Title: The Merciless Author: Danielle Vega Publisher: Razorbill Release date: June 12th 2014 Pages: 279 Genre: Young Adult horror Source: Teen Author Carnival 2014 Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon
Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream. Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed. Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls . . . unless she wants to be next. . . .
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars Wait, what just happened? Did that really just happen? I just finished reading The Merciless, and I can't get over that shocking ending. Or any of the horrifying stuff in this book, really. I am so creeped out, I don't even know what else to say. This is the first true horror novel I've read, so I'm obviously not the best judge, but that was probably the most disturbing thing I've ever read. The first 30 pages or so of The Merciless read like the typical YA story, albeit with a very creepy atmosphere. After that, though, this novel turns into something unlike anything I've ever read before. This "exorcism" is horrifying - the details we get about the torture these girls perform on Brooklyn are disgusting, but I couldn't stop reading. For most of the novel, the reader feels like they, along with Sofia, are stuck in this house with these ruthless psychopaths, and it's absolutely terrifying. (I just have one question for Sofia: where was your cell phone during all of this? Why was calling 911 never an option???) Just when I thought it was done and we were safe... wrong. It only gets scarier and gorier from there. And that ending just completely blew my mind. All the other aspects of the story are okay at best: Sofia's character could have used some more exploration, and the rest of the characters aren't really developed at all, outside of this situation. The romance is just kind of randomly thrown in there and isn't all that complex or realistic. The whole story, especially the ending, values shock value above in-depth exploration. But while I was reading, none of that bothered me: I was too busy freaking out about what was going on. If you're looking for a thrill, the horrifying story will definitely make up for these weaknesses. Really, that's all I have to say. If you're looking for strong characters, The Merciless isn't for you, but if you're a fan of horror, or (like me) want to give the genre a try, I would definitely recommend this novel. The Merciless is horrifying, disgusting, creepy, scary, and so, so intense. I know for sure I'm going to have nightmares tonight. If you're looking for something thrilling and horrifying to read, The Merciless is definitely the book for you.
Hi! I'm a 21-year-old college student originally from Germany going to school in the US, studying English Literature, Spanish, and Queer Studies. When I'm not reading for school, I mainly read Young Adult books, especially contemporary, which is mostly what I review here. I also contribute to Feminists Talk Books (http://www.paperbacktreasures.blogspot.com).
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