Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Without Merit By: Colleen Hoover

Without Merit
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Published: October 2017
Format: ARC Paperback
Pages: 385
Rating: 4.5/5
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 re-purposed 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.

First I would like to thank Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me a copy to review!

Let me tell you that this book seriously does deal with a lot. Drama, family issues, mental health, you name it! There is so much that Colleen Hoover covers in here, whether it's direct or not.

I feel like there may have been some parts that may trigger people (there is one major scene that kind of dives into something serious even if it turned out a little differently.) so that would be my forewarning for anyone wanting to read this and deals with mental health. Personally for me, I found it to be very raw and affecting.

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The connection that Merit has with Sagan is definitely not ordinary, especially since she has a twin sister which kind of makes it even more dramatic. I think that it's a dynamic that you wouldn't expect but at the same time, it becomes this friendship/bond between two people who clearly have their own scars and issues underneath the facade they try to showcase on a daily basis.

"That's exactly why I want to do it Merit.You need to fall in love with yourself first."

There were so many moments that I felt like I could connect with Merit. Some good, and some bad, but in the end you really do see her kind of grow up, let go of the huge weight she had been holding onto for so long, and finally begin to find herself in the end.

Some other quotable moments just show how much a family may seem like they have everything put together, but you never really know until you step inside their home/shoes...

"But I do feel invisible in this house most of the time and I'm curious how long it will take before someone notices I haven spoken out loud."

"Sometimes you get stuck with family members that do nothing but make mistakes they never have to apologize or pay for."

"Maybe if I let all the secrets out, they wouldn't make me feel like I'm drowning."

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Although the family dynamic is really (and I mean really) odd, you still can see how the siblings do end up coming together for one another. Especially when it comes to Merit's half brother. He is just so adorable, I would have no issue sneaking him doughnuts every morning, even if I did get caught! I think at the end of it all, you see a dysfunctional family, but also the story of a girl who feels invisible in a house that doesn't quite feel like home.

Overall this was a great story. I personally felt like there could have been a little bit more for Merit's character. I felt like at some moments she was always down on herself, and the book tended to slow down in moments where I felt like it could have been heightened.

That's all for my review of Without Merit, I hope you enjoyed it! I definitely do recommend reading it, because it really is eye opening to what could be a life of a friend, child, sibling or parent.

So until the next time, Keep Reading!

Your Graduated Bookworm!! :)

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