Without Merit: A Novel

Without Merit: A Novel

by Colleen Hoover
4.3 28

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Without Merit: A Novel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous 20 days ago
Another book I could not stop reading!
Anonymous 3 months ago
I loved this book, but I love everything she writes.
Anonymous 3 months ago
MyndiL 3 months ago
I don't think I could ever be disappointed by this author. I haven't read everything she's written yet, but every book has amazed me so far. In Without Merit, we get to see a girl who is troubled and doesn't realized the extent that trouble until it's almost too late. I applaud the author for shedding light on a subject that is often swept under the rug and one that affects me on a very personal level. I found myself relating to Merit at the same time as I was annoyed by some of her actions. I guess it's fair to say that she reminded me of myself at that age, even though our problems were quite different. I was also intrigued by the history of Sagan's family and found myself learning as I read. I'm not usually one to read in order to learn (as strange as that sounds, but hey, I'm not in school anymore!) But I was so drawn into the story and wanting to find out what was going on with Sagan, that I found myself enjoying the lesson, no matter how tragic. It's not often that I read a book with a bit of history or political science in it and truly find myself lost in the story and not getting annoyed at it reading like a text book (which this did not.) One underlying theme that really resonated with me, was that everyone has their own stress baseline. No one should consider their stresses more or less than anyone else simply because they are different. We all feel stress in our own way and for our own reasons and no one should make you feel belittled because of that. I hope a great many of high school kids will read this book and learn that lesson earlier than this 30 something woman did. Overall, I have to say well done once again to Ms. Hoover. I know the YA/NA style of this book may not appeal to everyone, but I think the writing is superb and will entertain as it enlightens.
JMTJTC 4 months ago
“Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.” Genre: Young Adult. Number of Pages: 384. Perspective: First. Location: Texas. This book follows the dysfunctional Voss family told from 17-year-old Merit’s perspective. She is holding on to a lot of secrets for members of her family, but she may not be seeing the full picture. First of all, any book that I can read in one day (and practically one sitting) has to be pretty good. The way Hoover writes just flows so well. All of her books suck you in and are quick reads because you just want to devour the book. They usually have some twists, but you never feel like you have to think too hard or slow down to piece everything together. I even gave it my Best Book Award (I am on a roll with good books this week!). My favorite part about this book is that it discusses perception and that we make a lot of assumptions about people. I also like how it makes us aware that no one is perfect. Some reviewers complained that most of the main characters are unlikeable, but I actually appreciated that they were flawed. It made them feel more real. I also like how it addressed a lot of hot topic issues, such as mental health. My only complaint is that it kind of made light of and easily brushed over some controversial topics. To read the rest of my review, go here: http://judgingmorethanjustthecover.blogspot.com/2017/10/without-merit-colleen-hoover.html
Anonymous 4 months ago
This book was amazing and would read it again
Anonymous 5 months ago
I gave this book 4stars...not because i didnt love it because I did... Just not her usual passionate love story,.but really insightful in many different ways. Id advise all CH fans to read it..
