The Merciless

The Merciless

Book - 2014
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In an effort to make friends at her new school, Sofia gets involved with a group of popular girls who dislike Brooklyn, a loner who they believe to be evil.
Publisher: New York, New York : Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), LLC, [2014]
ISBN: 9781595147233
1595147233
9781595147226
1595147225
Branch Call Number: YA VEGA
Characteristics: 279 pages ; 22 cm

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phoenixomega
Oct 11, 2017

A good and trusted friend suggested this book -- and in turn, the whole series -- when I mentioned to him I was trying to find some good horror stories to read. I thought it was an excellently written book and I was literally rushing to finish the story because I just HAD to keep reading. I devoured this book in one sitting and would definitely re-read and share with other friends. It's not for the light of heart -- as it is a bit gory and touches on delicate topics -- but for those of who fit the mold, this book is an excellent read. One thing I will mention is something my friend said about the book, "It's not a book for people trying to learn to love themselves." I have to agree with him on this, as the book tears Sofia apart and in the end makes her feel like she cannot truly love herself. That being said, she is a badass protaganist of colour with a complex story line and the entire series is worth the read. The second book is even more brutal.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Mar 05, 2017

The perfect book for a horror lover, it's the slasher horror movie in a book form! The book teaches us to know when to draw a line and how important it is to do so. While it is a bit ridiculous, the book was very gripping and I ended up reading it all in one night without meaning to. The book takes religion and beliefs to an extreme, which adds a little to the scare factor. The book can also be considered a psychological thriller/horror, and is not for the faint of heart. 
- @PerpetuallySleeping of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

s
smmeloche
Nov 14, 2016

For all my reviews, check out Clues and Reviews
https://cluesandreviews.wordpress.com/

I don’t read a whole lot of Young Adult Literature. I usually jump on the teen bandwagon when there is a lot of hype surrounding it and I need to see what the fuss is about (Enter, The Hunger Games). However, when I came across The Merciless by Danielle Vega, I decided I had to give this one a read. It was marketed as “Mean Girls meets the Exorcist”. Yes, please.

The novel opens with the cliché of all clichés. A new girl, Sofia (who has a bit of a dark past), has moved to a new school. She befriends a loner (Brooklyn) but then is swept off her feet by a clique of popular girls (led by the queen bee, Riley). Now here’s the twist, Riley believes that the Brooklyn is possessed by a demon and ropes her minions into kidnapping Brooklyn and performing an exorcism on her. I haven’t been in high school for a long time- but is this what they do now? Those crazy kids.

The general concept of this book was something I was really into. Sofia, who narrates the novel, is struggling with following along with the exorcism and helping Brooklyn escape. She watches, in horror, as the girls begin their “exorcism”- which ends up being torture. The fact that a bunch of sixteen-year-olds could get roped into something like this, all because they want to get invited to a party on the weekend or sit at a certain lunch table was fascinating; Vega does a good job at highlighting the bystander effect in this novel.

Although the beginning of the novel was slow, I found myself completely engrossed in the middle, as Riley locks the girls in the basement to complete the exorcism. Although Riley is the ringleader,
every girl ended up being prone to violence, as they begin to willingly take part in the torture. This was pretty creepy; I completely understood how this novel is shelved as a YA Horror. Then the novel takes a turn. Not necessarily a bad turn, but it moves completely from horror in realism, to paranormal. This was okay, just not what I was expecting. As these paranormal bits come together, I went from being creeped out to thinking “well, now this is ridiculous” to back to being creeped out again.

A lot of people had some mixed reviews on the ending, but I actually really liked this part. I know there is a sequel to this book, so I figured something new would have to be introduced to push the plot forward. There are also a ton of unanswered questions surrounding the plot (which I will spare you to avoid spoilers) but I’m hoping that these would get answered in the sequel as well.

If you are looking for an incredibly terrifying read, this one probably won’t be it. But if you are a fan of YA Lit and want something a little different, then you may enjoy this one!

t
TheHawthornes
Oct 19, 2016

This book is a slog and a half, and I say that as someone who loves religious horror.

If you like books/movies where people are trapped most of the time, or you like torture porn, you'll probably like it.

There's not a lot of plot, but what there is, is good.

The best thing I can say about this is that it'd probably make a good movie.

s
SinclairMcSorley
Apr 10, 2016

Its a really good book, maybe one of my favorites. If you don't like horror, this book isn't for you. It had me up all night reading or making sure im safe haha

c
cybercool
Jan 19, 2016

That such a cute cover could hide behind it such a gorey and great teen horror novel surprised me. At first glance it looked more like a slumber party seance than a blood splattering girls night exorcism. Boy was I wrong.
The level of gore was high enough to make me grimace at the book so much that my mom asked what's wrong.

The main characters felt decently fleshed out (pun unintended) and the plot urged me to keep reading through class.

Like Sofia, through out the whole novel I was questioning what was really going on. Needless to say the answer completely took me as a shock.

I do have to say that I did find the romantic subplot to be slightly wedged in at a strange angle that made me ask how necessary it was.

Overall if you want some interesting teen horror that can out-gore adult horror with holier than thou teen girls then this book is the one for you.

Creepy, graphic and with a warning right inside the front cover, this one is for the horror fans. Vega's writing style lends itself to the genre and while I did wish for more character development, "The Merciless" reads like a screen play for a B horror flick- in a good way.
~Alexa

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PastelTeddie
Jun 21, 2015

As a young satanic child I loved this book! If it was a movie I would totally be in it! As one of the most advanced readers in my class I thought it was a little short and could use more details. I hope they make a sequel

Cynthia_N Nov 12, 2014

What a book!! I was cringing while reading some of the events because I could see how it could happen in real life. I would recommend for those who can stomach torture scenes, that being said, I couldn't put it down.

k
Kelsenator
Aug 18, 2014

Some details of actual torture were too gruesome, I stopped reading it. Don't think it should be a young adult book at all.

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PastelTeddie
Jun 21, 2015

PastelTeddie thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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