Book Review: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Without Merit: Synopsis

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.

Without Merit: First Sentence

I have an impressive collection of trophies that I did not win.

Without Merit: My Opinion


I waited for Without Merit for a long time and was more than happy when I was holding it in my hands on its release day (yep! Since I am living in Canada, that’s possible!!)

Maybe I’ve put too much pressure on the book.

I had a really rough start. I didn’t like the story, the characters and the book felt too unreal, too excessive. After the first chapter I was like: Come on! Really?

I didn’t like that the family was living in a church and I didn’t like that Merit didn’t show a lot of respect towards religion. That opinion probably changes from person to person but I didn’t like it.

It was clear from the beginning that something was wrong with Merit and her family. Now and then there were little hints and character qualities which weren’t normal compared to other people and that was the one thing which made me keep reading.

I watch the first ten minutes of eight different shows on Netflix. Might have an issue with my attention span because I can never make it through an entire show without getting bored.

I wanted to know why everyone acted like they did. I wanted to know all the secrets every family member was hiding. And I am glad I did.

My first impression of Merit was how negative she was about everything. She didn’t talk with her family for couple of days and rather fight with them than pull herself together. I was annoyed at first but after the first half of the book I asked myself how I would act when I would be living with a family like Merit’s. A broken family. I started to understand her from this point on then.

Maybe that’s the part of the reason I’ve decided to go on a verbal strike. I’m tired of everything I say not having meaning to anyone.

Like I said before, the reader understands that something isn’t right with her. The problem is that Merit didn’t want to accept it and it took her one terrible situation to think that she has to do something to make her feel better again. To get healthy.

And what would be a Colleen Hoover book without a male character? Of course, there was one in Without Merit. His name is Sagan and he was very different to the male characters in her recent books.

I like you enough to kiss you. Believe me. But I just wish you could like yourself as much as I like you.

Sagan was darker and he had lots of tattoos and he stayed more of a secret, even after you finish the book. At least that is my opinion on him. You do not get to know a lot about him because the focus is on Merit and her family. Nevertheless, he was present and was so important to Merit. He was her life savor.

His whole body is hugging mine and I can’t even remember the last time someone in this house hugged me.

Without Merit: Summary

I would say that Without Merit is an important book in many ways. It reminded me how important it is to love yourself first. To speak to the people you love and how fast it can go in the wrong direction if you do not take care of yourself and do not listen to the signs of your body.

You should always be the first person who loves you as as person completely and entirely.

Without Merit Rating: 3,5/5 ★

Find all details about Without Merit on Goodreads.

Cover picture | Synopsis

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Always on the hunt for good books, strong coffee and the little things in life ♡

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  1. November 8, 2017 / 11:24 PM

    Sounds like a great book with a beautiful message. I’m a CoHo addict – and still waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail… C’mon Mr. Postman! Definitely going to save this book for the Christmas Holidays so I can kick back, suggle in and enjoy reading ‘Without Merit’ without interruption. Thanks for your post – it was enlightening. I now know to push through the first bit because it will get better… but I mean it’s CoHo, so why wouldn’t it? ;p Keep up the great reviews.

    • November 12, 2017 / 10:42 AM

      That sounds like a really, really good plan! Can’t wait to hear what you think! ❤️
      And thank you so much for your nice words! It means a lot!

  2. November 9, 2017 / 4:40 PM

    Thanks for this honest review! It sounds intriguing despite its minor flaws.

  3. November 12, 2017 / 10:39 AM

    Oh, thank you so much! This makes me really happy to hear! ❤️

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