TeresaMaryRose 5 months ago
It’s been a while since I’ve read a CoHo book, but I’m glad I decided to read this one. She knows how to write an addictive read that really tugs at your emotions. None of her books are safe and she always tackles tough topics and Without Merit was no exception. Without Merit is very different from a lot of her other reads. For one, the romance is not the central aspect here. It’s a very small part of the story and is very much secondary to the overall plot. This is Merit’s story and is focused on her and her family life. There is a lot going on in Merit’s house and nobody deals with their problems. My heart broke for Merit because she just wanted to be heard. I wanted to reach into the book and help her so badly. There were so many secrets in this family and when it all comes out things come crashing down. What’s so interesting about this book though is that while I was fully invested and felt so much for Merit, I’m not sure I actually liked any of these characters. Like Sagan, he had some valid points but I didn’t always like his delivery. I also didn’t like how he pushed people to talk but didn’t really talk himself. I also had some serious issues with Honor. She has her own issues, but she treats Merit horribly and there is a thing I’m not cool with. I won’t even touch her Dad or Utah because ill rant for days. Even Merit, who I truly sympathized with, I don’t know if I liked her. The only ones I liked were Moby (who is four) and Victoria, which is weird because she is the one most of the characters hated. I just think she got a lot taken out on her. But I don’t think the point of the book is for me to like these characters. They all have their flaws and that makes them real and kind of what makes the story so captivating. People in real life aren’t always likable but it doesn’t make them any less valid and that is the point here and that is what resonated with me and what I liked so much about this book. So yes it’s weird that I didn’t like the characters but I still really liked the book and I’d recommend it. All in all, Without Merit is one of those books you really need to digest and process and the kind that stays with you. This book isn’t safe, but it makes you feel and realize that everyone is going through something and that it’s worth it to take time to notices those around you.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I enjoy this author but I wasn't sure what to think when I started reading this book. Glad I kept reading though.
Candy-Prisoners-of-Print 5 months ago
Whoa. Let me start off by saying that w=Without Merit is so different from any of Colleen Hoover’s previously released books. Yet, it also has a very signature Hoover style in its poignancy and issue awareness. I can’t say I knew what to expect, and though I found the beginning chapters to be quite odd and eccentric, the story captivated me and absolutely blew me away. “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.” Merit is a teenage girl dealing with family situations that left her feeling vulnerable and alone. I loved the way Colleen Hoover didn’t blatantly point out signs; she subtly hinted at things going awry one by one. It wasn’t until Merit had to confront her life experiences and jolt her beliefs that she came out of her own self-centered (for lack of a better word) bubble. Once she did, the reader was able to see Hoover’s intention and I found it to be done absolutely beautifully. At the heart of this novel, it’s about this girl finding her way, finding her family, and discovering that nobody in this world is perfect. We all have our flaws and it felt good for me to personally be reminded of my own, particularly in the ways that I could relate to this character. “Maybe that’s the root of a lot of family issues. It isn’t actually the issues people are hung up about for so long. It’s that no one has the courage to take the first step in talking about the issues.” I’ve tried to keep my review vague because, like most of her novels, Colleen creates a riveting story that needs to just be experienced. Without Merit was so relevant to today’s society and warmed my heart on more than one occasion. It served as an excellent reminder for those of us struggling, while also delivering on some warm fuzzies. No matter what, this incredible lady has earned a faithful reader in me, but there was something definitely special about Without Merit. With a message so loud and personal, I’m sure I won’t be letting go of this book any time soon.
cest 5 months ago
So I went into Without Merit with an open mind knowing it was different than other books CoHo has written and more YA not romance. That being said I appreciated getting something different from her as it showcases what a well rounded author she is and that she has the ability to give us different unique stories. In the book world with so much being the same, I enjoyed and craved this something new from her. The Voss family is plain weird. Every possible secret you can imagine they are hiding, they are. I struggled with this a bit seeing what the author wanted to show…the different issues people go through. I just wasn’t sure that it was realistic for every single person in that one family to suffer something. It almost didn’t seem too believable. Also when we get to the end, I felt that there were still some things left open-ended that I would have liked more story about… maybe an epilogue or something would have helped with this. What I did enjoy was the personal growth within all of the characters and most especially for Merit to know and understand how much she is loved while also learning to love herself. I laughed and I teared watching these characters go through their lives. I love that Hoover is still capable of bringing out the readers emotions with each book she writes. I also want to say that Sagan was TO DIE FOR *le sigh* Was this my favorite Hoover book? Definitely no. But was it a well-written page turner that I devoured and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough because it was unputdownable… DEFINITELY YES! I would have liked to see more of the romance aspect but knowing that this is YA I liked what potential for the future it eluded to. Without Merit is a 3-3.5 STAR book for me… I love Colleen Hoover as an author and will read anything and everything she writes
Anonymous 5 months ago
Definitely my least favorite book of Colleen Hoover’s. I loved all her other ones but this one is just unusual. Not her typical story. A little disappointed.
