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Stand Alone Teen/YA Novel Review: Mercy, Unbound

By Kim Antieau
My Rating ✪ ✪ ✪/5 stars
The novel in a nutshell: A unique story about a teenager who has deluded herself into thinking she doesn’t have an eating disorder.
Goodreads Rating 3.39/5 stars
Amazon Rating 3.1/5 stars

Mercy, UnboundCover Review

Mercy, Unbound has a simple elegant cover. It’s true to the novel as you can see a hint of wings in the background and the cover model is wearing a plain white shirt – something I’d imagine an angel wearing. The soft yellow background compliments the cover model, and the font of the title is flowing and gentle.

Would I buy it based on the cover? No, this cover is beautiful, but it isn’t breathtaking enough for me to HAVE to own just to possess something as exquisite. The cover wouldn’t turn me away, but it wouldn’t compel me to buy it alone.

Mercy O’Connor is becoming an angel.
She can feels her wings sprouting from her shoulder blades. They itch. Sometimes she even hears them rustling.
And angels don’t need to eat. So Mercy has decided she doesn’t need to either. She is not sick, doesn’t suffer from anorexia, is not trying to kill herself. She is an angel, and angels simply don’t need food.
When her parents send her to an eating disorder clinic, Mercy is scared and confused. She isn’t like the other girls who are so obviously sick. If people could just see her wings, they would know. But her wings don’t come and Mercy begins to have doubts. What if she isn’t really an angel? What if she’s just a girl? What if she is killing herself? Can she stop? 

Brief Blurb Review – 75% correct, scroll down to read my full blurb review WITHOUT spoliers

The main character Mercy, was a warm and welcoming girl. She has convinced herself she hasn’t got an eating disorder and is very patient in explaining why she doesn’t eat – she’s an angel, simple as that. In an all honestly, at the beginning I didn’t feel like Mercy had an eating disorder at all. She almost convinced me that she was becoming an angel. In actual fact she would become an angel after dying of starvation, therefore in a way she’s right, but you can tell she doesn’t mean it that way. My other favourite character was Mercy’s mother, Nancy. I loved the relationship she had with Mercy, and just the genuine awesomeness of her character.

One of the girls from the eating disorder clinic, Susie Q, felt slightly fake to me. To start off with she really did portray herself as the anorexic girl who ruled the clinic, but at the end I felt she was unbelievable. I found it hard to connect with her as a real person.

I remember the first time I ever picked up Mercy, Unbound. It was a Sunday afternoon and for fun I was reading the first page of every book in my TBR shelf. I couldn’t stop reading Mercy, Unbound until I reached around page fifty, which is pretty good for a book of 165 pages. I guess that made things less intense when I picked it up this time. Although enough time had passed that I couldn’t remember much at all about the book, there was still a part of me that remembered reading it. I knew it wasn’t new content, and it didn’t grip me this time.

The biggest frustration, well it think it was more annoyance, with this book was how it switched from first person narrative, to Mercy’s diary entries. At least what I think were Mercy’s diary entries. It didn’t give you the normal signals that it was a diary entry like date and time. It was like Mercy just fired up her laptop and started typing without wanting to give any thought to the day or date. I have no idea if this was any type of strategy. Maybe they were trying to make the transition less jarring? I personally don’t find switching from diary entries to narrative anymore jarring than when a new chapter begins. It was more jarring the way they did it. The only indication it switched was a change in font, but as it never told you at the start of the novel which font was narrative and which was diary I can’t be certain. The two fonts are block print and cursive. That would be easy to discern had she written this diary, but it is mentioned a few times that she types her diary.

Mercy’s voice was welcoming and conversational. I felt like she really wanted me to read her story, however it wasn’t compelling. I was happy to read my 50 pages for the day, but it wasn’t unputdownable.

My feelings after finishing the book in one word: INDIFFERENCE; I liked reading Mercy, Unbound, but it would have been no great loss to have not read it.

Would I read it again? Nah, I have too many other books to read without adding it to the pile again.

What would I change? The ending is slightly… subjective. It finishes the story, but there are questions left unanswered.

Unabridged Blurb Review
I have divided the blurb into facts. Each correct fact is given a point. The points are tallied and a percentage is given.

[Mercy O’Connor is becoming an angel.]
Depends on who is talking. I would replace it with dialogue and something along the lines of “My name is Mercy O’Connor and I am becoming an angel.” Half a point.
[She can feels her wings sprouting from her shoulder blades. They itch. Sometimes she even hears them rustling.]
Correct, Mercy talks about this very clearly.
[And angels don’t need to eat. So Mercy has decided she doesn’t need to either. She is not sick, doesn’t suffer from anorexia, is not trying to kill herself. She is an angel, and angels simply don’t need food.]
Absolutely correct! Mercy patiently explains this to whoever is listening.
[When her parents send her to an eating disorder clinic, Mercy is scared and confused. She isn’t like the other girls who are so obviously sick. If people could just see her wings, they would know.]
Correct.  [But her wings don’t come and Mercy begins to have doubts.] Incorrect, Mercy genuinely believes she is an angel throughout. [What if she isn’t really an angel? What if she’s just a girl? What if she is killing herself? Can she stop?] This is conjecture so it’s correct.

4.5/6 facts – a percentage of 75% (what I used to get in nearly every test in school!)
Not bad for the first blurb I am reviewing. It is short, sharp and to the point.

Other books by Kim Antieau

The Fish Wife
5 Stars on Goodreads

The Monster's Daughter
4.75 Stars on Goodreads
Church of the Old Mermaids
4.22 Stars on Goodreads

Out of those three books, I would choose The Monster’s Daughter. Click on each of the covers to be taken to their Goodreads site.

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Or you can go directly to Kim’s site: http://www.kimantieau.com/

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