And yes, if you read my last post on the five books I'm reading - you'll notice this one was missing. Because I knew I had this post coming up this week and didn't want you to think I'd truly lost it by tacking on another book to the list. I just can't help myself. I love to read.
So, with that out of the way, I can tell you why this is a book you need to read.
The flow of it is easy, the story inviting, interesting, and enticing. A whole slew of adjectives you'll find true enough when you dive into it.
The Unraveling of Mercy Louis is Keija Parssinen's second novel, but the first of her work that I have read. The cover itself gnaws at me. Admittedly, it took me a few tries to pick it up because of the rope.
I want to say that I'm not sure why it bothered me as it did. But I think it was a visceral response. I was worried. See a shredding rope and worry? Seems like a smart reaction. And I actually just noticed that I said it gnaws at me. My delayed thought process is that is an interesting word to use as actually the rope on the cover sort of looks gnawed ON. It's probably the "hanging on" feeling that stayed with me as I started reading. I was waiting.
Parssinen introduces us to this story with a prologue that made my stomach flip. It was barely three pages long - but it made me react with all the feels.
And that's it. I could truly leave it at that.
But what I loved most about the book were the voices.
We start with young Mercy, whose voice is fluid and I can practically hear the accent in her thoughts. The way she describes her grandmother, Maw Maw, makes her sound like a character - you know the kind? - the kind you're intrigued by, afraid of, and yet really want to know.
Also? Maw Maw has visions. That should be enough to pique your interest.
But there's more. There's Illa.
Illa seems like the kind of teenager many people can relate to. We weren't all the star player on the high school basketball team. Many of us were more like Illa. Background players.
But Illa is more than that. She's a background player with her own voice.
We meet Illa's mom, too. And Mercy's mom, who has been MIA, but makes contact early on. There's history there. It's not expected, but introduced early enough to not be unexpected, either.
The Unraveling of Mercy Louis is the kind of book you can't put down. A read that you blink, look up at the clock, and realize you've read about 50-60 pages in a heartbeat.
Because you like Mercy. You want her to maintain all that is good of herself. You even like her friend Annie, although you question what it is she might be hiding. What she hasn't yet confessed to her very best friend.
It takes time (if you're me) before you realize the weight of the title. Reading along, Mercy seems to be perfect in so many ways. And you see the ways she might be too perfect. You expect her to break. You look for signs. But then you think of the title and change your mind. You don't want to see them.
My readers know I do my best to give you as much of the story as I can without spoilers. And I don't give ratings because that's just not how I read. But I can tell you that this book is one you'll want to read. You'll want a copy.
So guess what? I'm lucky enough to have one for you. It's a simple giveaway - as my free books usually are - with a comment as an entry. And since this book is filled with teenage angst, my question for you is: who was your best friend in high school? Answer that in the comments and consider that your entry! And if you want an extra entry, just head on over and retweet the tweet below. Then come back and leave me your twitter handle so I know to look for it.
Book review and giveaway: The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by @KeijaParssinen | http://t.co/GfWNcvwSxT #amreading #readwithme
— Andrea B (@goodgirlgonered) March 13, 2015
You should absolutely consider The Unraveling of Mercy Louis for your upcoming book club. There will be plenty to discuss and it's a really good book club choice, in my opinion.
* I received a copy of this book directly from the author. I was not compensated for this review. All expressed opinions are completely my own. There are affiliate links in this post. *