Daily Archives: 1 October, 2017

WITHOUT MERIT by COLLEEN HOOVER

Standalone emotional thought provoking story.

SYNOPSIS
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends With Usand November 9 comes a moving and haunting novel of family, love, and the power of the truth.

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.

Poignant and powerful, Without Merit explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love and truth.

WITHOUT MERIT is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte

5 ‘you bury me’ stars

‘He takes a step closer to me and it suddenly feels like I’ve swallowed his heart because I have all these extra beats in my chest.’

Colleen Hoover is an author who beats to her own drum. An author who writes from the heart, never relying on trends or shying away from tackling the difficult and heavy subjects. In fact this is an area where Colleen Hoover shines. Her innate ability to deal with weighty issues in a fictional setting is always delivered with an abundance of heart, sensitivity, sincerity and honesty. Yet, she always manages to guard our hearts somewhat with her natural warmth, sense of humour and truly beautiful characters.  It’s a heady mix we can’t help but devour.

“We’re just two different people in two different sets of experiences.”

A Colleen Hoover book is like Christmas. They only come once a year which makes a Colleen Hoover release so special. It’s like CoHoMas! The wait, the wonderment, and the tease – it all adds to that excited expectation that boils over the moment her next release lands on our Kindles.

We loved seeing this author return to her YA roots in Without Merit as she so perfectly captures the teenage indecisions, emotions and angst we all remember so vividly. Colleen Hoover has once again delivered a powerful and thought provoking story which tackles a prevalent, tough and crippling subject matter. Not only that, this novel also touches on current issues that pose food for thought.

Some readers pick up a book to escape, some to find an awakening. In Without Merit, we get to experience both through genuine loveable characters who each appear to have flaws, yet when we scratch beneath the surface we find these characters are perfectly relateable; they could be us, a friend, a relative. We care for them and can’t stop thinking about them.

‘I once read a quote that that said, “Don’t make your presence known. Make your absence felt.”
No one in this family notices my presence or my absence.’

The test of a good story is how you feel when you close the book. Was it a story you could easily move on from, or was it a story that consumed your thoughts, scarred your heart, left you worrying and wondering about the characters long after closing the last page? There is no doubt Without Merit affected us in all manners mentioned, as we discovered something of ourselves reflected throughout this story.

“I’ve met a lot of people in my life, Merit. But you might be the strangest of them all.”

Without Merit is told through the voice of 17 year old high school student Merit, and what a beautiful narrator she is. You can’t help but feel for this young girl who thinks she’s an outcast in her small town and within her dysfunctional family. Merit is weighed down by family secrets, and can only take so much. After reaching her breaking point, Merit decides to free herself by relaying the family secrets and shattering her family and herself in the process. What transpires is thought provoking and heartfelt. The feelings so genuine we felt every emotion.

“Why can’t we be a normal family?”
“I don’t think such a thing exists, Merit.”

To divulge more of this story could potentially interfere with your reading experience, so we’ll leave the storytelling to the expert. Suffice to say Without Merit carried all the trademarks we adore about this author, again reminding us why we come back time and time again to experience her incredibly potent, intoxicating and unforgettable stories.  They say you can’t really understand someone until you walk in their shoes and that couldn’t be more true than the characters in Without Merit.

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

A touching, honest and incredibly heartfelt story. Each character will touch your soul. Each of their stories will leave an indelible mark on your heart. Oh and …prepare for Sagan and Merit to completely steal your romantic hearts.  Sigh……..Sagan….a hero in every sense of the word!

Reviewed from an ARC copy received from Atria Publishing, with thanks. 


MORE BOOKS BY COLLEEN HOOVER

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THE SLAMMED SERIES

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.

Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.

SLAMMED BOOK ONE

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POINT OF RETREAT BOOK TWO

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THIS GIRL BOOK #2.5 NOVELLA

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THE HOPELESS SERIES

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

HOPELESS BOOK ONE 

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LOSING HOPE BOOK TWO

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FINDING CINDERELLA – FREE NOVELLA

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THE MAYBE SOMEDAY SERIES

Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she’s a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope….

Maybe someday…

Colleen Hoover draws you in to this passionate tale of music, love and betrayal…

MAYBE SOMEDAY

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MAYBE NOT – NOVELLA

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UGLY LOVE – STANDALONE

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

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CONFESS – STANDALONE

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

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NOVEMBER NINE

Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

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IT ENDS WITH US

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

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