Title: The Merciless
Author: Danielle Vega
Publication: June 12th 2014
Cover Rating: 5/5
The Merciless put me in a slump. No, it's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's a YA horror book and you don't see too many of those, especially ones done so well. I will admit that the hot pink book with a big gold pentagram on the front is what drew me to this book in the first place. But after finally picking it up and reading it I can say that the candy coating is hiding something really brilliant inside.
When I was younger I did nothing but watch horror movies and read horror books. When I made the transition from adult horror novels to Young Adult novels I was happy. I think maybe I grew up too fast by reading Richard Laymon and Edward Lee at the age of 12. But I did miss the horror aspect of the books. I have read so few horror YA novels and its so refreshing to see that horror is becoming a bigger thing in the younger books. Horror doesn't need to be full of sex and terrible adult situations to be scary. And this book proves that. Yes, this book gets pretty horrendous but it is done so very tastefully and it is perfect for any horror lover, young and old.
If you want a short review or want to know if you would like this then I will say that this book is Mean Girls meets Supernatural. I have another movie that I wanted to say but it is a pretty unknown horror movie called 5ive Girls. So Mean Girls meets 5ive Girls is the best description.
Sophia, Alexis, Grace and Riley were really the perfect team. The new girl, Sophia, who would do anything to be popular and please the Jesus freak overlord of the school.
Sophia seemed perfectly normal. Army mom who moves around a lot. Problems with school. She did have a bit of an overactive imagination and some anxiety it seemed. But she felt normal to me.
Riley was the typical religious slut. She acted all righteous but in reality she was a harlot and had no right to be preaching to anyone. She tried to make everyone believe she was this perfect girl but she was really pretty messed up.
Alexis was Riley's shadow. The way Alexis was described made me think she was actually far prettier than Riley. But she hide behind Riley and didn't really have her own personality. She was a terrible person too, which is revealed as the book progresses. I can understand the rivalry she had. But wanting someone dead and trying to hurt them because of that rivalry is on a whole other level of f***ed up.
And last, we have Grace. She was the one who didn't seem to fit that much. She had a problem with pills but other than that she was normal. I don't know how she got mixed up with Riley but I'm sure she regretted it in the...end.
Something that stood out to me, I have no idea why, was the fact that Charlie didn't notice the piercing missing from Sophia. She just had it done and he even carried her unconscious body after the piercing, yet he didn't say anything about it? Just seemed a little funky to me.
The other thing I was wondering about was whether or not Brooklyn has two parts to herself. I know Riley thought she was possessed but when she said No about the whole Josh thing I kind of felt like she was telling the truth. And then the bad side took over and said she did it. Is the real Brooklyn stuck in there?
Throughout the book we keep getting these really emotional flashbacks from when Sophia was in her previous school. None of them seem too menacing until we get towards the end of the book. Everything felt pretty innocent. I know bullying isn't innocent but the flashbacks she was having were pretty much just about being bullied and picked on. So I really didn't expect what happened when the entire memory was revealed. Yes, Sophia had gone through some pretty bad teasing from her horrible classmates but that didn't warrant what happened to Karen. That right there should have told me that Sophia was probably like Brooklyn.
The ending was Creepy. As. Hell. I obviously knew that Brooklyn wouldn't forgive and forget but I didn't expect Riley to have been right all along. I thought maybe Brooklyn was a witch or something but what happened it the end went beyond witchcraft. And then that last sentence. It was that pivotal moment when everything finally fell into place. No, I didn't get all the answers to my questions. Yes, I was left with even more questions after the ending. But the book was so amazing and everything happened, pretty much, in the span of 1-2 days.
Some of the questions I was left with were:
Was Charlie involved?
What happened with the murders?
Did Sophia just go home like nothing happened?
What happened with Charlie's truck?
Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars.