Review | Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

“You don’t get to decide what your life means to anyone else.” 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: trophies, sketches, bedtime stories, suicide letters, black labradors, identical twins, bathing suits, pills, donuts, statues of Jesus, graveyards, tattoos and family secrets.

Unlike most of Colleen’s books, this is a true young adult book. She usually mixes things up and does mostly new adult and adult, so I wasn’t expecting a full on young adult book – and I loved it! 

This story is about a girl named Merit. She lives with her family in a repurposed church, but she doesn’t get along with any of her family members except for her four year-old step-sibling. And why not, you may ask? Well, long story short: she doesn’t get along with her twin sister because they’re polar opposites; she barely speaks to her older brother; her mother is afraid of leaving the basement where she currently lives and, to top it all off, her dad lives in the same house… with his current wife and new kid. Crazy enough for you? Spoiler alert: it gets worse; but you will have to read the book to find out! Merit is tired of all the family secrets she holds and to feel like an outsider, so she decides to expose every secret and leave them for good. But things don’t go as planned… and that’s all I’m going to tell you.

I went blindly into this book – like I usually do – because I wanted to be surprised. And I was. I think what makes this story so memorable for me is how weird it is. Merit’s household was insane! Everytime you feel like your family is crazy, just go back to this story and I guarantee you will feel better.

This is the kind of book that will make you think and give you a new perspective. A big thing I took away from this book is how we underestimate communication so often. If Merit and her family talked about their problems to each other, they would grow closer. Also, people always say twins have a strong connection to each other, but this book made me wonder if that applies to every set of twins. I never entertained the idea of having identical twins that don’t share a connection, but it makes sense right? Not everyone is going to get along.

What also surprised me was how full of triggers this book was. Of course there is romance, but it’s not the main theme of the book. Topics like mental health, depression, suicide and substance abuse are only a few of the most important ones mentioned in the book.

I listened to the audiobook, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the narrator. She did a great job narrating the book, but she sounded way too old for a seventeen year old.

It was a good, entertaining book. I know I will never forget it because it was very different and unique.

xoxo, Neide

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