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Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe

Warning! The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant is the second book in the V Trilogy.  The first book has a plot twist that will probably be revealed below, so please visit my review of The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant instead if you haven't started the series!

If I were to use one word to describe this book, it'd be "dark."  Wow, this book takes things to a whole new level of dark!  But now that we know that all the students are dead and that the faculty are devils and demons from hell, that really shouldn't surprise us, should it?  Anne is back on Wormwood Island after her escape attempt, and is back in the running for the Big V.  Whereas in the first book, Anne discovers secrets about Cania Christy and her fellow students; in this book she discovers secrets about herself that could change her life forever.

So, as I mentioned:  dark.  This is not a feel-good book.  Even the "good" characters feel somewhat tainted, when seen through the lens of the Cania Christy atmosphere.  For example, one of Anne's friends is pretty eternally optimistic, but the other girls (and even Anne, to some extent) really look down on her for her lack of competitiveness.  Even the literal atmosphere, the setting, is dark:  the bulk of the story takes place over winter and early spring, and the island is described as being damp, foggy, overcast, cold, windy, snowy, rainy.   If I remember correctly, it's raining for the first three chapters or so.

But let's look on the bright side:  girl has gained some major confidence!  At the beginning of The Unseemly Education, Anne is so very low on confidence.  You can imagine her walking around a little hunched over and very quiet.  Now, Anne is taking control!  She is not going to let some demons decide her and her father's fates!  And that, my friends, takes a lot of confidence.  In this book, Anne discovers a strength within her that will help her as she plots to overthrow the status quo.  No more singular Valedictorian each year!  Anne wants every student to win the grand prize, and she'll stop at nothing to give it to them.  She shows herself over and over to be selfless and confident (even if sometimes she seems to be almost self-destructive in her pursuits).

Another bright side:  romance!  If you're looking for some truly angsty teenage romance, this is the book for you.  The "will they won't they" is drawn out to it's very limit, but not beyond.  This sub-plot definitely kept me coming back, to find out how the relationship between Anne and Ben would (or would not) continue to grow.  The poor pair; they just want what every teen couple wants:  some dates, some kisses, maybe some love notes back and forth.  Instead, they often have to table the relationship to deal with the Big V competition or demons.  And the threat of not winning the Big V is always hanging overhead.

Speaking of romance, though, there is a slight advisory with this YA book:  there are some questionable sexual situations, so I'd only probably hand this book to older teens.  No spoilers, but there's sexual come-ons from an older man to a younger girl, and some physical descriptions that would make some teens blush.

Just like The Unseemly EducationThe Wicked Awakening ends on quite the cliffhanger!  This is not a bridge book; it does have it's own plot that wraps up nicely, but then a twist!  And guess what?  The third book, The Twisted Deliverance of Anne Merchant, won't be released in America (where I am) until 2017.  :( :( :(  So if anyone in Canada (where the author is) wants a new best friend, you can totally hook me up with a copy of the third book when it's released there in January 2016.  :)

Marie

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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3 People left their mark' :

  1. I somewhat loved the first book, and I won this one back in February. I'm going to crack it open soon because the first book left me feeling funny. It is dark, but I didn't like some things in the first book. The competition for the Big V, especially. Unique premise though.

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  2. I struggled with the first bookt, but reading this, I might have to pick up again to see if I can make it to the end this time.

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  3. Oh, that's too long to wait for the next book. I've gotten so I really love psychological thrillers so I should really look into these. :)
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

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