Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Merciless by Danielle Vega

Ok, I'm going to be really honest with this review. This is one of those one of those books that after you finish you say "WTF did I just read?" I originally bought this book around Halloween because it was supposed to be super creepy and dark with all sorts of Mean Girls meets satanic cult stuff. I'm just now getting around to reading it because well more books and the fact that my TBR pile keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Anyway, so Sofia is a Mexican-American teenager who just moved to Friend, Mississippi with her mom and grandma who is basically comatose after having a stroke a few years prior. Her mom is in the army and they have to move around every six months (why every six months? I thought army changed duty stations every two years? I digress..) so she has been to way more schools than she can count. At school, she ends up meeting this hottie named Charlie along with this weird girl named Brooklyn in the school cafeteria. Charlie is super nice and seems like an all-American kind of guy. Brooklyn looks like she stepped out of a Hot Topic ad but still seems really nice. While they are chatting, a plastic looking girl named Riley comes into the cafeteria to make an announcement about a school drive. Brooklyn immediately voices her dislike for Riley.

Sofia decides to try to eat lunch by herself, so she wonders around outside until she smells something really awful coming from under a set of bleachers. Of course this means she has to investigate! Turns out it is a dead cat that has been skinned (yeah, this book is really graphic and disturbing. Thankfully this is the only animal involved). At the same moment, Riley appears and introduces herself to Sofia and offers to let her sit with her and her friends at lunch. Sofia is super skeptical because in her experience of switching high schools so much she has learned that the plastics normally stick together and girls like Sofia aren't normally invited to join their group. She accepts the invite anyway and goes with Riley to meet her other fiends, Grace and Alexis.

The next day before school, Sofia goes into the bathroom. She hears someone come in behind her and hears Riley calling her name. Riley, Grace, and Alexis lock themselves in the bathroom and want to baptize Sofia so she can join their sisterhood (first major WTF). Instead of calling this bitches crazy and running for the hills, Sofia (who apparently is so naive and desperate for friendship that she doesn't see huge warning signs) agrees to go along with it. They pull out a flask of wine and do a baptism in the sink while holding Sofia under just before the point where she would pass out from lack of air. But hey, she has friends for life so who cares!

Fast forward a little bit to when Grace brings Sofia along after school to a house that is in neighborhood under construction. You see, Riley's family owns the construction company but the had to halt building for a while so the girls just come to the half built houses to hang out. How convenient! After some girl time and a little bit of whine, Riley tells Sofia about how Brooklyn used to be apart of their circle before high school but she fell off the wagon and got super weird. Turns out a teacher "accidentally" died last year and everyone suspects Brooklyn of being the cause of it (along with the dead cat and some other stuff). Riley convinces Sofia to make friends with Brooklyn and find out why she went cray.

So the next day Sofia tags along with Brooklyn to a tattoo parlor where Brooklyn convinces Sofia to get an eyebrow piercing so she can be super cool. After she does the piercing she gets all weird and says "now you are reborn." Sofia ends up passing out and hottie Charlie who just so happens to work at the shop helps carry Sofia to the office where she can wake up in peace. After she wakes up she freaks out over what time it is because her mom will be home soon and she was supposed to go straight home to take care of her poor comatose grandma but dipped instead. She makes it home just in time to pull out the eyebrow right and slap a band aid over it. Never mind that her mom is some type of medical tech and that Sofia is bleeding like a mofo from this ripped out piercing, Sofia convinces her mom it was just a giant zit she popped. Ok... Riley calls Sofia on the telephone and asks what went down on her afternoon with Brooklyn. Riley isn't happy with the lack of info, so she tells Sofia to go to a party Brooklyn is hosting the following night.

Of course Brooklyn lives in the seedy part of town where a 16 year old can have a rager in her apartment and no one cares. Sofia once again conveniently runs into Charlie at the party and they make out blah blah blah. Sofia also catches a very scantily clad Brooklyn about to get it on in a hot tub with Josh, Riley's boyfriend. Sofia freaks out and rushes straight to Riley's house like a good little puppet. Riley freaks out and says she will take care of it, and that Brooklyn just needs their help because she has strayed so far from the Lord.

Fast forward again to Riley sneaking into Sofia's house in the middle of the night and waking her up and telling her to come with her. They sneak off to the abandoned house they like to hang out at in where the other girls are meeting them. Turns out they have kidnapped Brooklyn and have her bound and gagged in the basement and are going to try to preform an exorcism on her. Sofia finally sees the huge CRAZYTOWN signs everywhere and tries to bolt, but Riley has locked the door from the inside and has all the windows nailed shut from the inside.

This is where things start getting really effed up. Think lots of torture and blood and insults and effed up stuff. Riley freaks out a lot. Alexis and Grace are her good little puppets and help hold Brooklyn down when part of her finger gets cut off, she gets slashed down her thigh, fire gets thrown on her, salt gets thrown on her, etc. Oh, but don't fret! Brooklyn is scrappy and manages to bite a chunk out of Riley's face at one point (seriously WTF).

All of this continues on for a good 150pages where they move to different rooms and get crazier and crazier with the stuff they are doing. In the end, Riley realizes she can't trust Sofia and deems she needs to be punished for her sins too. You think the book would end after Alexis "commits suicide" after throwing herself from a window after having a huge argument with Riley, Brooklyn getting literally crucified by a nail gun to the attic floor, Sofia getting bound, and the attic catching on fire while Grace and Riley escape. Nope. Brooklyn and Sofia get out of the house before getting burned after Sofia uses her teeth to pull the nails out of Brooklyn's hands (SERIOUSLY WTF). They agree to say nothing to no one about the night since the house is going to burn down, so YOLO.

Sofia makes it home just in time to take a shower before her mom wakes up. They have breakfast and Sofia cries because she tells her mom about how she just found out one of her friends committed suicide. Sofia falls asleep for a while and wakes up to some weird noise. She goes outside and sees her driveway lined with candles and big ass bloody pentagram in her driveway. She hears more noises which she follows (of course!) until she finds Grace's dead, mutilated body hanging from a shed and Brooklyn licking blood up out of a pool with a knife. Mom comes out, freaks out, calls police.

Sofia realizes Riley must have been right about Brooklyn because obviously she is crazypants demon material, so instead of waiting and talking to the cops who are about to be at her house ANY second, she decides to go to Riley's house to warn her. When she gets there she finds some bloody hand prints but no Riley. She sees someone laying in Riley's bed but when she pulls back the covers she finds Alexis's decomposed body with cockroaches crawling out of it. Cue a several pages of the most disgusting scenes involving cockroaches crawling everywhere. I seriously almost threw up.

Anyway, Sofia calls her booboo Charlie to come to her rescue where she promptly steals his truck and takes off to Riley's lake house because she knows that she must be there. She gets there, warns Riley, but oh wait Brooklyn just showed up! Brooklyn gets her turn at crucifying Riley to a tree but says she won't kill Sofia because she's evil too. Something about they're both demons or something. I DON'T EFFING KNOW. END BOOK.

Seriously, WTF DID I JUST READ. I pretty much told y'all everything that happens because I want to save you the trouble of reading it yourself. This book was terrible and I really would like my time  back that I wasted on it. It was gross, disturbing (not in a good way), and had a really poor storyline. It was gory just for the sake of being gory and shocking. The characters where cliche and predictable. Apparently this is going to be a series, but I warn you not to even waste your time on book one. AWFUL. I'm going to be generous with my star rating only because I try to only give one star ratings to books I truly could not finish.

2/5 stars