The Verifiers: A Novel by Jane Pek

The Verifiers: A Novel by Jane Pek

I was excited to read this! I had seen it in Barnes and Noble and heard the buzz about the book on Reddit subs, so when I saw it at my community library I snapped it up! So, did it live up to the hype?

Yes! And no…

The novel takes place in some near future moment, one that is so social media infused that I wonder at the future aspect of it. The plot hinges on this, this world of internet connections, social media speculation, cell phone immediacy, reality television lives played out in reality. But for me, this is where the novel lost me. I’m a luddite in some ways; I mean, I have social media, I’m on the internet (clearly), but the world of The Verifiers, one in which people investigate potential partners and devolve into internet sleuthing is just a step too far out for me.

This is where the novel lost me. In what privileged world could someone possibly find the time to slink off during work hours to hunt down a potential killer? The gall and arrogance of believing that this is a calling of some kind derails the plot for me, which is unfortunate since that is the sum of the mystery here.

That said, there were aspects of this novel that struck chords with me: the immigrant narrative of the middle child, the striving for perfection and belonging, the need to prove oneself in a foreign world — that was appealing. I am a failed Business major, after all. (I also briefly contemplated a medical career until Organic Chem dissuaded me.)

The resolutions to both conundrums escapes me. I can’t remember what happens in the end of the novel, signs surely of a lackluster reading experience on my part. All in all, a decent read for passing the time.

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