Sunday, March 16, 2014

ARC Review: The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe


Summary: So many secrets for such a small island. From the moment Anne Merchant arrives at Cania Christy, a boarding school for the world’s wealthiest teens, the hushed truths of this strange, unfamiliar land begin calling to her—sometimes as lulling drumbeats in the night, sometimes as piercing shrieks.

One by one, unanswered questions rise. No one will tell her why a line is painted across the island or why she is forbidden to cross it. Her every move—even her performance at the school dance—is graded as part of a competition to become valedictorian, a title that brings rewards no one will talk about. And Anne discovers that the parents of her peers surrender million-dollar possessions to enroll their kids in Cania Christy, leaving her to wonder what her lowly funeral director father could have paid to get her in… and why.

As a beautiful senior struggles to help Anne make sense of this cloak-and-dagger world without breaking the rules that bind him, she must summon the courage to face the impossible truth—and change it—before she and everyone she loves is destroyed by it.

***

**I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

Initial Thoughts: I am one of those people who can't watch suspense, or horror, or thriller movies because I literally scream and jump and hide under blankets and pillows whenever some type of movie like that is playing. So those kinds of movies are not for me, BUT I definitely can read those kinds of books and let me tell you, this book is a whole bunch of scary, creepy, mystery, thriller, and amazing. The plot was so intricate and secretive that I no idea how to figure anything out. I really loved the story and am so excited to see how the rest of the series will go!

The Characters: There were quite a few characters in this book. There was Ben, Pilot, Anne, Molly, and others too. Anne is the main character and one day her dad sends her to some weird and creepy school in Maine. Everyone is weird and distant and closed-off. Anne has no idea what's going on with anything and no one is talking. Pilot comes off as a really good and funny guy but the whole time reading,something had always felt off about him at least to me. Molly was the best. She was sweet, sassy, and adorable. Ben is complicated. You know he knows things but he doesn't/can't say anything. And then Anne has this connection to him and I figured out how and why pretty quickly but there was only one or two hints pointing to it so I was really happy to have guessed that right!

The Story: As I said, Anne comes to this weird school, weird people, and even weirder behavior. When Anne gets there, she is assigned a guardian and a PT. A PT is something that the guardian choses and the student has to follow it to a "T" if they want to be named valedictorian at the end of their senior year. And the thing is you want, no, have to be valedictorian if you want to...survive we'll say. A lot of the story is about Anne trying to uncover what is going on and figure everything out. Lots of action and sadly, death. I totally cried when this one character died! Then there's a huge plot twist that I didn't see coming and then there's even more and by the end, my mind was going crazy with everything that happened.

The Romance: Well, it's complicated. In the book, there isn't a whole lot of time for romance and there isn't a whole for building it between Anne and Ben but that connection thing I mentioned earlier plays a huge part in it. But I do have to say that I like those two together!

End Thoughts: Really well done story. It had action, and it was funny, scary, creepy, mysterious and so much more. I enjoyed the book immensely and would definitely recommend it! 4.5 stars!

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