About the book
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.
Poignant and powerful, Without Merit explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love and truth.
She did it again. Colleen Hoover managed to write another uniquely different story, unlike anything else she’s written. A story more focused on family and forgiveness, and less on romance (don’t worry – there’s still romance, it IS a CoHo book after all). I know I say I would read anything this woman writes, which is true. But reading this book was a whole different CoHo experience.
Merit keeps all her family’s secrets to herself, but eventually a person can only take so much before they explode. To add to it, Merit doesn’t feel like anyone in her family cares about her at all, which broke my heart. She’s angry and quirky, but endearing at the same time.
There’s a meaningful message within the story – one that I feel many teens would benefit from reading. I don’t want to give away too much, because I feel that it’s a more enjoyable experience to read it without knowing too much. Do not be deterred by the fact that this is considered YA – it felt a lot like going back to Colleen’s early writing days (Slammed) as I was reading this book. If you are a fan of YA books, I definitely think you’ll enjoy it.
On the flip side, if you’re a long time fan of Colleen’s books, like myself, I want to advise that you go into this one with an open mind. She changed things up with this book – delivering something more than just angst-ridden romance (don’t get me wrong – I love her angst-ridden romances). This story is full of interesting characters, important issues and so much heart – it’s a book about life and forgiveness and finding peace within yourself. Though it was tough to read at times, Colleen manages to throw in some humor and light in her classic style. She gives the reader hope for better things. And she manages to pull off yet another beautiful masterpiece.
A unique and hopeful story – one that leaves a lasting impression.
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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About the author
Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, This Girl, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, Confess, November 9, and It Ends with Us. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance twice – for Confess in 2015 and It Ends with Us in 2016. Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Colleen and her family founded The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service offering signed novels donated by authors. All profits are given to various charities each month to help those in need. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Please visit ColleenHoover.com.
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