Anonymous 5 months ago
My least favorite CH novel. It was so scatter brained and so...weird. I like weird and quirky, but this book was too strange. Too many things happened, not enough thing happened. All the plot points, none of them seemed to flow. I'd have been fine not reading this,
Anonymous 5 months ago
Another can't put down book from my favorite author! Colleen Hoover you never disappoint! I laughed so hard, and cried a little too while reading "Without Merit", you are the most original and well written author I have ever read and I absolutely love all your unique story lines. You my dear touch my very heart and soul with all your novels.
Anonymous 6 months ago
loved the characters, loved the story. I laughed i cried. Only reason i didn't give it a 5 is because its more of a young adult book than a romance book and it leaves you feeling like the characters are sexually frustrated all the time and they never get there in the book. I felt like you cheer it on and nothing happens even towards the end. Still awesome book but wish it had a little more or a second maybe one when they are o
sugarpine721 6 months ago
I highly anticipate every book written by Colleen Hoover. Her book are unlike anything else. Besides her magnificent writing style, her story are without a doubt unique and thought provoking. Without Merit isn’t like her other stories. It is deeply reflective and intensely emotional. Mental health is such difficult topic to write about but is handled so well you will rethink many of your preconceived beliefs on the topic. PERSPECTIVE is the name of the story. How it changes reality. The story shows us the power that perspective has to change what is perceived. It is definitely a book to be thoughtfully read. What exactly is “normal”? “Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.”
Anonymous 6 months ago
Read it in less than 24 hours, as I have with all her books. Amazing author, different story line, a little romance and family drama thrown in and you've got the perfect combination. Well done, Colleen!
Anonymous 6 months ago
Thank you to Atria books for providing an ARC for review. I feel completely conflicted and expect this will be one of the most difficult reviews I've ever written. I'm a huge Colleen Hoover fan and have read every one of her novels, I met her last year at The Bookworm Box, and consider her one of my favorite authors. Such is my luck that this would be the one CoHo book that didn't resonate with me. Without Merit is an out-of-the-box novel, even for Colleen, and completely different than anything she has ever written. The characters all had their own quirks and oddities, almost to the point of being ridiculous. I found most of the characters challenging to like, and some downright repulsive. Obviously, Merit was the most likeable character within the 384 pages. She lives in a family of secret keepers, where no one is able to show love or tell the truth. Sick and tired of living with her family's burdens, Merit spontaneously decides she'll write a letter revealing her family's dirty secrets and take her own life. When her plan is foiled, she is stuck dealing with the consequences of airing the family's dirty laundry. Colleen does a great job of making her readers feel connected to Merit through the first half of the story. However, I felt the story dragged in getting to the point that the blurb details as the main event of the novel. I was unsure of which direction things would go throughout the majority of the book, making me wonder what the point of the story was. Finally, around the halfway mark things started rolling in true Hoover style, allowing me to understand the build-up in the first half. I will say, I found Without Merit to have an important message overall. I think this book can have a positive impact on people who may struggle with some of the things Merit thought to be challenging in life. I was able to appreciate getting into the character's heads to understand the causes for their actions. Unfortunately, it seemed as if Merit was left out to dry, for the most part, in the conclusion. At times, I even felt as if Merit was being manipulated by those around her to see situations the way they wanted her to. And though there were resolutions in the end, many of the characters did not learn the lessons I hoped they would. It seemed as if they were making excuses for their actions, rather than accepting responsibility. Though, one of the main points Colleen makes in this novel is this: "Not every mistake deserves a consequence, some just deserve forgiveness." I suppose because I like "karma" as some call it, that makes me less apt to understand the feeling of forgiving without consequences. I prefer to see justice for mistakes, because many times people don't properly feel remorse and learn otherwise. Nonetheless, Colleen gives readers things to think about, which leads to my conflicted feelings over the whole of this novel. There were parts I liked and beneficial topics discussed, but on the whole, I did not relate to the story which created a bit of a disconnect. Regardless of my feelings and difference of opinion on many topics discussed within the plot, I will continue to be a Colleen fan and will eagerly read anything she produces in the future. This highly anticipated novel is sure to resonate with many readers, so please take my adverse opinion with a grain of salt. It may be just what you need at this moment in your life and simply wasn't a favorite for me.
