From the minute I opened this book I was captivated by Merit Voss and her quirky family. Merit likes to deal with life’s unfortunate events by collecting trophies she didn’t win. In addition to trophies, Merit has found herself a collector and keeper of family secrets. Eventually unable to carry the burden she makes a spontaneous decision to leave her family behind for good. But not before confessing each of their lies. When things don’t go as planned, she’s left to deal with the consequence of her actions and to repair the relationships that were damaged.
“Not every mistake deserves a consequence.
Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.”
This book is a departure from Colleen’s new adult romances. However, it still contains her familiar snark, wit and voice. While there’s a hint of romance, the focus is primarily on the dynamic between Merit and her family. Despite it’s laugh out loud moments, Without Merit explores serious themes like mental health and depression.
The story is told in first person from the main character’s point of view. Merit experiences a wide range of emotions which is part of the reason some readers have labeled her unlikable. Personally, I found it easy to meet Merit where she was. I allowed her perception to become my own, without judgement.
The characters are interesting but flawed. I empathized with each one of them despite their mistakes and poor decisions. Without Merit makes an impact while making sure the Voss family (Wolfgang too!) stays with you long after you’re done.
If I could convince my teenager to read books this one would be high on my list.
Without Merit is an upper YA book written by Colleen Hoover and published by Atria books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. An E-Arc was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley prior to the book’s release in exchange for an honest review. This post contains an affiliate link. You can read more about my official disclosure policy here.