|Read from March 11 to 12, 2014|
Expected Publication Date: June 12, 2014
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Page Count: 279 pages
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Forgive us, Father, for we have sinned.
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. . . .
In this chilling debut, Danielle Vega delivers blood-curdling suspense and terror on every page. By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?
The Merciless is a mind-twisting, fully engrossing story that had me on the edge of my seat from page one and never let me go. I have never read anything like this, and this seriously chilled me to the bone. I adored this book.
First things first, this book is messed up in the best way possible. I absolutely love that Vega took some risks with The Merciless. So many things in this book disturbed me and freaked me out like no other book has, and I honestly can't believe it, but I loved every single second of this book. There is never a dull moment in The Merciless - I couldn't put it down. From the darkness lurking around each corner to the sinister secrets that the girls are harboring, everything about The Merciless will have you looking over your shoulder and send chills up your spine. This is, hands down, one of my favorite books I've read this year. This was a phenomenal debut.
There are so many twists and turns in this novel. When Brooklyn was chained up in the basement and the girls were planning their sinister plots, I was seriously scared to death (it probably didn't help that I was home alone when I read this). I've read some YA horror novels, but none of them have kept me so engrossed and so scared like The Merciless did, and I applaud Vega for doing that. Sofia was a stunning protagonist. I felt that she was very realistic with her situation of wanting to fit in, and I loved how she was honest with herself - if she ever questioned whether she was just as evil as Riley and the gang, she never wavered from it or contradicted herself. It was so refreshing to read about a protagonist who wasn't always confident in knowing what she capable of it; it made the story even more creepy, haunting, and addictive. And the girls… they're some of the best villains I've ever read about. Riley was a headstrong, fearless, and evil ringleader of the clan, and I couldn't help but love to hate her, but hate to love her. Grace and Alexis, on the other hand… I loved how I could never tell what they were going to do next. I was always questioning who's side they were truly on, and I loved how this book kept me guessing.
That's another thing - this book is so unpredictable. There was one point where I thought I had figured the mystery out, but I was completely wrong. The spin that Vega sent instead was even more mind-blowing than I could have possibly imagined, and it made me fall even more head-over-heels in love with The Merciless. If you're looking for something different in YA that will have you completely wrapped up in the story, The Merciless has got you covered. One of the best debuts I've ever read.
Overall, The Merciless is a must-read. Haunting, chilling, and one of a kind, The Merciless had me at its mercy by keeping me up late into the night and always checking over my shoulder. Fantastic in every sense of the word.
M Y R A T I N G