Happy Pub Day to Colleen Hoover!
Without Merit is my favorite of her books so far.
You will never meet a family more unique than the Voss family. You will never meet more quirky characters.
There's a ton of kids, an agoraphobic mother who lives in the basement, a step-mom that lives upstairs and a bunch of kids who really just don't know what the hell is going on.
There is Merit and her twin sister, Honor and their brothers and father who round out the story. There's also a really pissed off neighbor and a couple terminally ill people in the mix as well.
I think my favorite part of this book was the very beginning (even though whole book is one great scene after another) when Merit is browsing an antique shop for her next trophy to add to her collection (see what I mean about quirky?) when she unexpectedly ends up kissing a stranger out on the street. That escalated quickly, I bet you're thinking. And you're right. That's how this book goes. Just one quick, funny, interesting, "Wait, what?!" moment after another.
With the siblings all trying to hide secrets of their own (sexuality, a penance for loving sick people and a list of other serious topics) Merit is left to her own devices. She can't understand why she can't have a normal family but there are things in her past that not only must she keep hidden, but her secrets are effecting her relationships with her family and even the mysterious boy that kissed her out on the street that day. You'll quickly find out who that boy is but you'll be flipping through the pages, reading as fast as you can to finally figure out why each person in this book is acting the strange way that they are.
This book is like an onion. Not only did it make me cry, but just when you think you've discovered all you need to know, the characters reveal another layer about themselves.
It's rich with details, emotions, hard topics, but all of it comes out in a compassionate and deeply moving story.
It's out today, so grab a copy and tell me what you think!