How did I get it?:
I bought it!
Previously reviewed by the same author:
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 have been meaning to read this book for ages, so I’m glad I found the time to fit it in. I’m very much trying to get through some backlist books this year and this was one of them. I had heard mixed reviews about Without Merit, so I was intrigued to get into the story and find out what it was all about. Whilst I can see why some would have issue with this book, I found it to be highly addictive and interesting to read.
Merit Voss lives with a very dysfunctional family. She is also pretty dysfunctional herself. The trouble is, Merit is keeping so many secrets from family members. There’s only so much she can take. The story opens with Merit searching for a trophy. She has a bit of an obsession with collecting trophies that she hasn’t earned. She comes across a good looking guy called Sagan and has a bit of a moment with him. She later finds out that he is unavailable but very close to home. The story follows Merit as she watches her family from the sidelines, never really feeling part of the family. When Merit reveals the family secrets she has to deal with the consequences of her actions..
Merit is an incredibly intense and confused character. She goes through so much and becomes resentful of her family. It takes Merit a while to realise how affected she’s been by her past. I really respected that part of the story. Merit’s mental health is all over the place but she’s not prepared to acknowledge that. It’s so realistic. I think she will be a character that many readers will be able to identify with.
There is so much going on in this story. Perhaps a little too much? Sometimes I couldn’t believe that the family were having such bad luck. I know there’s dysfunctional families but this one really did experience so much…There are many themes in this story and although Colleen Hoover is a great writer, I thought if there had been a focus on just a few themes, it would’ve been a deeper read.
That said, this book did hook me from the start. I loved Merit’s story, I liked and disliked characters. I wanted everything to be okay for Merit. It’s definitely one to check out if you’re a fan of the author.
Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars
Whilst this wasn’t my favourite book by Colleen Hoover, I devoured it and was moved by the story which is tough to read at points!