by Colleen Hoover
Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.
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.
I gave this book 5 stars. I have never been disappointed by a Colleen Hoover book. I feel like she always writes exactly what I need to read. I felt like this book brought me back to the Hopeless days.
This is the book I needed so bad last year when I was graduating. I was having a bit of a crisis and I felt a lot of what Merit was feeling. I found that this book was the most relatable of Colleen Hoover's novels, for me at least. Not really the family drama, but everything else. Anyway, this book made me realize that I probably am depressed and I just didn’t realize it until now. Don’t you just love it when books do that?
I actually find it kind of surprising that the score for this on Goodreads is as low as it is. I went through this book just feeling as though my own feelings were being validated. I realize not everyone has the same experiences, but for me personally, this one was pretty on the nose. Anyway, I found that I connected with this book in a way that I haven’t connected to another book since I read the Outsiders six years ago.
Honestly, I can just picture this being an indie “coming of age” movie. You know, there is a little bit of romance, a little bit of a quarter-life crisis, a little bit of family drama. I can see the movie in my mind's eye. It might be a little boring depending on how the director would playmthings, and it would probably get Oscar nominations and such and all those indie critics will call it a piece of art. I think it would be a really pretentious movie, but it was a really good book. Don’t let pretentious movie vibes scare you away from reading this book.
Throughout the novel, I kept thinking “Merit Badge” simply because her name is Merit and she likes to collect trophies. I realize that those things really aren’t that similar but I thought it was kind of fun.
I liked how Sagan talked about his and his families experience with the Syrian Refugee Crisis. It wasn’t just some random thing that was happening in the world, it was actually something that affected him and gave substance to his character arc. Like Merit, I didn’t really know much about the Syrian Refugee Crisis other than the name. It was probably because I was too young to really know that it was happening when it was happening. I still don’t know a lot about it, but I loved how it gave a break down of what happened. As a reader, I feel like I’m just a little bit more informed about what is happening in the world. I kind of feel guilty that I didn’t already.
This book didn’t make me cry like the last two books I read by this author, but it did make me feel a lot of things. Some of them not so great, but at the same time sort of freeing. Let’s just leave it at I think about this book a lot.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is nearing high school graduation, people that don’t really know what they want to do with their lives, for people that are suffering from depression or think they might be. I think this was a book that was amazing for self-reflection.
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