Published by Atria Books on October 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Love & Romance, Romance, Siblings, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Amazon // The Book Depository
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.
hey everyone! i’m so honored and excited to be part of the blog tour for without merit by colleen hoover! i’ve only ever read one colleen hoover book before, and that was hopeless, which i LOVED. i’ve been dying to read one more (or two, or three, or all) of her books ever since, so when i was given the opportunity to read and review without merit, i was thrilled – seriously. also, a HUGE thank you to atria books for sending me an ebook to review!
i liked the characters overall, but i think they could have been better developed/fleshed-out. merit…i feel like she’s not really SUPPOSED to be liked, but she’s definitely interesting. i felt like she was pretty immature and impulsive, which was a little bit annoying. honestly, none of the characters are traditionally likable – they all have their weaknesses and secrets, but that’s what makes them really human. and they do grow on you after a while. i think luck was one of my favorite characters – he’s very eccentric and unique. but i do wish there were more NORMAL characters; it seems like moby (their 4 y/o brother) is the only “normal” person in the entire book.
all the relationships are pretty messed up (not unlike the characters haha). i like that the romance is kinda insta-love but also not insta-love at the same time. there’s definitely some kind of connection (not really love) at first sight, but they actually get to know each other before really getting “serious”. i really love that physical contact isn’t super super important in this book. after all, relationships really don’t NEED physical affection (but what do i know? i have practically no dating experience aha). however, there was something i didn’t love about the relationships that i can’t quite remember. okay, the family relationships were definitely really screwed up. the family admitted to all their issues in the end, and they started to forgive and try to understand each other, but i still feel like they didn’t really address the actual problems. basically, everyone and everything in this book is messed up. but maybe that’s not necessarily a BAD thing?
as for the plot, i LOVED the first chapter so much. i was seriously blown away and sucked in (yes i know that technically makes no sense) by the beginning. but i loved it so much that the rest of the book was slightly disappointing. after that AMAZING first chapter, i was expecting the other chapters to meet that raised bar. but for me, they just fell a bit short. the first chapter was so mysterious and intriguing, and it just completely captivated me. i loved the style, the setting, the narration, everything in the first chapter. the rest of the book definitely still intrigued me, but i felt like some parts, especially at the end, were really rushed. i just felt like the pacing was off, which was probably my biggest problem with the book. i still liked the resolution, but it would have been nice to have a little bit more closure.
the writing was good, of course, but nothing mind-blowing. there were certain phrases i loved – “you bury me.” it’s just so, ahhhhhh (screaming because i don’t know how to describe it perfectly), so beautiful. besides that, colleen’s writing style didn’t really stand out to me, but i think it fit the story and the character well.
overall, i really enjoyed reading without merit (even though it sounds like i’m complaining about everything oops). there’s some serious topics that the book addresses and discusses a little – not enough discussion, in my opinion – and those issues are so so so important. i really love that without merit brings attention and awareness to these topics.
even though i didn’t LOVE without merit as much as i thought i would, i’m definitely planning on and looking forward to reading more of colleen hoover’s books! if anyone has any recs, please comment below. thanks for reading! <3
wait a second, did someone say giveaway? that’s right, atria books is giving away 5 copies of without merit! enter through rafflecopter through 10/30 if you want to win a copy of without merit. did i mention that they’re limited edition, hardcover, and SIGNED by colleen hoover? don’t miss out!