Book Review: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

33280872Book: Without Merit

Author: Colleen Hoover

Publication: October 3rd, 2017.

Publisher: Atria Books

Blurb: 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. 

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My Review

Started On – October 5th, 2017.

Finished On – October 5th, 2017.

Note: This book brings major awareness to depression, mental illness, suicide and many other things, this is a sad but beautiful story.

I started this book at 1:32 a.m. without a clue what lay ahead and as I went ahead reading this book, I told sleep goodbye. I don’t even know how to define my feelings for this book because I was drawn right in. I love this book and all the crazy characters and then I found myself standing at the entrance of my toilet, unable to move as tears fell down my face as the words on the page reached deep within me and made me face my harsh reality. Then 6:22 a.m. came and peace settled over me as I read the last page and I know, things will get better if we want it to be and fight for it, then I finally welcomed sleep.

This book was unputdownable for me. I didn’t want to stop reading, I didn’t care, I just wanted to consume it as a whole. I loved the characters and their story is so messy, this family is so dysfunctional, yet they care about each other so much, but it’s so warped the way they show it, that it often ends up looking like something so terrible and so many secrets, that it isn’t even healthy for one person to be holding so much in.

I cried so hard reading this book because I see myself in Merit, so much and I read to escape reality, but there I was glimpsing so much of myself in Merit, it broke me.

This book reminds me, of how important communication and being honest with the people that you love and care about is. How it would make things a lot clearer and bring about more understanding. I love the Voss family, every single one of them. They all have flaws, but it’s only human and everyone looks shady from Merit’s point of view and when they finally start communicating, we get the bigger picture and this again, brings forth the importance of not judging people, you have got to be in their shoes to understand, why they would act in such ways, that can appear to be despicable, selfish and appaling. Most times than not, there is an unusual reason behind their actions but explains so much at the same time.

Lately people have been saying it’s dangerous saying someone can’t love until they love themselves, claiming it’s bullshit, but I beg to differ, just like Without Merit has pointed out, yes you can love others, they can make you be better and feel like life is right, but it doesn’t mean you’re happy or have a sound mental mind, it’s just a mask and the thing about masks is that they shield the truth and it’s only when a mask is off, the truth can truly be seen.

I love Sagan, he is the light, that the Voss family needs, and I love the unwavering support he has for Merit, I love how he sees life and explains it to us, God he made a lot of sense to me you know and his story is so sad. Family no matter how dysfunctional is family. A family is still important, you don’t know what can happen next. But I love how Sagan, explained people’s experiences and how people shouldn’t compare their issues on a scale, depending on how dreadful and awful the experience is, because people’s stress threshold or pain threshold is different, and are able to feel the same amount of emotions for different experiences of others. I don’t think I explained that well.

Yes, Colleen Hoover writes romance and, this story has romance, but what I love about it, is the romance doesn’t provide a cure, it’s not preaching that love can heal you, although love does have it’s many benefits, I love romance but I’m glad romance is kind of like a backdrop, this story is so much more and everything, please don’t miss out on it.

I loved this book so much and I hold it dear, Colleen Hoover no matter what you people that say her writing is dangerous and what not, is one author that only makes me feel so immensely after reading each of her books, Colleen Hoover is the only author, whose books consistently brings tears to my eyes, because I feel so damn much any time I read her books.



Lara Kareem


7 thoughts on “Book Review: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

    • It baffles me the number of mixed reviews, maybe because I automatically have a soft spot for CoHo, but nonetheless, I connected with the book when I wasn’t expecting to.


  1. Oh my goodness! You read one whole book the entire night!! That’s great that you loved it. Excellent review! I’m kind of afraid to read it because of the crying portion and the mental illness, depression, and suicide that you warned above. Sounds like a life changing book 🙂


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