Publication Date: October 3rd 2017 by Atria Books
About the book:
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.
I was really worried about picking up Without Merit because I hated the last book I read by Colleen Hoover. I was pleasantly surprised and relieved to like Without Merit as much as I did. It made me feel a whole range of emotions, and I read the story in one afternoon, unable to put it down.
The romance isn’t angsty or the main focus really, but it was the sweetest part to me. As the story starts you’re just kind of thrown into the middle of Merit’s world, but in a pretty fantastic moment. That moment is sort of shattered, but no worries, all sorts itself out.
Merit’s family life is far from happy. Her father divorced her mother and married his mistress when mistress was pregnant with his child, yet everyone, including Merit’s mother continue to live in the same house!! I was not happy with Merit’s father, and even with all the explanations at the end, I still wasn’t thrilled with the man, but no one is perfect and he did seem to be trying the best he could with the screwed-up situation. Still, all kinds of f*cked up IMO. I’d say the circumstances were way out there in terms of real life, but unfortunately, I’ve had to deal with a somewhat similar situation in my own life, so I could totally relate to Merit’s feelings and reactions.
Merit bounces back and forth between being a fun, quirky character to someone with a lot of anger. As the story progresses it becomes apparent she’s depressed. I think the feelings of depression and reactions felt very real to life. Those feelings can just sort of creep into your life and take over without even realizing it. It’s a dangerous thing, but I’m happy that Merit, had people there for her, which included her screwed up family.
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