Xkoqueen 6 months ago
Compelling Coming-of-Age Story Colleen Hoover is a gifted writer who never fails to provide an emotional rollercoaster read. Nothing is as it seems in Merit Voss’, life. When she reaches her last straw Merit takes matters into her own hands in a very dramatic way. In Without Merit, Colleen Hoover explores family dynamics, mental health, and the power of honesty and forgiveness. If you think your family is dysfunctional, you haven’t met Merit’s family yet! The title, Without Merit, does lend itself to a sense of foreboding. However, Ms. Hoover’s latest novel is not all doom and gloom. This story is filled with an amazing array of quirky family members who compliment each other perfectly. The motley cast of characters will draw you in and capture your heart. Main character and narrator Merit Voss is timid and uncertain; she lives in the shadow of her twin sister, Honor. Whether a family member or a guest in the Dollar Voss house, the young adults’ problems are representative of most teens’ issues. Some characters are instantly empathetic and lovable, and the rest I fell in love with by the end. This odd family will wreak havoc with your heart. The well-paced story takes place over a short period of time, but the meat of the plot involves the years and years of secrets each family has kept from one another. These secrets and half-truths involve each family member. When Merit exposes her secrets and assumptions she essentially opens Pandora’s box. How does the truth impact the fractured family? You will have to read this creative, unique coming-of-age book to find out. I loved this young adult, coming-of-age story. There are so many little details in the story that make it a gem. Ms. Hoover respectfully addresses tough subjects, sprinkles in hope, and added in one of the best bookstore scenes ever. Without Merit is on my top read for 2017 list.
Nicely_Phrased_AS 6 months ago
"Far from ordinary" according to the synopsis, but I would say the Voss family puts the D in dysfunction.  With every CoHo book I read, I become more and more aware that living in her must always be an adventure.  Her imagination knows no bounds.  I'm thinking that Without Merit must be the embodiment of what a typical day in Ms. Hoover's daydreams HAVE to be like. The challenge with a story like Merit's, is to balance the heavy subject with fairness, light, and objectivity.  While Merit may seem like a normal teenager, her life is anything but and the beginning of the story digs right with Merit purchasing a trophy and meeting Sagan.  The unconventional meeting sets the tone for the entire story, and it was one that I could not put down. The Voss family is not perfect.  Each character carries baggage, each bag carries garments that belong to other family members.  There are a lot of lies, misunderstandings, and defiance.  It takes Sagan to bring to light the darkness that Merit truly feels.  The more she falls for him the more bleak her life and her family appear.  Eventually, it all has to come to a head.  The journey is difficult for Merit but she has Sagan to lean on right?  Ha!  Not so fast.  It's never that easy. Even though I kept thinking how crazy, quirky, weird this Voss family was, I eventually realized, they really aren't that much different from all of us.  They're just wrapped up in a different package. * I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book *
xxBianca 6 months ago
“Don’t make your presence known. Make your absence felt.” As the synopsis indicates, the Voss family is far from ordinary. Merit Voss is simply lost within the chaos of her own house. Under the heaviness of secrets and the brokenness of her home, she’s voiceless. Until Sagan comes roaring into her life. Merit doesn’t care about much inlife. But Sagan changes that. Too bad he’s not hers to have. But when everything comes to a point of no return, Merit learns that the secrets she threatens to reveal come with consequences. “Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing a mistake deserves is forgiveness.” The writing was absolutely mesmerizing. It was honest. Raw. Nothing was held back as you learned about Merit and her family. It was heavy at times, quirky and odd at others. The depth of the story, the characters will sit with me for a long time to come. My heart was heavy, yet so full at the same time. I was absolutely blown away by the magnitude of the impact this story really had on me. It’s so much more than YA. It gives a voice to the forgotten. Even in Merit’s silence, her pain and her want for life spoke so loudly. The words poetic. The storyline, inspiring and thought provoking. There are no words that could adequately describe the importance of a story like this in today’s society. Gone are the days where we fit in boxes. Despite our circumstance, we are all worthy of love, forgiveness, and most of all understanding. “Your emotions are valid, Merit. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. You’re the only one who feels them.” Without Merit is not the book you expect, but it’s the book you certainly need to read. It’s not your typical Colleen book as you will have problems with Merit. She’s flawed yet you can’t help but want to know her story. At the same time, it is a Colleen book as it is written with truth. Unapologetically. She weaves you through a story of a family (and friends) with secrets I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. Her writing is unfiltered in that she never abandons the authenticity of the characters and their discourse. Poignant and exhilarating, Without Merit is the type of book to leave you thinking DAYS later. About life, mistakes, and how we are all trying to find our way. What a moving read. As Sagan says, Colleen… “You bury me.” Well done!
