This review contains quotes from the book.
*Special thanks to Atria for allowing us to read Colleen Hoover’s Without Merit.
“Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.”
-excerpt from Colleen Hoover’s Without Merit
Despite being totally out of the ordinary and unlike her other novels, Colleen Hoover has written one of her best works to date with Without Merit.
The Voss family is an interesting one, to say the least. They all live in a repurposed church, and the mother, who recently got healed from cancer, is now residing in the basement; and the father finds himself married to the nurse who cared for his ex-wife. The half-brother isn’t allowed to do anything remotely fun, while his older siblings seem to have it all together. But then there is Merit.
Merit’s hobbies include claiming trophies she did not win herself and keeping family secrets. One day she goes to her normal antique shop to find another trophy and meets Sagan. Sagan gives Merit’s life new meaning until she finds out that he is not available. This leads to Merit going suffering a deep depression and starts to exclude herself from participating in family outings and activities. Through this, Merit also comes to learn about a dark secret of her family and realizes she doesn’t want to keep them concealed anymore.
She decides to break this happy facade her family has fabricated, so she tells everyone about those hidden secrets and tries to run away from home. But she doesn’t succeed and now she has to deal the repercussions of her actions and with losing the boy she loved.
In a nutshell, this book seemed to be about more than just simple family drama; it is about a woman trying to figure out what is best for her and for her own mental health. There are also romantic elements to the story that I enjoyed as well. (Hoover never disappoints there!)
I recommend this to anyone who loves a romance novel with a darker element to it. Merit is an interesting protagonist because she shares all of her deep, dark thoughts and feelings with the reader and this is refreshing to me. It is refreshing because she doesn’t hold back from what she is feeling. This is one of Hoover’s most intimate books to date. Hoover is able to capture mental illness with grace. She does a great job with not sugar coating what it means to be depressed and to have dark thoughts. I want everyone I know to go out and buy this book because this is one of my favorite Hoover books that I have read so far.