BY COLLEEN HOOVER
Atria Books Paperback | 384 pages | ISBN: 9781501170621 | October 3, 2017 | $16.00
eBook: 384 pages | ISBN: 9781501170638 | $7.99
Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing a mistake deserves is forgiveness.
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.
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“Out of all the places we could be, we’re right here. At the same time.”
Colleen Hoover is at the top of my auto-buy list. Without question. And she returns to her Young Adult stories in ‘Without Merit’. Merit Voss is a teenage girl who in addition to the normal angst of young adulthood, lives in a very unconventional household. From her perspective, her family is just plain WEIRD. No one can seem to get along and most poignantly, no one really seems to notice Merit at all. She almost seems like an afterthought.
“I can say with certainty that we live in the most unusual house in this whole town. I say house because it is certainly not a home. And inside this house are seven of the most unusual occupants. No one would be able to determine from the outside of our house that our family of seven includes an atheist, a home wrecker, an ex-wife suffering from a severe case of agoraphobia, and a teenage girl whose weird obsession borders on necrophilia.”
Of course, Merit is a classic unreliable narrator and slowly the truth about her family emerges. Colleen Hoover knows how to treat delicate subjects with great dignity and care. She makes the entire cast of odd characters here sympathetic and very likable even though you may think the opposite of them at first.
Merit decides to just stop attending school. No one seems to even notice! While skipping school she meets a cute guy and they share an earth-shattering kiss. BUT Merit actually has a twin sister named Honor and the cute guy is actually Sagan, her twin’s boyfriend. It seems as though Sagan might have thought he was kissing Honor.
Merit is angry and surly and can’t seem to make many friends. She is offended when Sagan starts eating meals with the family and basically moving in. How could this have happened?
“I’m confused by two things. One being the constant and repeated presence of Honor’s boyfriend at our breakfast table. Two being the fact that everyone seems to know him so well that they’re perfectly fine with him joining in on the family conversation.”
Merit eventually uncovers some very hard truths about her family’s past. It also becomes very clear that Honor is not the perfect person that she at first thinks herself to be. Like all of Colleen Hoover’s characters, Merit is unforgettable. She must make some hard choices about herself, her family and Sagan.
“Sagan just doesn’t say mean things out loud. Maybe that’s a product of how he was raised. Or maybe he’s some kind of saint. Or an angel brought to earth to test my morals.”
I LOVED the message of this book!! The story is beautiful and the characters feel real and flawed and very relatable. The description of small-town Texas seems spot-on. Fans of Colleen Hoover will devour this story, and hopefully new readers will pick this one up and see why her readers are so devoted to her writing. Unconditional love, loyalty and forgiveness are some heavy topics but Ms. Hoover serves them up perfectly here.
“Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing a mistake deserves is forgiveness.”
(ARC provided by the publisher in return 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.
Now for the fun….the #WithoutMerit Contest!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to win a limited edition signed hardcover copy of WITHOUT MERIT! (5 winners in total) Contest is open until October 30th!