Monday, January 22, 2018

Without Merit - Review

Without Merit

By: Colleen Hoover

Published: October 3, 2017 by Atria Books

384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library

(Goodreads / Amazon)

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.
Knowing this book was going to be somewhat lighter than her usual books, less intense and graphic, and more suitable for young adults, as the genre that it's in, I was prepared for all of that. What I wasn't prepared for was how touching it still would be to me.

Really what this story narrows down to is a family who is at odds with one another because of secrets eating away at their family unit, and very poor communication among all of them. Jealousy eating away, and people not trying to look at situations from other's perspectives. At the center of this story is 17 year old Merit, a senior in high school. She's a twin to sister Honor and they have a brother named Utah who is 18. There's Dad and Mom, though Mom currently lives in their basement and never goes outside, and Dad is remarried to a woman by the same name of his first wife, and they together have a son named Moby. But that's not all, add in the mix a 19 year old step-uncle who shows up out of nowhere and now lives with them and a guy by the name of Sagan. There's a lot of crazy that occurs and most of it is bad. But I FELT for these people and the struggles they each had. Then again, this is CoHo, right? For those of you who are her fans, knows that it doesn't really much matter what she writes about. She has this gift to connect you to her characters.

There is one small frustration I had. I honestly can't remember anything frustrating me terribly with her books and I definitely can't remember ever including said frustration in a review. That's not to say I haven't....just that I can't recall a time. So here goes... One repeating theme I noticed in this story, that I haven't picked up on in any of her other books, is that characters thoughts were often being repeated. Sometimes in the exact same wording and sometimes worded slightly different, but always within a couple pages or less of each other. Each occurence of it had me like "yeah we KNOW that because you've already said/thought it" <insert eye roll>. For the first time I do believe EVER in my reading of CoHo books, it got me a bit irritated. I was left with this weird feeling because it was so out of left field for me!

Overall this book left me with a good feeling. I enjoyed seeing reconcillation take place and wounds begin to heal and light begin to shine where darkness had taken its toll.

The one main thought I had that I took away from this story was this: Hugs can truly change hearts.

Top 5 Favorite Quotes:
"Don't make your presence known. Make your absence felt."

There's something freeing about refusing to stress over stressful situation.

A person can't help their attraction to another person, but a person can help their actions toward another person.

"You don't get to decide what your life means to anyone else."

"We aren't put on this earth to be carbon copies of our parents. Peace doesn't come to everyone in the same form."

Language: 2 (medium)
Mature Content: 2 (medium)
Final Rating: 4 stars


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