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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The Upside of Unrequited – Book Review

Author : Becky Albertalli

Publisher : Penguin Random House

Pub Date: 11 April 2017

Source : Own copy

Get the book from Amazon.in

Book Blurb

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love-she's lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always inThe Upside of Unrequitedsecret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can't stomach the idea of rejection. So she's careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie's orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly's cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly's totally not dying of loneliness-except for the part where she is.
Luckily, Cassie's new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny, flirtatious, and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she'll get her first kiss and she'll get her twin back.

There's only one problem: Molly's coworker, Reid. He's an awkward Tolkien superfan, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

My Thoughts

This is Becky Albertalli's second book and I've never read Simon Vs the Homosapiens. But I heard about this book through Instagram and decided to buy a copy and got the imported one from Amazon, only to know that it got published in India weeks later at a much lesser price 😐

So when i started reading the book, the first thought that came to my mind was, am I too old for this one. Because the main protagonist was behaving like a 14-year old, very self conscious, with huge amounts of insecurity..  I always read YA books and i love the fact that i'm able to relate to a lot of them. But this book had me questioning my love towards YA. Especially because of the 4+ ratings other readers are giving it.

Molly has had 20 plus crushes and the plot says she knows a lot about unrequited love. Does she? She hasn't ever really tried.. she has never made a step towards her crush. There's not enough said about how she was pining for a particular crush.  And the book is all about getting her a boyfriend. Go figure!

“I guess it’s just this feeling that my body is secretly all wrong. Which means any guy who assumes I’m normal is going to flip his shit if we get to the point of nakedness. Whoa. Nope. Not what I signed up for.”

I think the book was just trying too much?! There were so many diverse characters, like so many (Molly's moms, a pan-sexual Korean American girlfriend, Jews, gay best friends you name it..) i think it was all just for reaching said groups. One dying character would have completed the list i guess…

i'm not trying to be cynical,  I really wanted to like the book.Maybe it would have appealed to 12-19 year olds, i mean actual teens instead of me, a tween.

The only part of the book i actually liked was the twins' relationship. That was real.. the feeling of hurt and being invisible to your own sibling after he/she becomes involved in a relationship and to top it all you learn about said relationship through social media!. That was… sad.. and it was what kept me hooked to the book. Like i wanted to know how do they rectify their situation.. But I don't mean that i liked Cassie. She was mean to her sister, a little bossy at times.

Characterization – ummmm i need to think hard for this one. I think i liked Nadine, Molly's mom. I did  not like Molly or Will. I loved the geeky Middle Earth loving Reid.

The writing was funny here and there. Not so great if i'd rather sum it up.

The entire book was about finding a boyfriend, to finally feel 'belonging' and be experienced enough to talk about kisses n sex. Grow a spine and stop whining  was what I kept telling Molly throughout the book.

Jenny Han's To all the boys I loved before was good, if we are to talk about unrequited crushes.

A huge disappointment, this one. 2.5/5 stars.

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