I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Merciless by Danielle Vega
Also by this author: Survive the Night
Published by Penguin on June 12th 2014
Genres: Bullying, Friendship, Horror & Ghost Stories, Social Issues, Young Adult
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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?
I think I keep trying to make fetch happen with certain horror books, when clearly they just are not my thing. I began reading The Merciless by Danielle Vega based on the pink cover and the horror theme. I thought a book about Mean Girls meets The Exorcist sounded like it would be really awesome. Unfortunately, the idea of the book was a lot more awesome than the actual book itself. Sure, I rushed through The Merciless and it was a fast read, however, it was also really stomach turning.
Sofia has moved all over the United States because she’s a military brat. She’s always been the new girl and has had trouble making friends. In her new home in Mississippi, she has made friends with the popular girls, lead by this queen bee named Riley. Riley is one of those girls who is quite self righteous and so, she decides that this classmate named Brooklyn who is a bit emo and goth is evil and has a demon inside her. So, Riley along with Grace and Alexis torture Brooklyn in order to exorcise the demon. Sofia is unsure how to proceed, does she go with her gut and save Brooklyn thus placing herself at risk for torture too or does she go along with the cool girls and help get the demon out of Brooklyn.
To be frank, I likely would have enjoyed this book more had Sofia been a more relatable character. Sure, she’s been picked on. Sure she has a kind of crush on this character named Charlie. However, it just seems like she gives into torturing the other student a bit too easily. It seems like she is over desperate for acceptance. Also, like she’s kind of naive. I mean, even right now I am struggling to write about her because she’s not all that memorable.
What really turned me off about The Merciless was how gory it was. I have a really hard time reading about torture and this goes pretty extreme. I am talking taking off fingernails, burning matches on a person, cuts. It just was a lot for me and apparently I’ve got a bit of a weak stomach. I don’t know, I just thought it was a bit much. However, there’s some people who can’t get enough of those Saw movies, so they should certainly check this book out. On the positive side, this is a super fast read and quite harrowing. Thus, it wasn’t a total waste of time, just not among my favorite books. I’d recommend for people with strong stomachs who like reading about mean girls and demons.