Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
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."
Review: This was NOT what I was expecting from a CoHo book, but I REALLY REALLY enjoyed it. This novel covered so many different issues that aren’t usually ever discussed in fluffy contemporary romance novels. I think some parts of the novel could be potentially triggering, but otherwise for those who are not immersed in information about depression, suicide, the syrian revolution, mental illness, and more, her novel is insightful in a way that simple facts may not address: she includes a level of emotion that’s otherwise not really possible for a google search to show. Some may argue that this was just too many issues crammed into one novel, but I didn’t feel that way, life has plenty of issues, so why not incorporate them.
Now for the lighter side of this novel, as an identical twin this novel was strangely relatable (most just cringing from imagining being in that situation). CoHo has a way with romance that’s always amazing, so that’s definitely not lacking in this novel.
One of the biggest things I admire about CoHo novels aside from her willingness to touch upon taboo topics in society, but also her creativity with her novels. Many contemporary romance novels stick to similar plots and even similar characters, but CoHo truly finds unique situations and such detailed characters, blending into one-of-a-kind novels every time.
A fan of anything fiction, furry, & fun.