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Verify (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

There are books that are well-written, a good read, and thought provoking.  Then there are books like Verify that are well-written, good reading, thought provoking AND important. In the framework of a compelling story Charbonneau details a society that has not protected its democracy, freedom of the press, and the right to protest.

Set in Chicago in a time when most crime, homelessness, and poverty has been eradicated all would seem perfect.  But, is it perfect when all books have been digitized and many words such as “” and “revolution” no longer exist?  And, what happens to people who do not comply?

Charbonneau used the train as a metaphor in the book calling up images for the reader of the Freedom Train and the Underground Railroad.  Those images along with the underground tunnels below the city and the struggle to help citizens know what they have lost stay with the reader long after the book is finished.

— Shirley Mullin

Verify, corroborate, diversity. Imagine if no one had ever heard of these words or what they meant. In Joelle Charbonneau’s new novel Verify, that is exactly what has happened. Everything is digital-paper is a rare commodity-and history can be “edited” by using the delete key. In the story Meri Beckley is questioning her mother’s untimely death and is drawn into a world of a small group of people who have held onto a library of real books. Their plan is to make it known that the government has been making revisions to the vocabulary. Charbonneau’s tale is compelling if not a bit frightening.

— Karen R


“Wow! Shades of Fahrenheit 451 and Orwell’s 1984. Painfully real and urgent. Read this book.” —Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of the Gone series

Bestselling author Joelle Charbonneau’s eerily timely, high-stakes page-turner is destined to start important conversations at this particular moment in our history.

Meri Beckley lives in a world without lies. When she looks at the peaceful Chicago streets, she feels pride in the era of unprecedented hope and prosperity over which the governor presides.

But when Meri’s mother is killed, Meri suddenly has questions that no one else seems to be asking. And when she tries to uncover her mother’s state of mind in her last weeks, she finds herself drawn into a secret world with a history she didn’t know existed.

Suddenly, Meri is faced with a choice between accepting the “truth” or embracing a world the government doesn’t want anyone to see—a world where words have the power to change the course of a country and where the wrong ones can get Meri killed.

About the Author

Joelle Charbonneau has performed in opera and musical-theater productions across Chicagoland. She is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Testing trilogy and the bestselling Dividing Eden series, as well as two adult mystery series and several other books for young adult readers. Her YA books have appeared on the Indie Next List, YALSA’s Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, and state reading lists across the country. Joelle lives in the Chicago area with her husband and son.

Praise For…

“[Verify] builds steadily from simmering disquiet to a shattering final showdown that will leave readers desperate to reach the conclusion and anxious for sequels. Both timely and relevant in the age of fake news... a worthy read that will have readers wondering just how much truth they really want to know.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Wow! Shades of Fahrenheit 451 and Orwell’s 1984... Painfully real and urgent. Read this book.”
— Michael Grant, internationally best selling author of the Gone series

“Words, history, books, and their truths must prevail.  Verify is a very timely tale and one that will leave you impatient for the next book in the series.”
— Becky Anderson, Anderson’s Bookshops

“At once timely and timeless, Verify reminds us of the power of words and the importance of truth. Thrilling and terrifying, it is an undeniable call to action. Trust but Verify that this is the perfect book for our times.”
— Rachel Bellavia, Read Between the Lynes

“Charbonneau deftly immerses readers in a future that feels unnervingly possible, where truth and history are no longer related to fact. A powerful reminder of the potential we each hold to demand and influence change.” 
— Sara Grochowski, McLean & Eakin Booksellers

“What would you give up for security? Words? Books? Your freedoms? Look up the word ‘verify,’ and you’ll start unraveling why you need to read and discuss Charbonneau’s book. I shivered when reading her latest creation. You will, too.”
— Joe Hight, president, Best of Books, Edmond, OK

“This book captured me from start to end and has a crucial message around the power of words and the right we all have to each and every one.”
— Destinee Hodge, East City Bookshop

PRAISE FOR DIVIDING EDEN: “Charbonneau’s skill as a thriller writer will hook readers as the tension between the siblings grows and the Trial of Succession rushes towards an explosive end... This new fantasy will give them plenty to sink their teeth into.”
— Booklist

“The trendy plot—filled with royal intrigue, romance, and a dangerous competition—is sure to make this new fantasy series a popular choice... Hand this one to fans of Sarah J. Maas, Kiera Cass, and Evelyn Skye.”
— School Library Journal

“The siblings are complex characters, weighted down by their respective heartaches and issues, and their skeptical views on the world feel realistic... there’s a lot to like about this messed up, lush, and dark world.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Product Details
ISBN: 9780062803627
ISBN-10: 006280362X
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September 24th, 2019
Pages: 320
Language: English
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