“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.
Poignant and powerful, Without Merit explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love and truth.
Another brilliant CoHo story!
A beautifully written story of a family who has lived with buried secrets that are weighing them down. Simply put this family is dysfunctional. Every family has their own dysfunction but the Voss family seems to have taken that as a challenge and upped the ante.
”Little do they know, there’s no such thing as a perfect family, no matter how white the picket fence is.”
Merit Voss is a 17-year-old senior who finds herself trying to make sense of her surroundings. The young adult years can be a confusing time when everything in life seems to bring you down. ”So many secrets in this house. And yet, the one secret I should have told years ago is the one I’ve kept the quietest.” Merit has internalized all of her family’s baggage. The ignoring of past transgressions is the family’s way of sweeping the ugly things under the rug.
Now that you know a little about Merit, our narrator, you’re probably wondering if this story is a romance. It definitely has elements of romance in it but on the forefront, this is a story about family. But don’t get me wrong there is a love story mixed in – it just doesn’t overpower the overall arc of the story. It’s woven in like a subtle ray of optimism.
The story is a good combination of having a deeper meaning to it and in the same breath having the humor to keep things balanced. At times when the story would become heavy, there’d be a moment that’d have the reader giggling. As with all of CoHo’s books, there is some form of art in the story. In WITHOUT MERIT there is one drawing in particular that caught me by surprise and had me doubling over with laughter. I even had to show my husband when he gave me a strange look for my outburst.
The healing elements of this story warm the heart and give hope for all families out there. No matter what secrets a family may have there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow.
Without Merit is a standalone set in Texas. A poignant story of the family life of Merit Voss.
**Complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.**
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, This Girl, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, Confess, November 9, and It Ends with Us. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance twice – for Confess in 2015 and It Ends with Us in 2016. Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Colleen and her family founded The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service offering signed novels donated by authors. All profits are given to various charities each month to help those in need. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Please visit ColleenHoover.com.
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