Review: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

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☆☆➹⁀☆5 stars☆➹⁀☆☆


What It’s About:

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

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My Thoughts:


Colleen Hoover is a gifted writer who never fails to provide an emotional rollercoaster read. Nothing is as it seems in Merit Voss’, life. When she reaches her last straw Merit takes matters into her own hands in a very dramatic way. In Without Merit, Colleen Hoover explores family dynamics, mental health, and the power of honesty and forgiveness. If you think your family is dysfunctional, you haven’t met Merit’s family yet!

The title, Without Merit, does lend itself to a sense of foreboding. However, Ms. Hoover’s latest novel is not all doom and gloom. This story is filled with an amazing array of quirky family members who compliment each other perfectly. The motley cast of characters will draw you in and capture your heart. Main character and narrator Merit Voss is timid and uncertain; she lives in the shadow of her twin sister, Honor. Whether a family member or a guest in the Dollar Voss house, the young adults’ problems are representative of most teens’ issues. Some characters are instantly empathetic and lovable, and the rest I fell in love with by the end. This odd family will wreak havoc with your heart.

The well-paced story takes place over a short period of time, but the meat of the plot involves the years and years of secrets each family has kept from one another. These secrets and half-truths involve each family member. When Merit exposes her secrets and assumptions she essentially opens Pandora’s box. How does the truth impact the fractured family? You will have to read this creative, unique coming-of-age book to find out.

I loved this young adult, coming-of-age story. There are so many little details in the story that make it a gem. Ms. Hoover respectfully addresses tough subjects, sprinkles in hope, and added in one of the best bookstore scenes ever.  Without Merit is on my top read for 2017 list.



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