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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I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
“Don’t make your presence known. Make your absence felt.”
As the synopsis indicates, the Voss family is far from ordinary. Merit Voss is simply lost within the chaos of her own house. Under the heaviness of secrets and the brokenness of her home, she’s voiceless. Until Sagan comes roaring into her life. Merit doesn’t care about much inlife. But Sagan changes that. Too bad he’s not hers to have. But when everything comes to a point of no return, Merit learns that the secrets she threatens to reveal come with consequences.
“Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing a mistake deserves is forgiveness.”
The writing was absolutely mesmerizing. It was honest. Raw. Nothing was held back as you learned about Merit and her family. It was heavy at times, quirky and odd at others. The depth of the story, the characters will sit with me for a long time to come. My heart was heavy, yet so full at the same time. I was absolutely blown away by the magnitude of the impact this story really had on me. It’s so much more than YA. It gives a voice to the forgotten. Even in Merit’s silence, her pain and her want for life spoke so loudly. The words poetic. The storyline, inspiring and thought provoking. There are no words that could adequately describe the importance of a story like this in today’s society. Gone are the days where we fit in boxes. Despite our circumstance, we are all worthy of love, forgiveness, and most of all understanding.
“Your emotions are valid, Merit. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. You’re the only one who feels them.”
Without Merit is not the book you expect, but it’s the book you certainly need to read. It’s not your typical Colleen book as you will have problems with Merit. She’s flawed yet you can’t help but want to know her story. At the same time, it is a Colleen book as it is written with truth. Unapologetically. She weaves you through a story of a family (and friends) with secrets I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. Her writing is unfiltered in that she never abandons the authenticity of the characters and their discourse. Poignant and exhilarating, Without Merit is the type of book to leave you thinking DAYS later. About life, mistakes, and how we are all trying to find our way. What a moving read. As Sagan says, Colleen… “You bury me.” Well done!
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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I really, REALLY have no idea how to write a review for this book with no spoilers, no matter how small they may seem. The blurb for this book gives nothing away, so just in case...SPOILER ALERT!
Well this was unlike any romance I've ever read before. I see people calling this book profound, I'm not quite sure that's how it was for me. I believe the message was important. I hope that the people out there that need a message like this, read this book and actually GET the message. Learn the lesson. See the big picture.
I hope they can draw on the strength and bravery Lily had. I hope they are as perceptive as Ryle was. I couldn't think of any better way for their story to play out, even though...you know. If you read it, you know. I felt a bit empty at the end though. I certainly needed more. I'm sad I can't have more. Why can't I have more, Colleen?!
It was a great story. It doesn't beat Hopeless, but then I don't think anything ever will, but I really, REALLY liked it.
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, and Confess. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys.
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