Audiobook Review: Layla by Colleen Hoover
Author: Colleen Hoover
Narrator: Brian Pallino
Published: December 8, 2020
Audiobook: 8 hours 10 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: November 1-4, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars
When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.
Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.
I loved Verity when I read it earlier this year, and Layla is my second CoHo novel. These are both atypical of what she usually writes which is romance. We know I am not a huge romance reader, so of course I started with her ‘different’ novels to listen to first. And well…. Layla…. It ended up not really being for me. I had heard it was a paranormal thriller and yes, there is paranormal, but not so much a thriller. It had suspense to it though! The book description tells the reader one thing, but then the novel goes in a very much different direction than what you go into thinking.
Leeds is our sole narrator and well… Leeds is not really likable and the further into the novel I went, the less I liked him, his choices, and actions. I can’t say much other than that because it would involve spoilers and the direction of the novel. I did enjoy the beginning with how Leeds and Layla met.
Personally, for me the novel has 2.5 stars as it was not for me, but I gave it an extra star for the writing: CoHo definitely knew where she was going and had to have it all planned out to get to that ending! We get several twists and I did not see what was coming as I was listening to it!
The narrator, Brian Pallino did a fantastic job with his narration and portrayal of Leeds. He is a narrator I would listen to again. Sadly, he passed away just over two years ago.
I know the rest of CoHo’s novels are romance, and I will give some of her others a try at some point. She is just everywhere these days with a new novel out and it just feels like an oversaturation: Everywhere you look there she is!
Book Review: Verity by Colleen Hoover
Author: Colleen Hoover
Published: December 7, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 25- 28, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.
Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.
Verity is my first ‘CoHo’ novel, though I have several more of hers on my TBR. Hoover is known for her romances, but this one is far from that: Verity is an extremely dark thriller and more. It is very different from her other novels, and I wish she would write more like Verity!
Verity will not be for everyone and there should be trigger warnings galore which will also be
There is graphic sex which includes adultery, child abuse, child murder, and attempted home abortion.
Verity is a novel where it is best to go in knowing as little as possible. To say much will be giving things away. What you need to know is that it is a dark, intense, disturbing novel that pulls you in from the beginning with a gruesome death. The reader will have no idea what they are getting into by starting this novel and from the start this one pulls no punches. I’ll just say this: I have read a few novels with dark characters (Eva in We Need to Talk About Kevin should have never become a mother and Amy Dunne in Gone Girl.. Well… Let just say I wanted to throw my kindle with that one…) These characters are NOTHING compared to Verity!
We have two POVs in Verity: Lowen which is present day, and Verity’s memoir which is beyond disturbing. I can’t say enough how dark this novel is and it will be too much for some. But… in addition to the disturbing nature this novel will be compulsive and addicting. As you get closer to the end you don’t want to stop reading. If I had been reading the physical book I bet those pages would have kept turning! There was a part I had figured out, but not quite the why behind it. And then we have that epilogue! The reader is left to determine their own thoughts at the end of the novel, and I still haven’t decided for myself what I want that to be!
I don’t know what it means for both Hoover and myself: How was Hoover able to come up with/write a novel so twisted and that I really enjoyed it! My message to CoHo is this: PLEASE write more thrillers and I promise to read more of your romances!
Verity is extremely recommended if you can handle the content.