Without Merit

Without MeritWithout Merit by Colleen Hoover
on October 3rd 2017
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“Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.”

I started me love affair with Colleen Hoover books after reading “It Ends with us”. I then went on to binge read several of her other books and have “November 9”, “It Ends with us” and now “Without Merit” as my top 3 favorite books by her.

The Voss Family is a very unique and dysfunctional family. Merit Voss collects trophies and family secrets. The collecting of trophies is voluntary – the family secrets not so much. Merit is a unique and melancholy girl. She is also the complete opposite of her twin sister who appears to be obsessed with death and dying after a boyfriend became ill and passed away.

Top that off with living in a former church. Her Mother lives in the basement while her father and his new wife (his ex-wife’s former nurse) lives upstairs with the kids in the family. Sounds messy, right? Well, it is messy.

While looking through a thrift store one day, she meets Sagen who kisses her passionately outside and then later reveals he mistook her for someone else. Yup, messy. Making matters worse, Merit really likes him, he is witty, charming and interesting but doesn’t appear to be available. Just when it can’t get worse, it appears he has moved into her home and she can’t escape him or her feelings. Bring on the teen angst.

So, what is there to like about such a messy book? Everything! I love how Hoover can take a plot which entails a man living in the same home as his ex-wife and current wife, his children and his child from his second wife and have it be so readable and endearing. People do stupid things in this book, they make mistakes, they act before knowing the full truth, they make assumptions, they are flawed and feel incredibly real.

This book touches on issues such as infidelity, mental health issues, death, loss, illness, suicide, sexuality, family secrets, and forgiveness. It is also about being your own person, accepting your faults (and those of others), moving forward and self-acceptance. There is a lot going on in this book and it could easily seem like too much but for some reason it all seems to gel. This book is at times funny, sad, heart breaking, and entertaining. There are also a couple of twist and turns in the plot to keep things interesting.

Another great one by Hoover!



HopelessHopeless (Hopeless, #1) by Colleen Hoover
on December 19th 2012
Pages: 410
ISBN: 1301949825
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Sometimes the truth will set you free….but at what cost?

Seventeen year old Sky meets Dean Holder while shopping in a local pharmacy. He immediately follows her to the parking lot and asks if he knows her and even checks her I.D. She reminds her of someone and for Sky, she finds Dean to be attractive. Both Sky and Dean have reputations in town. She is known as the town slut and he is known as the guy who beat up someone so bad he is deaf in one ear.

They meet up again while running and for some time decide to run together. Holder is very interested in her and learning about her. Isn’t it strange that she does not have a smart phone or access to the internet. Why does Holder get angry when he sees her wearing a bracelet?

Both of these characters are likeable. Sky is sassy, sarcastic and seems unaffected when people leave nasty notes at her locker. She may have kissed a lot of guys but that’s it. She has a close best friend and a strict but loving Mother. She does have questions about her past and why her father put her up for adoption but overall she is a happy teenage girl.

Holder is the classic, dark broody teenager boy with anger issues. He has suffered a loss in his life and his reaction that has affected how he relates to others. He comes off as a tough guy at first but he is really a sweet caring person underneath. He has a secret but does not know how to proceed forward with it.

Holder and Sky made a nice couple but there is a secret between them. A secret that could change everything. I really enjoyed this book. I like how Colleen Hoover writes characters are easy to care about. I rooted for these two couples the entire way. They help each other heal past wounds and when the secrets start coming up they do not let the secrets destroy them as a couple. As I mentioned there are secrets in this book and there is a big REVEAL which I was not expecting when makes the book even better.

I found this to be a very enjoyable fast read that pulls on the heartstrings and emotions.


November 9

November 9November 9 by Colleen Hoover
Published by Atria Books on November 10th 2015
Pages: 310
ISBN: 1501110349
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Fallon meets Ben in a restaurant where she is having an uncomfortable meal with her father. Ben, feeling bad for how her father is talking down to her, jump up and pretends to be Fallon’s boyfriend. They seems to hit it off but there is a catch, Fallon is leaving California to move across country to pursue an acting career.

Due to their mutual attraction, they decide to spend the day together. For Fallon it is a good thing as November 9th marks the anniversary of the night she was badly burned in a house fire at her father’s home. Ben finds Fallon to be attractive and does not seem repulsed at the sight of her burns on one side of her body. They seem to click and spend a very good day together. They decide that they will continue to meet for the next 5 years on November 9th. They will have no communication prior to their meeting time. They will live their lives and even give each other things to accomplish in the time which they are apart.

Their feelings for each other only intensify but life has a way of getting in the way for them. Ben is an aspiring novelist and he plans to write a book about their meetings. Fallon is happy to be his must. But is everything as it seems. Has one been keeping secrets from the other? Can people who only meet one time per year stay in love? Will love conquer all?

