Without Merit – Book Review
So far, I have read just one book by Colleen Hoover aka CoHo i.e. November 9 and I absolutely loved reading it. When I read about this new book, I couldn’t resist buying it. Without Merit should sound like a good title for a romantic book, but to my surprise, this wasn’t. In fact, the theme here is much mature.
The book centers on Merit Voss and her family.
She lives in a renovated church with her father, stepmother and brother and her twin sister. It becomes clear that her father cheated on her mother (who now lives in the basement). She is kind of a person who keeps retreating further and further into herself and has an estranged connection with her brother and sister, Utah and Honor respectively.
Things change a pace when a random hot guy kisses her unexpectedly and she, instead of feeling anger, reciprocates with passion. The guy is soon revealed to be Sagan, Honor’s boyfriend who kisses her thinking she was Honor.
Even though she is embarrassed at the whole incident, she can’t stop thinking about Sagan. Things get weirder when Honor moves Sagan inside the house.
Without Merit is a dysfunctional family drama that explores several other themes as well.
I guess this is the biggest problem with this book. Too much of anything generally leaves you with a bad taste. The way she began the book was interesting and then the information just kept piling on. For several pages, we are just introduced with several character, whom CoHo has built efficiently as unlikeable.
Unlikeable characters is not an issue for me as a reader. I do get that it is sort of a necessity to create a dysfunctional mess, but her family appeared more like secret keepers to me. Everyone had something up their sleeve, which they did not reveal until the end of the novel. It sort of took out the whole essence of the book. By the time you finish the book, you realize that misunderstanding would be the correct word, but it spoils the entire theme of Without Merit.
The core essence is good, but the execution falters.
I do not wish to convey that I didn’t like reading Without Merit. It was a good enough read. Colleen Hoover has tried hard to mix several issues into one tale and she has successfully portrayed how mental illness is still not accepted by individuals and how their condition keep deteriorating. For that part, I could really feel what she was trying to achieve with Merit. The whole need of adding suicidal tendencies can be understood. However when you add cheating, sexual identity, family roles and the misunderstandings that were revealed later, a mess is created.
I did feel the emotions.
It may be just me, but I could feel it in the latter sections of the book. However, after reading the climax of Without Merit, I simply could not digest how everything could so easily be forgotten. Also, it was not a real conclusion because it did not resolve anything. We can just be hopeful for Merit that she will emerge out to be victorious in the fight, but CoHo did leave everything to our imagination. Certainly not a disastrous thing to do, but I was expecting better.
Without Merit serves well for a lazy weekend on couch.
Like I said earlier as well, I did like the book, but my expectations from her were much more. Although, I would like to appreciate her on choosing a completely different and a great deal more mature theme.
Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.
I think we all just got to a point where we were waiting for someone else to initiate it, but no one ever did. Maybe that’s the root of a lot of family issues. It isn’t actually the issues people are hung up about for so long. It’s that no one has the courage to take the first step in talking about the issues.
Don’t make your presence known. Make your absence felt.
Buy Without Merit
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Amazon – http://amzn.to/2k7PVFb