aprilcrain 6 months ago
Anyone who knows me even a little bit, knows that I adore Colleen Hoover’s work. Her books have made me laugh, made me cry, given me anxiety and made me swoon all within a few chapters of each other. Without Merit doesn’t disappoint in any of these areas! She does it again my friends! While it has all the characteristics I love about a Colleen Hoover read, it is a very unique story and stands out on it’s own as well. It’s real, it’s relatable, it hurts and it heals. I love that Colleen Hoover isn’t afraid to go to these places that cut deep to your soul. This is one of those books that you don’t want to give too much away in a review, but you trust that because Colleen Hoover wrote this book, you can dive in and know that it’s going to be worth the read! Trust me on that! I also love that this books is a tad more YA than her last few releases. It feels very similar to “Hopeless” in tone but not in story. So because of that, I would recommend everyone to read this book. Perfect for an older teen and up! Colleen chose to bring mental health awareness into this book, which is a cause that is deeply close to my heart. I love a book that can reach me on that level, and hopefully everyone that reads it will come away with a different perspective then they might have gone into the book with! Tough subjects are addressed such as domestic abuse, depression and suicide but she handles it in such a tactful manner. One thing I can always count on with Colleen’s books is that she knows how to write a swoon worthy book boyfriend. Every time I read a COHO book I think “Oh HE’S Def my new favorite”. Then a new book comes out… and I say it again. This one is no different. Thank you Colleen for making me fall head over heels for your characters!
Lisa-LostInLiterature 6 months ago
And here I am, sitting down again to write ANOTHER 5-star review for a Colleen Hoover book. I know... shocking! There's a reason why I absolutely adore this incredibly talented human being. Her words affect me like few others' can. Her stories, especially this one, are so authentic, unique, and inspiring. Let's take a little looksie into this new CoHo masterpiece, shall we? :) Without Merit is completely different from Colleen's other books for several reasons. First off, it's a mature YA novel. Her first YA. Merit, our MC, is 17 and living with the most dysfunctional family I've ever read about it. (Yes, just from this part alone I knew I would love this book. Colleen writes dysfunction like no other.) This story is also quite different for the fact that it doesn't use romance as the main focus. Sure, there is a romance brewing (and it's super adorable, if I may say so myself.) but it's not the core focus of this incredible story. Hard to believe, right? It was for me too. But boy, it really worked! Lastly, though I wouldn't categorize this book as "dark" per say, it did address several very important and sensitive issues. Trigger warning: (view spoiler) "I'm not even sure home is a word that can be used to describe where I live. It's just a house filled with people who are counting down the days until they don't have to live with each other anymore." This was definitely the most unique, quirky bunch of characters I've ever come across. I'm continuously astounded by the level of creativity Colleen Hoover has when developing these masterful characters. I'm super curious to know what you guys think, after reading this story, about Merit and the other characters as well. Who's your favorite? Who do you think was the most interesting? Colleen Hoover's characters, in my opinion, are usually quite relateable and easily likable. Merit is so different. She's spontaneous, quite a bit selfish, and doesn't take any responsibility for her poor choices. She's, quite honestly, a bit of a mess. But I loved her. So, so much. Without Merit is definitely one of my favorite reads this year. I didn't expect to be quite this taken by this story. It's one of those stories that I wish I could read again for the first time. It was unique, entertaining, quirky, silly, inspirational and even hopeful. I'm so impressed with how much of a punch was packed into such a cute little package. “Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.” Whether you're a die-hard CoHo fan (like I am!) or you've never read a single one of her books, I would definitely urge you to read this story. No need to read the synopsis, just go in blind and take it all in. Then stop back over here and let me know what you think. :) I have a feeling you just may love it as much as I did. (Thank you to Atria Books and Colleen Hoover for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