I think this is my favorite Colleen Hoover book followed by Ugly Love and Hopeless. I liked both of the characters and wanted to shake them both at times. I have said it before but Hoover writes characters which the reader wants to root for. There is always a REVEAL to her books and this one had one as well. It was a shocker. Another “I did not see that one coming!”


Ugly Love

Ugly LoveUgly Love by Colleen Hoover
Published by Atria Books on August 5th 2014
Pages: 337
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Rules, Rules, Rules…you must obey the rules!

There are only two rules in this book and Tate Collins must follow them if she wants to have her “arrangement” with Miles Archer. Tate meets Miles when she finds him passed out drunk in front of her brother’s apartment door. And so they meet: boy with a tragic heartbreaking past and girl who just might be the one to make things a little better.

Miles makes it clear, after they admit to their mutual attraction, that he does not do relationships – certainly not love. He does not want to talk about his past and he will not promise a future. Tate is happy with the arrangement but is curious about the details that Miles wants to keep hidden. She thinks she is okay with just having a sexual relationship with him. But sex is messy. Relationships are messy. What makes them think they can walk away mess free?

This book really isn’t a stretch. I think most people know somewhat how the book is going to end at the very beginning. It’s all in how the Author takes the reader to the end is the payoff for this book.
I read this book in one sitting. I found it to be captivating. It is a very enjoyable read. Miles is like a wall and he does not want to let anyone in, Tate is literally the girl next door. They are both likable characters. I liked how the Author sprinkled in the story of Miles’ past along with the present day. Usually with these type of books (romance, etc) I want to shake the characters and tell them to knock it off already. Do they eventually knock it off? Read it for yourself and find out!



ConfessConfess by Colleen Hoover
Published by Atria Books on March 10th 2015
Pages: 306
ISBN: 1476791457
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People have secrets. WE all have secrets but what would happen if you confessed.

In the beginning of the book Auburn Reed is a 15 year old teenager in love with her dying boyfriend. She has been staying with his parents to spend more time with him as the end draws near, but she has been missing high school and needs to return home.

Jump to the present day. Auburn desperately wants to make more money. She is employed as a hair stylist but needs to bring in more income – the reader is not informed why. She sees a sign in an art gallery’s window and ventures inside to inquire about the job. There she meets the artist and gallery owner, Owen Gentry.

Owen’s unique from of art is based on confessions. People write their confessions on pieces of paper and drop them in a box anonymously. Owen reads them and then creates art based on the confessions. Auburn is immediately drawn to the art work as wells as the artist himself. Owen is drawn to Auburn and doesn’t mention that he has seen her before.

Auburn’s one night of employment turns into so much more for both of them. Through the course of the novel, confession is a theme. Both have their secrets that are ultimately uncovered over the course of the book. Secrets that could cause harm. There is harm in keeping the secrets “secret” and there is harm in confessing.

There are some revelations I did not see coming and some twists and turns. I enjoyed the story. This was a fast read for me. One can easily read this book in one day. I always like when I am not able to figure things out entirely. I like to be surprised. There were some red herrings and as they say “they went right over my head.” Overall this was an enjoyable read. I found the main characters to be likable and I rooted for them to get their heads out of their asses and be honest already. Honesty is, as the say, the best policy.


It Ends with Us

It Ends with UsIt Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
Published by Simon & Schuster UK on January 1st 1970
Pages: 376
ISBN: 1471156265
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Sometimes the one who loves you is the one who hurts you the most.


This is definitely a book that had me thinking for a long time. First and foremost, I really enjoyed this book. I devoured it in one sitting.

Lily has moved to Boston and has dreams of opening a flower shop. Rye is a neurosurgeon and the last thing on his mind is a serious relationship. Lily meets Rye on top of a roof after delivering her Father’s eulogy. She is there to think about the funeral but also her life in Boston. Rye is there on the roof, after a rough day at work. They both notice each other and both feel a spark. A spark that does not quite go off because they are looking for different things in their lives.

Lily, unknowingly, hires Rye’s sister to work in her flower shop and thus runs into Rye again and the spark is still there. They begin to admit they have a growing attraction and feelings for each other. As their love story grows, we begin to learn more about Lily’s past though a diary that she kept. We learn of the unstable living environment that Lily grew up in and we also see her growing relationship with a homeless teenager who “lives” next door.

The stories are woven together brilliantly and I loved how the glimpses into the past compliment the growing story in the future. I do not want to give too much of the story away. I think it is pretty obvious from the description and Lily’s past story. What I do like is that the story is not quite so cut and dry. I liked all of the characters. They are all likable but not all of them do likable things. It is obvious what is going to go down, but do not let that deter you from reading this book. Sometimes it is not all about the ending but how one gets there. This book is a journey though one woman’s past to her present. Her physical and emotional struggles. Her growth as a person.