Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover



Title: Without Merit

Author: Colleen Hoover

Format: Paperback

Published: October 3, 2017 by Atria Books

Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Reading Period: December 12 – 13, 2017

Rating: ★★★★☆



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.


About the Author:

Colleen-Hoover-Image-250Colleen Hoover is the New York Times bestselling author of eleven novels and five novellas. Hoover’s novels fall into the New Adult and Young Adult contemporary romance categories.

Hoover published her first novel, Slammed, in January 2012. Since then, all her eligible works have become New York Times best sellers.

Colleen Hoover is published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. Colleen also has several self-published titles.

In 2013, Colleen’s third novel, Hopeless, was the first self-published novel to reach #1 on The New York Times, where it remained for several weeks. Hopeless went on to become one of the top 20 bestselling ebooks of 2013.

In 2015, Colleen’s novel CONFESS won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance. That was followed up in 2016 with her latest title, It Ends With Us, also winning the Choice Award for Best Romance.

Her novel CONFESS has been filmed as a series by Awestruck and is due to release this spring on go90. Katie Leclerc and Ryan Cooper star in the series.

Ugly Love is slated to begin filming in late 2017.

Colleen founded The Bookworm Box, a charity subscription service and bookstore, with her family in 2015. The Bookworm Box is a subscription service that provides readers with an exciting opportunity to receive signed novels in the mail each month from authors all over the world. All profits from the subscription service are donated to various charities each month. To date, The Bookworm Box has donated over $850,000 to help those in need.

Colleen’s next release is WITHOUT MERIT, a contemporary romance novel due to release through Atria Books in October, 2017.

Colleen’s current work-in-progress is an exciting revisit to a previous novel, not yet announced, due to release in early 2018.

Visit her website here. Follow her on FacebookInstagramSnapchat, and Twitter.



Without Merit is not like any other Colleen Hoover’s novel. It’s unique, interesting and engaging. It centers in family relationship and Merit’s feelings and thoughts toward her family.

Merit collects trophy as an outlet from her shitty days. She has an identical twin sister, Honor. They live in a peculiar family setting. Merit met Sagan when she went out to buy a trophy and he confused Merit for Honor. Due to some circumstances he lives with Merit’s family.

Merit describes her family set-up and I know that there is something with it. Honor is Merit’s twin sister. They are total opposites and used to be best friends. Utah, Merit’s older brother surprised me the most. His story is unforeseeable and mind-blowing. Barbany is atheist and peculiar. For me, there’s no perfect father or parent. Barnaby isn’t perfect and he always bests for his family. Victoria, their legal mother, has agoraphobia. She still lives with them in the basement and hasn’t set her foot outside ever since they moved to their new house despite Barnaby divorced her. Victoria, second wife and was Victoria’s previous nurse. Somehow, I like Victoria’s personality and patience here (I’m talking about Victoriaa the second wife). She’s very understanding to their family situation though she’s very sensitive to Moby’s health. Moby, Merit’s younger brother is the light in their family. He always asks questions innocently, well, he’s four and learning but his questions are very refreshing. The Voss family is always the talk of the town.

There are so many significant items in the book which I really like. For example, “Cheesus” (I won’t further describe or explain it to avoid spoiler). This book describes how a person feels, think and act under mental illness. Moreover, I pity Merit because she feels suffocated with all family secrets that she knows and the family relationship they have. The feeling of wanting to voice out some thing but you can’t and you’re not allowed because it may impair their relationship, it’s really frustrating ad depressing. All signs of depression are there and Merit denied it. She can’t accept the fact that she is suffering from it, another sign. But Merit showed how strong she is and her willingness to go counseling. Also, I am glad that her father, Barnaby, is supportive and ready to undergo counseling to help Merit and his family.

The turn of events surprised me a lot especially about Luck. Well, it broke my heart because I shipped Merit and Luck since I find them cute together and there’s chemistry between them. But yes, some things happened and I can’t believed it. Another shocking revelation is the truth about their legal mother, Victoria. That part really shookt me and explodes my brain. Other twists are shocking but bearable although still strikes my heart.

Without Merit made me reassess my family relationship and realize lot of things. The quality and originality of the story is great. I like the interaction between Sagan and Merit. Also, I love how Sagan rationalize with Merit and explain things to her. All characters has their own story to tell and they are understandable yet very surprising. Every time I read a Colleen Hoover book, I couldn’t put it down. So it’s another page-turner CoHo book for me.

I highly recommend this book but I don’t think I could recommend this to someone who’s currently suffering to depression because they may interpret it the other way.

P.S. Without Merit won GoodReads Choice 2017 for Romance category.


Quotable quotes:

“Out of all the places we could be, we’re right here. At the same time.”

“I never would have kissed you had I known otherwise”

“Don’t make your presence known. Make your absence felt.”

“A person can’t help their attraction to another person, but a person can help their actions toward another person.”

“If he doesn’t like the thought of getting caught, why does he do things he doesn’t want people to find out?”

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

“Indifference is also a sign of depression.”

“Labels were invented for people like you who can’t grasp a reality outside of a defined gender role.”

“You think just because I’m an adult I have it all figured out? You think I’m not allowed to make mistakes?”

“No matter how hard you try, things don’t always turn out the way you wish they could.”

“It’s just . . . sometimes things don’t turn out how you want them to.”

“It’s just . . . sometimes things don’t turn out how you want them to.”


Buy links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Booktopia Book Depository  Kobo National Bookstore   Fully Booked


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