indifferent towards Harper, it isn’t surprising that he believes it instantly. However, this man, who we have seen is so kind, patient, understanding and considerate… Is he really capable of murder?

The answer is YES. He is capable of murder. He kills Verity after Lowen gives him the manuscript. We know that he killed her and it wasn’t an accident. In fact, they figured out a way to kill her and get rid of her, without anyone knowing or being suspicious of them.

(Before continuing, let me just clear up that I don’t agree with the fact that they killed her. That’s murder and they should’ve called the police or dealt with it in a different manner.)

Either way, I think it makes sense. If he did know about the manuscript and actually tried to kill her, I would understand why he decided to take care of her afterwards. Maybe he wanted to protect his son or maybe he felt guilty about it. However, after Lowen gave him the manuscript, he went and read it… But hadn’t he already read it? What he didn’t actually know about was that Verity was faking her injuries, so its understandable why he was so angry, he most likely thought that she was pretending in order to hurt Crew.

But, what I don’t really understand is why wasn’t he more suspicious? I mean, he was suspicious when Lowen told him that she thought that Verity was faking it. He even put a lock in Lowen’s room and then he put one in Verity’s. However, he never actually locked Verity’s room and he never showed much concern when it came to Crew spending time with her. If he had read the manuscript, he would’ve known what she was capable of, so I think he should’ve been more suspicious and cautious from the very beginning… Or am I just being very paranoid? I would’ve been more paranoid if I had known that a psychopath that killed one of my daughters were spending time with my son.

The Letter

This letter is so fake. Do not even get me started on it. It literally makes no sense. This letter makes no sense and even if I tried to defend Verity, I would not use this letter as an argument because it’s bull.

The moment I read that it was a writing exercise… What??? Honestly, at first I thought that Lowen and Jeremy killed an innocent person… But no. I do not believe her. I mean, you’re trying to tell me that absolutely everything that she wrote… Wasn’t true? If it wasn’t true how could she write that? That was her family, her husband and kids. I cannot believe that a mother could write such horrible things about her kids as I said before. But also, this is a very convenient letter for her, isn’t it?

Do you remember when she wrote this? She wrote this the night that Lowen and Jeremy were together for the first time. In case you don’t recall it, this was also the night that Lowen told her that she knew about the manuscript, and she confirms it in the letter. She stated that she was writing the letter while she had locked them up in the master bedroom. Once again… how convenient that she came up with this amazing story at this very moment. I honestly think that she just wanted to runaway with Crew and leave Jeremy the letter with hopes that he would believe her and go after them. Also, she could’ve been trying to frame him as a way to threaten him maybe? Cause in that letter she does explain how he tried to kill her. Twice. So… Maybe that’s why?

But still, that’s so stupid. Nope. I don’t trust her. That letter is a bunch of lies.

The only question that remains is: Which truth was she manipulating?

In all honesty, I think Verity was evil. I think she tried to kill the babies. I think she hurt Crew. I think she killed Harper. I think she tried to kill herself.

However, I think it is important to acknowledge that the alternate story could also be true. Do you know how many people go through traumatic situations and no one believes them because they think their story isn’t realistic enough? Maybe that’s what happened to Verity. Maybe her story was so conveniently framing, that it is impossible for us to believe that it was actually true. I think she does deserve the benefit of the doubt (even if everything is as suspicious as it is).

But, what do you guys think? Is Verity evil or was it all a misunderstanding? Let me know in the comments!