Without Merit by Colleen Hoover // Book Review

December 12, 2017

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Atria Books

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. 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.

Poignant and powerful, Without Merit explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love and truth.


I was debating reading this book for a long time. I usually am head over heels with Colleen’s books. Slammed is still my holy grail and there’s something in her stories that’s magnificent and so relatable. So, I’m happy I gave Without Merit a chance. I liked it. Besides, I'm so used to reading book series that it's nice to read a good Stand-alone book.

The story itself centers around a girl, Merit, that has a dysfunctional family… Who doesn’t? but she just deals with it in the wrong way and ends up bottling her problems instead of solving them. Then she meets a boy she likes followed by some strange characters entering her life with more secrets joining the ones she had from her past.

No one would be able to determine from the outside of our house that our family of seven includes an atheist, a home wrecker, an ex-wife suffering from a severe case of agoraphobia, and a teenage girl whose weird obsession borders on necrophilia.

This has a unique plot I must say. Each character is so different but it somehow complements the story beautifully. Also, this book does mention topics such as family bonds, depression, first love and loss and speaks about them equally. It gives us an insight on depression and feeling worthless. But it also teaches that if you focus on good things and learn how to forgive, you can go much farther. The overall story transmits Hope and it ends with a Happy ending. My kind of ending for sure. But it's surely a rocky road until it gets there. 

Without Merit isn't a brilliant book but it's a story you should read if you’re looking for a small book that will educate you in a bunch of lessons and it will show you how to see things from a different perspective. It’s unpredictable and fresh. Colleen Hoover did a wonderful job. 

3.5 Stars 

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