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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.


Colleen Hoover has stole my heart with this book.

This is only my second book by the amazing Colleen Hoover and I’m wondering why I’ve not read more by her. I’ll have to get on that because her stories move me to tears.

Without Merit revolves around Merit Voss. She’s a seventeen year old girl who seems to know the secrets of all her family members—and not because she wants to know them. What she wants more then anything is to be ‘normal’ and really for her entire family to be the same. She lives in a small Texas town and her father bought the church—which considering he’s an atheist—went over well in town. You’d think living in a former church would be enough to send any teenager into hiding but it doesn’t end there for Merit. Her Dad divorced her Mom for the nurse that was taking care of her and her Mom still lives with them! Plus there’s a ton more strange things that are going on in her house.

Basically they are the gossip of the town and it all just gets to be too much for Merit and so one day she skips school. That’s where things really change for her. She meets Sagen and although I’d not categorize him as weird he has a story and in somehow mingles with Merit.

I was engrossed in this story and spent most of last night and this morning finishing it. Colleen Hoover wrote a story that touches on so many issues that teens this day and age deal with all the time. I love the overall message in the story. It’s one every older teen should read. I’d probably categories this book as mature young adult because of the topics covered.

No surprise here that I highly recommend this book.

*ARC provided for honest review.

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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