Title: Without Merit
Author: Colleen Hoover
Pages: 384 pages
Plot: 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.
Favorite Quote: “It annoys me when people try to convince other people that their anger or stress isn’t warranted if someone else in the world is worse off than them. It’s bullshit. Your emotions and reactions are valid, Merit. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. You’re the only one who feels them.”
Thoughts: It’s not a secret that I am a huge fan of Colleen Hoover’s work. ‘Without Merit’ won the Goodreads Readers Choice Awards 2017 in Romance category this year. She is the queen of contemporary love stories and this is the third consecutive year she has nailed this award.
This book revolves around a house, (not a home as Merit says) Dollar Voss where the Voss family resides. The family is dysfunctional in ways beyond it appears. We follow Merit Voss, through the book who is obsessed with buying trophies for every crisis she bypasses. Bigger the crises better the trophy. Her mother is a cancer patient living in the basement inspite of being divorced to her father. Her father is married to her mother’s former nurse Victoria.
Oh, did I mention Merit has an identical twin? Honor and Merit only look alike but they are starkly different in their personalities and don’t really get along anymore. She has one brother Utah and a half brother, Moby. And then comes Sagan, the only man who catches Merit’s eye from the first time they meet, which soon turns into a disaster. We also meet Luck who is Victoria’s half brother and quite a colorful character. These are the characters we encounter in the book.
Firstly for me this didn’t strike as a romance novel. It was more of a book about self discovery and family drama. A sweet romantic tale between Merit and Sagan was unfolding side by side. The book unfolds from Merit’s point of view. She is living with a lot of buried secrets and hurt within her. She is in complete denial that she is in depression to the extent that she becomes suicidal. Each character is thoughtfully carved.
I love the narration and the flow of the book. I like that the issues like depression are addressed in the book. There is always something about the authors writing that is so addictive, intruding and thoroughly entertaining. I would strongly recommend this book to everybody who likea Hoover’s book and otherwise.