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Colleen Hoover’s unique storytelling has made her a must-read author, and once again she has delivered a clever, original and compelling story about a family riddled with secrets and one girl’s struggle to deal with to deal with it all. It’s a surprising, heartfelt and beautifully written coming of age book that is very different from her usual work, and I couldn’t put it down.
Merit Voss is a high school senior whose family is far from conventional. They are functionally dysfunctional, and though Merit exists in a bit of a bubble inside of her own home, she is the one that knows the secrets that exist within its walls.
No one would be able to determine from the outside of our house that our family of seven includes an atheist, a home wrecker, an ex-wife suffering from a severe case of agoraphobia, and a teenage girl whose weird obsession borders on necrophilia.
No one would be able to determine any of that from inside our house, either.
Merit is a wonderful character – unique and well-developed, she is flawed, and she struggles with a lot of things, but she’s relatable and loveable, and she’s a wonderful narrator for the story. And as we are introduced to her individual family members and the people that come into their lives, we get to see the role that she plays in her family, and are drawn into the complexity of the Voss family dynamic.
“We’re all a degree of fucked-up.”
When Merit feels herself drowning under the weight of all of the secrets, she finally reveal all, setting the stage for everything to change as all of the things that never get talked about are finally out in the open, and the Voss family are left reeling as they try to deal with the consequences of it all.
It’s all about perspective and not everything is as it seems. There are secrets, twists and turns, and the shifting character dynamics are wonderfully written, and I loved watching it all play out.
“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.”
There are so many profound lessons in this book. Key to them is the dangers of perception, the importance of forgiveness and communicaiton, and the love of family – even the messed up ones. It’s a book that makes you think while it makes you feel and I thought it was all so cleverly written.
Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing a mistake deserves is forgiveness.
There is a romantic storyline, but it is most definitely in the background of everything else that is happening. That’s not to stay that I didn’t swoon a little bit at the perfection of Coho’s YA romance. It’s beautiful and sweet, and fits into the story really well, bringing a little something extra, with a love interest that will absolutely steal your heart!
I really enjoyed this book. It’s intense and dramatic, yet funny and sweet, and it surprised me over and over again. It’s a really well-written story, and I was captivated from start to finish.
Check out our Colleen Hoover Author Spotlight for more great reads!