Review: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover


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 is a book chock full of quirky characters and a very atypical family dynamic.  It's so absurd, yet utterly relatable.  They're complex and confusing, along with the story.  But that's what's to be expected from Coho at this point, right?  No two of her novels are alike, and it is one of the reasons I love her prolific writing.

Hoover is known for writing about difficult subjects, playing Devil's Advocate, causing the reader to pause and put themselves into these difficult scenarios, and wonder how they would handle these perplexing situations.  In that respect, Without Merit is no different.