HC_TheHeathersBlog 6 months ago
Well, that's one messed up family and I devoured every wicked and twisted thing they had going on. Without Merit takes us through the life of a teenager and the struggles that she has and will endure. It certainly isn't pretty but it's powerful and it sheds light on situations that many people can relate to. If this review seems vague, it's because I want to keep it as simple as possible in the hopes that readers go into this without any preconceived notion. Merit goes through a lot of different emotions that most would consider typical teenager behavior but once you dive down into the heart of everything going on in that family, there's certainly something else shadowing over them. All families are bit dysfunctional, right? It's what makes us who we are. It's what you do with it that counts. Every single character in Without Merit pays a very intricate role in the overall story. Each one being a piece of the puzzle and when they are finally all connected together, you start to realize just how powerful that story is. I actually gasped when the connection to the title was reviled. For me, this was a slow burn type of book. It took me a bit longer to fully connect but after reading it I realized why and I was actually thankful for it. Without Merit is a powerful and enlightening story that is relatable to many and I think will make an impact on a lot of people. That's just Colleen Hoover's trademark, though. Making us cry, feel and relate to everything that she writes. That's the power in her writing and the stories that she tells.
KindleCrackBookReviews 6 months ago
I read Without Merit a few months ago. It took me quite some time to digest all of the complex emotions I felt after reading this book. I have two children (teenager and pre-teen), and this book made me think about my own family dynamics. Everyone has felt like Merit at some point in their lives, alone but not lonely. I also believe everyone has some dysfunctional element to their family dynamics. Or maybe it’s just me? Without Merit is unlike anything Colleen Hoover has written. This is not a classic romance novel with your latest and greatest book boyfriend. This is the story of Merit, a seventeen-year-old girl who is battling her own personal demons within the walls of a repurposed church, turned family home. Merit is drowning in her own depression, which stems from issues with her own self-worth and her dysfunctional family relationships. Merit wonders if her family would even notice if she was gone. "I didn’t matter, but I don’t. I hate it here, too. I don’t matter here, either. If I dropped out of life, just like I dropped out of school, everyone’s lives would go on. With or without Merit.” Merit is tired of being the crypt keeper of lies and secrets. Years of compressing and compartmentalizing it all has taken its toll on her emotional well-being. “Maybe if I let all the secrets out, they wouldn’t make me feel like drowning anymore. Yes. Maybe that would help. Maybe getting it all out will help me feel like I’m not about to implode.” Without Merit is infused with Colleen’s signature wit and addictive writing style. She pulled on all of my emotions. This book was heartbreaking, humorous at times, raw and complex. While the topics were serious, as a reader I didn’t find this book either dark or depressing. It made me think and feel along with the narrator. Colleen tackled some complicated topics with grace in this all-consuming, coming of age, soon to be YA/NA classic. She weaved an intricate web of emotions while unmasking the ugly reality of teenage depression. This story is thought-provoking and simply must be read. Not because it's a CoHo book, but because it's important. This book will touch everyone's heart and soul in that special way that Colleen does, time and time again.