Book Review: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

“So many people dream of living in a house with a white picket fence. Little do they know, there’s no such thing as a perfect family, no matter how white the picket fence is.”


Summary: 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.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Like most of Colleen Hoover books, Without Merit has definitely made it to my Top 5 List of favorites! Hoover truly has a talent with characters who are so real and relatable. With themes like family relationships, communication and life in general.

I absolutely liked how this book was so different from her previous novels. It actually reminded me a little of It Ends With Us (although the similarities just scratched the surface).

The characters – like always, are well-rounded and each have their own stories and secrets. Sagan really surprised me as I did not expect him to have such an interesting backstory.

That said, Without Merit is about the Voss family of six who aren’t really all that perfect as they are actually emotionally dysfuctional and pretty fractured in terms of communication despite the fact that they live together.

“Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.”

The Voss’s do not seem to really openly understand each other and are vastly different from regular families in the things they do. . Furthermore, Merit has this underlying sense of loneliness as her family don’t seem to really care or try understand her.

She is someone who goes through self-imposed ‘no-speaking’ strikes to see how much they really saw her.

I liked how brutally honest this book was. It made me laugh, cry and want to jump into the pages of this story. The pages flew by despite slow build up- which was absolutely worth it. It was past 2am by the time I finised it and I have no regrets.

I am still teary-eyed and filled with so much emotion on how honest and raw this story was!

Thank you to Atria Books for sending me an e-book review copy of WITHOUT MERIT.

Get it here:

Without Merit (Amazon)

Without Merit (Book Depository)



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