Without Merit

A Novel

Without Merit

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends With Us and November 9 comes a moving and haunting novel of family, love, and the power of the truth.

“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.

Poignant and powerful, Without Merit explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love and truth.
  • Atria Books | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501179761 | 
  • October 2017
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Hear an Excerpt

Reading Group Guide


The Voss family is quirky, flawed, and full of secrets. With everything going on at Dollar Voss, it’s easy for Merit to feel pushed to the side or completely ignored. She starts to believe that it would be no great loss to her family if one day she were gone. But before she goes, Merit decides it’s time to clear the air of her family’s darkest secrets and force them to finally face the truth about one another. When she suddenly realizes that she doesn’t want to leave after all, it’s too late. Merit and the rest of the Voss clan are forced to deal with the layers of lies that have tied their family together, and the staggering power of love and truth.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Merit collects trophies she hasn’t won, buying a new one whenever something goes terribly wrong in her life. Is there anything you like to collect? Why?

2. Honesty is a common theme and a big deal for Merit throughout the novel. How different would the Voss family’s relationships be if they were more honest and open with one another?

3. Another prevalent theme is perspective. Luck tells Merit that after only a week he could tell that she lives in her own version of reality. How has Merit’s perspective skewed the way she treats and passes judgement on herself and others?

4. Merit constantly compares herself to her twin sister Honor; always painting herself in a harsh, unforgivi see more

More Books from this Author

All Your Perfects
It Ends with Us
Maybe Not
November 9

About the Author

Colleen Hoover
©Chad Griffith

Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of SlammedPoint of RetreatThis Girl, HopelessLosing HopeFinding CinderellaMaybe SomedayMaybe NotUgly LoveConfessNovember 9It Ends with Us, and Without Merit. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance three years in a row—for Confess (2015), It Ends with Us (2016), and Without Merit (2017). Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Colleen and her family founded The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service offering signed novels donated by authors. All profits are given to various charities each month to help those in need. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Visit ColleenHoover.com.