Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant

ISBN: 1939529336
Pages: 272
Source: NetGalley

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.

Hello everybody! Today I bring to you my review of this really haunting and spooky book which I received from the lovely NetGalley for review! 

Anne Merchant arrives at Cania Christy with hopes of creating a new life for herself. No longer will she be known as the daughter of the mortician, she has the opportunity to completely revamp her life. And that's exactly what she's going to do. What she doesn't expect is that the school is full of wealthy teenagers who have one goal in mind: to become the class valedictorian. It's this concept that is literally fought over by every single student in the school, except for a guy named Pilot. Each student has a Guardian and a "strength" of sorts that basically dictates her life. Anne is assigned her Guardian, a creepy man named Teddy who announces that her "strength" is seduction which means that she is being graded on how she seduces people to win the title of valedictorian. Anne freaks out and rejects her strength which brings her to what Teddy calls her "second strength" - find out more about a person/place/thing. 

The first half of this book was confusing as heck. I'll be completely honest with you. There were several times where I felt like putting it down because I had no idea what was going on. The whole concept of the story was definitely interesting, but I felt like the story was going nowhere. But, as always, I kept pushing and thank goodness I did because the second half of the book was amazing, mind blowing, and definitely worth reading. The second half clears up so much of the confusion and so many things are revealed and things just keep getting thrown your way it's freaking awesome. 

The one thing that lacked a bit was the romance. I felt like it was a bit underdeveloped when in comparison to the intricate plot that was taking place. Ben and Anne just seem to have this connection from the start and the relationship goes from there. Throughout the whole story, Ben keeps pushing Anne away only to succumb to the feelings in the end. To me, it all felt weird and I just didn't see them as a couple in my mind. Hopefully in the future books, their relationship will appeal a bit more to me? I did think that their first meeting was definitely interesting and well quirky. ;)

Just a quick warning, there will be some small spoilers in the paragraph, but I have to talk about the really freaking amazingly developed plot. I'll try to keep it low key :) So...the plot. The second half of the book is where things speed up. Cania Christy is not some normal school, it's a special school for special people. I loved how the history of the school was built off of the Faustian Contract (spoiler). Once that's revealed and you are enlightened with the truth, everything makes sense. I understood why students fought for the title of valedictorian, I understood why Anne's father "paid" so much to send her there, everything just makes so much sense. Okay, I'm done, if I keep going I'll ruin even more.

The ending do we say this? A tad bit frustrating. After the epic "battle" scene, Anne meets up again with Teddy and he's just saying a bunch of these things that make no sense whatsoever, but you're so compelled to learn more, you want to learn more but guess what? You don't cause the story ends right there before anything else happens. You learn some interesting incomplete facts and then the story ends. Come on!! I have to say that it's a pretty good cliffhanger because I definitely want to read the second book to see what happens, but to end so abruptly my heart... guys should definitely read it. The first half might be a bit torturous and confusing and hard to get through, but I promise you guys the ending is definitely worth it so don't give up!!
4 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

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