Without merit A novel

Colleen Hoover

Book - 2017

The Voss family live in a repurposed church; 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. Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn't earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. She meets Sagan, wit and unapologetic-- and completely unavailable. Merit decides to shatter their happy family illusion, but is... forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth.

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FICTION/Hoover, Colleen
0 / 2 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor FICTION/Hoover, Colleen Due Oct 18, 2023
1st Floor FICTION/Hoover, Colleen Due Oct 9, 2023
Domestic fiction
Psychological fiction
Romance fiction
New York, NY : Atria Books 2017.
First Atria Books hardcover edition
Item Description
Includes questions for discussion.
Physical Description
362 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Main Author
Colleen Hoover (author)
Review by Booklist Review

Merit is ditching school and poking around in an antiques shop when she meets a really interesting guy, Sagan. They talk a little, then he gives her a sweeping, epic kiss, interrupted by his phone. Her twin, Honor, is calling him: he thought Merit was Honor. Merit is used to that sort of embarrassment and hides out in her room from the family she already dislikes. Eventually, she realizes that Sagan has moved in, so now she has to keep her feelings for him in check all the time. While Merit's mother lives in the basement and never leaves, her father tries to keep everyone on track, and every person in the house, except for Merit's four-and-a-half-year-old brother, has secrets. Merit knows most everything, and all the hidden truths and strong feelings fill her until she finally gets everyone's attention with a desperate act. Merit is complex and charming as she struggles with depression, and Hoover (It Ends with Us, 2016) shines here as she reveals hope glowing within a house of dysfunction.--Alessio, Amy Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In this surprisingly serious look at the experience and consequences of untreated mental illness, Merit Voss's eccentric family amplifies her typical teenage angst as she tries to shield herself with dismissive, defensive humor. Her bubbly twin sister, Honor, keeps falling in love with terminally ill boys. Her reclusive mother has not left the basement for years, and her preening stepmother (her mom's former oncology nurse) lives upstairs. The recent appearance of Sagan, a perfect example of a dreamy stranger, in the household awakens strong jealousy in Merit when she assumes he is Honor's boyfriend. Merit keeps repeating how much the town hates her family, but her depressive slide into dropping out of school does not allow any proof of social rejection. Finally fed up with her family's willful ignorance of her problems, she drunkenly pens a letter that exposes secrets, including an explanation for her chilly relationship with ambitious, chipper older brother Utah. When her suicide attempt is foiled, the whole family has to learn to cope with these revelations. The romantic thread between Merit and Sagan is flimsy but stays intact through to the end. Hoover relies a bit too much on pat conversations to resolve resentments, but her characters are lively and her honest approach to difficult issues makes this contemporary novel more solid than its fluffy feel suggests. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Kirkus Book Review

With the help of unusual houseguests, a teenage girl who tries to rebel by airing her family's dirty laundry cleans up her act instead.To Merit Voss, the white picket fence around her house is the only thing normal about the family it contains. She lives in a converted church with her father, stepmother, and siblings, and although her parents have been divorced for years, her mother still lives in the basement, struggling with social anxiety. No one in her family is religious, so her brother Utah updates the church marquee every day with fun facts instead of Bible verses. Merit is less accomplished than her identical twin sister, Honor, so she likes to buy used trophies to celebrate her failures. But Honor seems to have a fetish for terminally ill boys, so it's a surprise to Merit when Sagan, who is perfectly healthy, kisses Merit after mistaking her for her sisterand then reveals that he's living in their house. Soon they have another houseguest, Luck, whose connection to the family makes Merit even more convinced she's living in a madhouse. So why is everyone so angry at her? Merit has a love/hate relationship with her sister. She's conflicted by her feelings for Sagan, who leaves intriguing sketches (illustrated by Adams) around the house for her to decipher. She's simultaneously intrigued and repulsed by Luck, who annoys her with his questions but is also her confidant. She can't sit through dinner without starting a fight; she's been skipping school for days; and when she decides to give her whole family the silent treatment, Sagan is the only one who notices. In fact, he and Luck are the only people in the house who recognize Merit's quirks for what they really arecries for help. And when Merit takes drastic measures to be heard, the fallout is both worse and much better than she feared. Hoover (It Ends With Us, 2016, etc.) does an excellent job of revealing the subtle differences between healthy teenage rebellion and clinical depression, and Merit's aha moment is worthy of every trophy in her collection. This quirky, complex, and frustrating heroine will win hearts and challenge assumptions about family dysfunction and mental illness in a life-affirming story that redefines what's normal. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.