The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe

17675434Published January 1st 2014 by BenBella Books 

Young-Adult, Mystery

Purchased Paperback 

My Rating 3.5 Stars

GoodreadsSo 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.

REVIEW After winning the second book in this trilogy, I decided to get the first book since it was on my to-read list. The synopsis intrigued me, and since I’m on that “creepy trip”, I thought it was the perfect time to delve right on in. Boarding School named Cania Christy, tell me that doesn’t make you want to read it? Plus, the cover screams “creepy”.

I can’t explain how disturbing this story felt from the moment Anne stepped into the school. I mean, the students and faculty are weird. Not in a good way either. Everyone is assigned a guardian to supervise their academic progress. They all want the big “V”. What’s the big V, you ask? Well, my friends, that would be Valedictorian. And this is where it gets scandalous. The students all have to use their mentalities to win. What was shocking for me was Anne’s mentor suggesting that she get the upper hand by ways of seduction. Seriously? Okay, so she didn’t actually go that route, but still. I was immediately asking myself what the heck did I get myself into with this book.

Anne was an okay character. She irked me here and there with her bold assessments of things; people in particular. She just thought of such stupid things that almost made her seem sectarian. I guess you can say that she took the whole “Look Closer” thing to the extreme. Not sure why the author chose that particular trait for her. Then, I admired her ability to ask questions and not just settle for any answer. She wasn’t oblivious to her surroundings in the slightest.

The mystery behind the whole thing is what saved this book. You can say that the first 60% is nothing but unwanted scenarios leading up to the big reveal. The school, heck the whole island, is one big charade. And once I was at the end, I wanted to see where this trilogy is heading. That said, I’m kind of glad to have the second book on hand to read when I get ready for it. This book starts out at a slow pace, but I think that the ending more than made up for it. I’m not head over heals for this, but I did enjoy reading it and look forward to reading the next book. Recommended!


5 thoughts on “The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe

  1. This book sounds a bit disappointing, but I’m glad you enjoyed this mystery. I can’t believe her supervisor recommended seduction to get ahead! Crazy!!! I like stories where everything is not what it seems! Great Review Lekeisha 🙂


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