Thursday, January 16, 2014

Book Review: The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant (V, #1)Author: Joanna Wiebe
Publication Date: January 14, 2014
Publisher: BenBella Books
Series: The V Trilogy # 1

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.

Here’s something nobody tells rich people: they die too.

I saw those delusional richies on a regular basis, back when I would sit quietly in the shadows at the top of the stairs and, with my sketchbook in hand, observe black-veiled parades marching somberly through the hallways of my house. See, our home is the second story of the Fair Oaks Funeral Home, where my dad’s the lowly mortician and terribly paid funeral director and where we Merchants have the distinct pleasure of being the only broke-ass family for miles.

“Now you’re just Anne Merchant, a junior at Cania Christy Preparatory Academy. No one knows anything about you, which means -” I pause to tweak the tie so it draws a little less attention to my chest “-you can rewrite your history.”

Anne Merchant has just been sent off to a secluded boarding school on a mysterious and strange island after losing her mother to suicide. For reasons unknown to Anne, at first, her father decides that it is best for her to attend Cania Christy, an elite boarding school where only the finest and brightest are admitted. When Anne arrives on the island she decides to give the school and the people involved with it a chance, that is until mysterious things start happening. Things that she or no one else can explain. She starts to discover that this elite boarding school was not what she pictured it to be at all!

First of all let me just say, if you have a story set in a boarding school I am 100% there! The supernatural twist given to this particular setting is very alluring, and even in the very first chapter I was mesmerized by the descriptions Wiebe used when talking about Cania Christy. One of the best parts of this story was being able to follow Anne around the school and listen as she was introduced to so many new people, as she made friends, and quite a few enemies. When I was in middle and high school I loved to play the virtual Nancy Drew mystery games; I cannot even begin to tell you that this is exactly what reading this novel felt like. There were spooks around every corner, and I was keeping up with all the clues as I went along.

I usually do not care for love triangles, but in this book I found it to be quite tasteful, only because it did not get in the way of the plot at all. I mostly loved finding about Ben and Pilot and why their past brought them to Cania Christy. As I was reading I noticed that everyone seemed to have a far-fetched, but completely amusing past, as to why and how they ended up at this particular boarding school. Ben and Pilot’s stories amused me the most, and I loved watching them both interact with Anne mainly because of how different they were from each other.

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at BenBella Books in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. I love boarding school stories and supernatural stories, so this sounds like a winning combination! I'll be sure to keep an eye out for this.

    - Kritika @ Snowflakes & Spider Silk