Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
Without Merit by Colleen Hoover releases today and I am thrilled to be a part of the blog tour! Check out all the book information, Colleen’s Book Tour Schedule, my review, and a tour-wide giveaway!
Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing a mistake deserves is forgiveness.
Visit www.WithoutMeritbook.com for teasers, tour dates and more.
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.
Poignant and powerful, WITHOUT MERIT explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love.
Without Merit is by far the most un-Colleen Hoover book to date. This isn’t a negative statement, just an honest observation. I also don’t want her readers to think they won’t enjoy it, because they will. While the overall story is outside the Hoover box, she still tosses in the things that make her HER. The quirks, the funny, etc. are all present.
I really had no idea what this book was even about before I began reading. Just something about a family with secrets. I love YA, so the idea of a teenage protagonist was right up my alley. And, as is the case with any book narrated by a teen, there are moments of pure frustration. Those moments where you wish you could jump into the book and shake the character(s). Merit is no exception.
The quirkiness starts from page one. A girl who collects trophies she hasn’t earned. WTF? But, as her personality is better explained throughout the story, it makes sense. Then, there’s the dynamics of her family—a seemingly more beautiful identical twin sister with an odd ‘fetish’, a dad who loves two Victorias, a stepmother that no one likes, etc. Add in the church they live in and yeah, it’s a poster for dysfunction. I actually loved the family aspects and learning about each one (and why Merit doesn’t get along with them).
But, Merit is definitely a flawed character. An unreliable narrator. And since we only see things from her point of view, it’s hard to determine if we dislike the others because they are bad people, or if we are just being influenced by Merit’s opinions. However, it becomes clear as the story progresses that the majority is simply our limited view through Merit’s eyes. And, I really disliked her in many scenes. I found her to be juvenile, selfish, and judgmental. Which, I’m sure many would argue those are the traits of a teen. Maybe so, but some of the ideas she has in her head about her family are misguided and hurtful. Worst of all, though, is how she sees herself. It’s quite sad (but realistic) to know and recognize that these are feelings a lot of teen girls have and deal with. It’s also clear that she is going through some things; things that she needs to get help for.
I feel like I need to note that there is romance present in the story. It’s just not the forefront. Sagan is quite the brilliant—and informative—character. He’s not an over-the-top alpha male. That’s not the CoHo way! Instead, he’s a normal guy who is dealing with his own issues. And I also love that he’s not just swooping in to rescue Merit from her family and their problems. He recognizes that she needs to help herself. And all he does is push her to that goal.
Now, there is one piece of the story I didn’t love very much. And you’ll know it when you get there. I absolutely HATED the way it was glossed over and defended/explained. At the time of this ‘event’ in the book, it just gets pushed to the side. And I don’t know why it rubbed me wrong, but all I can say is it did. Maybe it felt as though Merit was trying to ‘normalize’ said action? Anyway, thankfully, towards the end it was rehashed and talked about. And thankfully, it was recognized for what it was. And what it meant. Because I think it’s important to keep the discussion open. Also, it’s imperative to keep these subjects as topics of discussion. The taboo label doesn’t help anyone.
I enjoyed Without Merit. I can’t say it’s my favorite Hoover book, but I think it’s worth a read. The characters, the plot, just everything are mostly fun. There are loads of serious moments and secrets. I appreciated what Colleen brought to light. The Voss family will make yours seem normal.
Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, This Girl, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, Confess, November 9, and It Ends with Us. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance twice – for Confess in 2015 and It Ends with Us in 2016. Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Colleen and her family founded The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service offering signed novels donated by authors. All profits are given to various charities each month to help those in need. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Please visit ColleenHoover.com.
Now for the fun….the #WithoutMerit Contest!
Enter the Rafflecopter to win a limited edition signed hardcover copy of WITHOUT MERIT! (5 winners in total) Contest is open until October 30th!
Book Tour Schedule:
Monday, October 2nd
THIRD PLACE BOOKS
17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155
RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/137295906877328/
LOS ANGELES, CA
Tuesday, October 3rd
126 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004
RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1911946199130358
KANSAS CITY, KS
Wednesday, October 4th
WOODNEATH LIBRARY CENTER
8900 NE Flintlock Rd, Kansas City, MO 64157
RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/174560183089713
Thursday, October 5th
ANDERSON’S BOOKSHOP – LA GRANGE
26 S La Grange Rd, La Grange, IL 60525
RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/264445024062577
Friday, October 6th
2692 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45208
RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/113057092698266
Saturday, October 7th
Coventry Mall, 351 W. Schuylkill Road Ste G16, Pottstown, PA 19465
RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/352249878530498
NEW YORK, NY
Sunday, October 8th
NEW YORK COMIC CON
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
500 West 36th Street, Hudson Mercantile, New York, NY 10018
RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1979991848924145
Tuesday, October 10
B&N College, Southern Methodist University Bookstore
3060 Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, TX 75205
RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/746877452165014