Published by Atria Books on October 3rd 2017
Challenge Theme: A book with a two-word title
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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.
Of all of Hoover’s books this one has the lowest average rating on Goodreads and for the life of me I don’t know why. I really liked this book! First off I would not consider this a romance. Yes there is a love story in it but that is not the main focus. This novel is about a dysfunctional family and how keeping secrets can eat you from the inside out. To some people Merit may be a difficult person to root for but from the start I was so invested in her life. Even when she seemed to acting out and being a brat I was still wanting her to succeed. This book deals with some heavy topics like depression, suicide, closeted homosexuality, molestation, extramarital affairs, and more. And that is all in one family! Some of the negative reviews were about how Hoover didn’t seem educated enough to delve into a lot of those topics but in my opinion she did it well. By the end of the book you love characters that at the beginning seemed unredeemable. I loved how the earth shattering climax, where all the secrets come to life, propels the second half of the book. I have yet to be disappointed in a book written by Hoover. I can’t wait to read the next one on the list!
“Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.”
“It annoys me when people try to convince other people that their anger or stress isn’t warranted if someone else in the world is worse off than them. It’s bullshit. Your emotions and reactions are valid, Merit. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. You’re the only one who feels them.”
“Tuqburni is used to describe the all-encompassing feeling of not being able to live without someone. Which is why the literal translation is, ‘You bury me.”
“We’re all a degree of fucked-up.”
“The same two things could happen to two people, but that doesn’t mean they would experience the exact same stress over it. We all have different levels of stress that we’re accustomed to. You probably felt the same amount of stress over your family situation as I sometimes do about mine, even though they’re completely on different levels. But that doesn’t make you weaker. It doesn’t make you an asshole. We’re just two different people with two different experiences.”
“A person can’t help their attraction to another person, but a person can help their actions toward another person.”
“He takes a step closer to me and it suddenly feels like I’ve swallowed his heart because I have all these extra beats in my chest.”
“No matter how hard you try, things don’t always turn out the way you wish they could.”