Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Synopsis: 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.

Review: This is a novel I hadn’t read yet from Colleen Hoover and I was looking forward to immersing myself in this story to discover what it would present us.

The Voss family is really not like any other family, that’s for sure! It’s completely screwed up and Merit, well Merit is trying to deal with it. But it’s not simple, not at all, because Merit knows the secrets of her whole family, the secrets she keeps and who puts her on the margins of everyone. She feels excluded, and she doesn’t know how to position herself in relation to others. But when one day she meets Sagan, a boy she doesn’t know and that he kisses her, she doesn’t expect him to think she’s her twin sister.

I loved discovering Merit. She is a young girl who is ill at ease in her own skin and constantly compares herself to her sister. She doesn’t know how to act, she knows she’s different from others, but she doesn’t know what else to do. I also loved discovering her family, seeing how different they were, but also how great they were in their own way. All of them have their own history that will be discovered little by little throughout the novel.

The novel deals with very interesting themes and I must admit that I hadn’t seen them coming. It was a touching, different and very interesting novel. I am always really impressed to see what the author offers us every time: some extraordinary and intense stories.

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