Review – Without Merit by Colleen Hoover


Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

My rating: 6 of 5 stars

“Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing a mistake deserves is forgiveness.”

Merit. Such a simple word that carries the weight of a thousand books and lives. A word that means worthy. A word that defines each of Colleen Hoover’s creative culminations, novels but more like EMOTIONAL JOURNEYS. Colleen Hoover writes WORTHY books—masterpieces of merit—the kind that bring battles to life and slay demons, the kind of heartfelt creations that take and leave pieces of hearts and souls inside each story that this creator touches. Without Merit is more worthy than gold.

Colleen Hoover returns to Young Adult romance in Without Merit, a tale that is as MOMENTOUS as it is MOVING. In a small-town Texas setting lives the extremely unusual Voss family, a group of eccentric, extremely complex, and emotionally numb members. Told through the perspective of the teenage daughter, Merit, this novel takes a deep dive into family dynamics, uncovering secrets and setting the truth free.

Without Merit is so personal that it felt like an invasion upon reading. Deep. Dynamic. Devastatingly beautiful. Without Merit connected to me from the start, one that tore at my heart. I WAS RENDERED POWERLESS to this story’s power—its force—that awakened everything inside of me.

Merit is the beautiful, bold, but jaded teen heroine. She is wise beyond her years. Stuck in a family where secrets are buried and truths need to be set free, Merit seeks an escape that she finds in Sagan.

“Of all the places we could be, we’re right here. At the same time.”

Sagan is gorgeous, smart, witty, and perceptive. He beacon of light in Merit’s dark world. Sagan has a compassionate soul and I felt him soar through my soul. This hero has been through his own hell but is a survivor. Oh did I ADMIRE and love this young man!!! 

He takes a step closer to me and it suddenly feels like I’ve swallowed his heart because I have all these extra beats in my chest.

Merit and Sagans’ chemistry is UNDENIABLE. This hero and heroine are drawn together like a moth to a flame. Two broken souls searching for solace. Two broken hearts longing to become whole. Two beautiful souls connected by feels and perhaps fate.

He smiles and whispers, “You bury me.”

Without Merit‘s wielding words BURIED ME—burying my heart deep inside them. I felt each one pierce me—penetrating me like a deep kiss. The intensity of this heartfelt book burned through me like fire. Poignant. Passionate. Powerful. 

“I just wish you could like yourself as much as I like you.”

These words … they SHOOK MY SOUL! I was GUTTED, as Without Merit gripped my heart and tore it apart!!! Without Merit HITS THE HEART SO HARD, a tornado striking the soul.


I bled tears for the hero, Sagan, but mostly for the heroine, Merit, who is worth everything. This fractured family FELT REAL. A family with so many skeletons buried beneath the surface. A family with whom Colleen Hoover connects the reader so intimately. A family whose pain is felt. A family desperately needing to be saved. A family I wanted to save because they felt so close where I shared such a strong connection that the Voss members felt like mine…my close-knit clan that I rooted for until the end.

Through her powerful and poignant words, Colleen Hoover courageously uncovers social topics and serious issues like depression. This compassionate writer tackles tough matters rather than brushing them under the rug. I can’t love Colleen Hoover more for slaying serious subjects through her writing—meeting them head on—and making them her muses.

I LOVE that Colleen Hoover doesn’t write easy love. She writes complicated love, the kind that challenges you, the kind for which you have to work, stripping the soul bare, and laying everything on the line. There is no greater reward than reaching the end of a messy, hard-fought love story. Colleen Hoover is masterful at penning messy love. Colleen Hoover writes messy love at its best!

Without Merit is a family saga threaded with a coming-of-age love story, one I LIVED … FELT … LOVED. I felt every emotion that the hero and heroine felt; their devastatingly beautiful love story was MINE. I lost myself in Without Merit, vanishing into this life-altering story, SPELLBOUND, as it seized every part of me: body, heart, and soul. An evocative and emotionally-wound journey of heartbreak and healing, Without Merit leaves a lasting mark on the soul. I know my soul is marked for life.

I wanted it all. I wanted to feel everything.


🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 worthy and soul-stirring stars


View all my reviews


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.




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