ARC Review: The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant
V Trilogy #1Joanna Wiebe
Publication Date: January 14, 2014
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.
ARC provided by the publisher

How far would you go to obtain what you desire the most? What would you be willing to do?

Here’s a toast, a toast to Joanna Wiebe for writing such a tale of mystery, suspense, and I-didn’t-see-that-coming twists.

Why was she there? From the first insight I’ve had into Anne, I figured she was, other than being torn up about her mother’s death, a good girl. So I, the reader, was also as confused as to why Anne was there given she was as far away from the ideal Cania Christy student as could be. I rejected her notion that it was a reform school. She was not a thug to be reformed nor was she a deranged lunatic. Why was she there?

Then, as Anne found out more, I also pieced everything together; and by the time she slid that book from the library of the house of her frustrating crush, I got it. Or so I thought. Because it was at that crux in the story when she woke up to the truth that I said to myself, I didn’t see that coming and WTF. Actually, that moment called to mind this:

And I was like:
It is interesting to note that there’s this guy who would treat you like shit in order to protect you because he’s so in love with you. That’s rather sweet… and not. It played havoc on the MC’s feelings and the MC, like any YA heroine insecure with her life, was also as hot and cold about her decision with regards to the boy as the boy is as temperamental with her, outwardly. Misguided chivalry? Or they could have just been honest with each other from the start even if the boy was forbidden to tell her anything. He could’ve just written something “accidentally” left it in a place that Anne would likely discover it. Simple.

But the beauty of The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant was not in the characters however. It’s in the plot. It is in the PLOT! And how the circumstances behind the unseemly education of Anne Elizabeth Merchant unraveled to her and to the reader.

That cliffhanger ending set up the next book and I look forward to reading it.
Ayanami Faerudo

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