BY COLLEEN HOOVER
Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing a mistake deserves is forgiveness.
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ABOUT WITHOUT MERIT:
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.
I love Colleen’s work. I have read most of her titles, and a few of them many times or even on audiobook. She is one of my favorite authors. I have come to anticipate that the books she puts out are going to touch my hard book heart, in a place where other books rarely do. This book deals with mental illness, and by no means is it padded or censored. It is full on, in your face and heartbreakingly real.
Without Merit, is another example of Colleen’s amazing story telling, with a subject matter, few authors dare to delve so deeply into. Like all of Colleen’s books, I didn’t read the synopsis, and didn’t look at any early reviews. It is difficult to say much about the book, without tipping off a ton of spoilers. This is not a sunshine and roses tale. This is a story full of heart ache, family dysfunction, miscommunication, and is generally pretty dark in tone and mood. . The one thing I particularly love about Colleen, is her slow burn character development. These people who all live together, but really don’t communicate very well with each other, have all this back story baggage. The baggage is deliciously twisty and never quite what you anticipate it to be. I love that her books are unpredictable, and never the same. If she writes to a formula, I couldn’t even begin to tell you what that might be.
The hard truth of this book, is that it took me a while to get into this. I read up to about 35% and let it sit for a week or two. I was just not into the headspace of Merit, and her depth of feeling. Finally under the deadline gun, I finished it in one day. It wasn’t until about 60% where I finally got on board with the story. Once things got rolling, I did enjoy it. I realize that all that storyline/arc needs to be constructed in order for things to play out the way they did. It just took too long in my opinion. I really wanted to like Merit, but I was with Sagan. Most days I didn’t really like who Merit was or who she became as the story progressed. It was difficult for me to like her. Granted I was won over in the end, but it’s hard to keep going when you really can’t stand the lead character in a book.
Without Merit didn’t speak to me like it did for others, but I would definitely recommend it. I will definitely give the audiobook a listen, when it becomes available. The listening experience may make me change my overall perspective.
An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review
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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