Review: Without Merit

Title: Without Merit
33280872Author: Colleen Hoover
384 pages, published October 3, 2017
Source: Purchased for myself

From Goodreads:

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.

Colleen Hoover is always a pre-order without thinking, read the book no matter what type of author for me. I've loved all of her books.  Until...this one. I didn't love or really connect with it at all. What I did love though, was CoHo's writing and writing style that still shone through despite not loving the story. It did keep me reading, which was good.
I didn't connect with the story because there was SO MUCH going on and so many issues that CoHo tackled here: mental illness, LGTBQ, broken families, abuse, suicide, the Syrian Refugee crisis, romance, family secrets.  While I do appreciate that CoHo shows the reality of these issues, she just didn't hit the mark on this one for me.  I think she was better off focusing on one major issue in It Ends With Us instead of the multitude of issues dealt with here. Because she was spread so thin I feel like she didn't handle any of the issues well, even her trademark romance.
This is not me complaining that this book was not a classic CoHo romance. In fact, I praised her in my review of It Ends With Us for handling complex, adult issues. After reading the synopsis, a friend commented that the book sounds a lot like The Glass Castle, which I also didn't like, so perhaps there's a connection there, as I know I have the unpopular opinion of both books.
Did I like this book? No. Will I still read the next CoHo release? You'd better believe it!
Happy Reading!