Friday, October 6, 2017

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Atria Books Paperback | 384 pages | ISBN: 9781501170621 | October 3, 2017 | $16.00
eBook: 384 pages | ISBN: 9781501170638 | $7.99

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.

"Don't make your presence known. Make your absence felt."

What a dysfunctional set of characters!! I can say one was more interesting than the next one. From the first scene, I was hooked! CoHo never disappoints this reader, she grabs my attention from the very beginning and she never releases it until I'm done with the last page. 

The main character is Merit Voss. She's a 17-year-old woman who's dealing with a lot of family issues. Her father cheated on her mother with her mother's former nurse Victoria. Then he proceeds to divorce Merit's mother (also named Victoria) and marries nurse Victoria. Yet, the ex-wife stays in their home and lives in their basement. Not only that, but they live in a building which used to be a church. 

Merit doesn't have a good relationship with two of her siblings Utah and Honor, despite one of them being her own twin (Honor). Merit does love her half-brother who's only four years old, Moby.  Soon, two intriguing male characters will make the family tension even worse. One is Sagan. Merit is very attracted to Sagan but she's forced to keep her distance (you'll learn why) and the second one, is someone whom Merit gives a ride home and will be the trigger to make some very guarded truths see the light.  

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing a mistake deserves is forgiveness.

I can tell you that I enjoyed this book thoroughly. It had a lot of shocking moments and the quirkiness of the characters I have come to expect from CoHo. However, I wouldn't categorize this book as a romance. Overall, it plays a small part in the big scheme of things. 

I'm glad, Colleen is always changing her formula. It's refreshing and the reader never knows what to expect. The issues Colleen brings out in this novel are all important and unfortunately, quite common in Merit's age group. 

My one complaint (yes, I have one) is that my romantic heart wanted more Sagan and Merit. 
"You bury me."

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Atria via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

What do I say about Colleen Hoover...she's a genius! She has this way of creating the most interesting characters that you can't help but love and this book is classic CoHo

Without Merit is shrouded in secrets. Every single character is hiding something, which leads them to drift apart. Merit is probably the one hurting the most though, all of the lies and secrets are taking a huge toll on her. Her father left her mother for another woman, her sister has this wierd fascination with the sick, and her brother is just a jerk, the only saving grace seems to be Sagan. Sagan and Merit are instantly drawn to each other, but almost right away Merit finds out that nothing can come of it. This while family is weird and quirky in their very own way and it makes for a very interesting read. CoHo always makes sure not to leave me hanging though and gives me the best possible ending I can hope for. 

In typical CoHo fashion she manages to make me laugh, cry, and leave me breathless with this story. The Voss family is sure to be one that stays with you for years to come. I am always up for a wild ride with Colleen Hoover and that has not and will never change!

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Atria via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Photo credit: Chad Griffith

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

Now for the fun….the #WithoutMerit Contest!
Enter the Rafflecopter  to win a limited edition signed hardcover copy of WITHOUT MERIT! (5 winners in total) Contest is open until October 30th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t miss Colleen on tour for WITHOUT MERIT:

Monday, October 2nd
7:00 PM     
17171 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA  98155

Tuesday, October 3rd
7:00 PM     
126 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA  90004

Wednesday, October 4th
7:00 PM     
8900 NE Flintlock Rd
Kansas City, MO  64157

Thursday, October 5th
7:00 PM     
26 S La Grange Rd
La Grange, IL  60525

Friday, October 6th
7:00 PM     
2692 Madison Road
Cincinnati, OH  45208

Saturday, October 7th
6:00 PM     
Coventry Mall
351 W. Schuylkill Road Ste G16
Pottstown, PA  19465

Sunday, October 8th
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM    
500 West 36th Street
Hudson Mercantile
New York, NY  10018

Tuesday, October 10
7:00 PM     
B&N College
Southern Methodist University Bookstore
3060 Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, TX  75205

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