Veronica by Asif Hossain

Veronica by Asif Hossain
Publisher: Turquoise Book House
Genre: LGBTQ, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Veronica is a young (18-year-old) girl who recently graduated from high school and plans to attend college. Loneliness is her best companion. She has a quiet personality and spends the majority of her time reading. She decides to embark on an adventure with no set destination in order to see the world from another point of view. As she continues, different perspectives, including her romantic awakening, start to fill the void in her mind.

As she drives through the streets and wanders around, she finds herself in places she has never been before. A quiet, empty motel, a cafe with old-fashioned people in a deserted area—entering all these becomes a discovery for her. The calm atmosphere and sudden downpour of rain bring a sense of nostalgia to her life. However, meeting a captivating college student named Olivia in the Ozarks brings a different flow of emotions into her life.

The book is divided into twelve chapters with an epilogue, each titled after an art form that Veronica’s feelings resonate with, which is mostly songs and sometimes poetry.

Love makes everything better.

Veronica was a thoughtful and kind protagonist. I appreciated the way she took note of how her actions might affect others and did everything she could to make the right decisions that would have the highest probability of being good for everyone involved. There is definitely something to be said for characters who care about social harmony as much as she did!

I struggled with the slow pacing of this book. The plot development that was there took a lot of time to show up and included a lot of filler scenes that could have been cut out or trimmed down. As much as I enjoyed the thoughtful atmosphere of certain scenes, having everything move so slowly meant that I didn’t have as many incentives to keep reading as I would have liked to discover. Some of the scenes did make me eager to see what would happen next, especially in the last fifteen percent of the storyline or so, but sadly there weren’t enough of them to warrant giving this a higher rating.

The friends to lovers trope is one of my favorite romance tropes, and it was handled nicely here. It was refreshing for Veronica and her love interest to have so much time to get to know each other before anything romantic happened to them because it gave them the opportunity to get to know each other on a deep level. There’s a lot of overlap between what makes two people compatible as friends versus what makes them a good match romantically speaking, so confirming just how much they had in common ahead of time did them both a service.

Veronica was a quiet read.