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Our Review

‘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. She’s an author who writes from the heart, a never relying on trends or shying away from tackling the difficult and heavy subjects. In fact this is an area where Collen 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 and 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 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 normal, 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, leaving you worrying and wondering about the characters long after closing the last page? There is no doubt Without Merit had a profound effect on us, with both of us finding something 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!

Synopsis

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends With Us and 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.

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