Without merit – Book Review |Complicated!

Author : Colleen Hoover

Publisher : Atria Paperback

Pub Date: October 2017

Source : Own copy

Get the book from Amazon.in.

You can find my review in Goodreads page as well.

Book Blurb

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness. IMG_5433

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.

CoHo’s writing usually leaves you heart broken or shattered. This book didn’t leave me with anything of that sort. Let me explain why.

It’s like we don’t even have parents. We have a mother living in our basement and a father living in his own world.

Like the blurb says, the Voss family is anything but normal. A teenage daughter skips school for days, the only active parent never cares. She has this weird habit of collecting trophies and even the father buys one when she is upset, but never asks her about this strange addiction or why she is upset enough to buy old trophies.  All of a sudden a stranger kisses you in public and you respond in equal passion? Okay, lets just ignore this one, cos CoHo’s books usually have something of this sort, something strong and something passionate and something unexpected.

Characters

Merit Voss is nothing but judgmental.

I’m nothing like my identical twin sister, who prefers cadaver hearts to fully functioning ones. I am nothing like my father, Barnaby, who has turned our entire lives upside down, simply out of spite for a canine. I am certainly nothing like my brother Utah who spends every waking moment living an externally precise, perfect, and punctual present to make up for all the internal imperfections that live in his past.

And then there’s a lot of slut shaming too.

Utah doesn’t like spontaneity, Utah does not expect the unexpected.

Well, he sure gave me an unexpected shock! And Luck fits like a charm to this already messed up family.

With all of its imperfectness, the family still continues to have dinner as though everything is normal and the father only tries to avoid any situation rather takes action on them. At least until 3/4th of the book.

Repetitive

Things that were repeated throughout the book – Merit and Honor are different persons and they have nothing in common. And four year old children are fairly liked across the board.

Redundant

There’s a lot that the author has tried to fit inside one book – depression, suicide, mental illness, homosexuality, Syrian refugee crisis (I’m not kidding!!). Like too many cooks spoiled the soup or something..  These are topics to be discussed but one issue at a time would have sufficed.

The Likeable part

There were some bits and pieces of Sagan that I liked and the way he ‘handles’ Merit.  The way he asks her not to pursue the relationship unless n until she learns to love herself.  That Merit kisses him even though she says she would slap him if he tries to kiss her  shows how much confused and deranged she is. And he is the only one to bring some sense into her. And weirdly, Luck sometimes gives a little perspective too. When all the secrets are out, and the family tries to work itself through it, you cannot stop thinking why didn’t they do it sooner.

This book could be another favorite for some, a little too much for some (like me!) but its worth a read!. Unless you read it, you cannot simply judge whether or not you like it.

The book was maddening and not my usual cup of CoHo!

I give 3 stars. ✪ ✪ ✪

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