The Merciless

by Danielle Vega

Penguin Young Readers Group | June 12, 2014 | Hardcover

The Merciless is rated 4 out of 5 by 8.
"The Merciless is chilling...think 'Mean Girls' meets 'The Exorcist.'"—MTV.com

“Pretty Little Liars fans, get a sneak peek at your new favorite book The Merciless…a nail biting thriller.”Seventeen Magazine

Danielle Vega delivers blood-curdling suspense and terror on every page with The Merciless, a thrilling debut novel perfect for fans of Robin Wasserman’s The Waking Dark and Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning.

Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream.
 
Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.
 
Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls...unless she wants to be next.
 
By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 288 pages, 8.5 × 5.88 × 0.97 in

Published: June 12, 2014

Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1595147225

ISBN - 13: 9781595147226

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from On my list of Favorites for sure!!! I am really surprised that there are only 6 reviews for this books so far. It is an amazing book and I can't get over this book. It is fully of surprises no matter how many times you read it. For sure one of my favorite books. It will not disappoint you at all.
Date published: 2015-10-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 4.5 Horrific Stars! Can you say Mean Girls? The Merciless is Mean Girls to the nth degree! Think Regina George and add a little Annie Wilkes crazy (a la Stephen King’s Misery), the blind devotion of Gretchen Wieners, a pinch of the darkness and spellbinding appeal of Fairuza Balk and the factitious innocence of Robin Tunney (The Craft) and you have the cast of Danielle Vega’s The Merciless. This YA read is an absolute page-turner that gave me the heebee geebees, had me cringing, and just utterly grossed me out. What a great read! Danielle Vega leaves nothing to the imagination in this tale of girls possessed. Without giving anything away I have to say that Vega has one twisted and creeptastic mind! Highly recommended if you have the stomach for good, classic, creepy horror in the vein of classic Stephen King. Thank you Danielle! You kept me awake last night. I couldn’t sleep until I finished The Merciless!
Date published: 2015-08-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Un-expected I bought this book with the impression that it would be very voodoo-witchcrafty, considering they are performing an "exorcism". What it fails to mention is that Brooklyn is not possessed (sorry for any spoilers), so the book is essentially all about 4 girls torturing someone in an abandoned basement. Overall, it was very well written, but it was not what I expected. It was too graphic for me. Unless you are into bloody torture kind of books, I would not recommend this book. Not bad, but not my cup of tea.
Date published: 2015-07-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from dark but great i just read this book and im glad i did it was amazing i wouldn't recommend this book to anyone under the age of 12 because i dont think they would understand the concept and it was got disturbing and graphic in some parts but dont get me wrong the book was awesome. i couldnt stop reading there wasnt one dull part and the ending was crazy good. i would give this book a 9/10 i hope u enjoy this book as much as i did
Date published: 2015-07-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Disturbing, gruesome and kind of fun! A really gruesome story of torture that was pretty hard to take, especially coming from teenaged girls! The torture was graphic and disturbing. The whole story was very dark which I'm usually a fan of but I felt it was a little campy like a bad teen horror movie. It was a bit too unbelievable. I never knew who was evil and who was good as everyone was absolutely awful except the main character. This made me suspect her even more! I really liked the ending which didn't surprise me but did satisfy me.
Date published: 2015-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Moody Read What did I think? I think there is a difference between a scary book and a book filled with the torture of a teenage girl. Though the idea that teenage girls could and have done this chills me to my very core I did not find this book scary. So I was a little disappointed in that aspect. However everything else about this book was great. I picked this book up on a whim. Who doesn't love a bubblegum pink book with pagan symbols on it? I do I love a good spooky witch story. No witches here though. I did feel as though it took until about page 100 or so to start picking up the pace. Then everything just went crazy. There is quite a bit of gore I guess (I have read some dark stuff so this didn't seem as bad to me) and thats ok. It wasn't just thrown in for shock value. You can see why it was used and it was written well. Danielle didn't just slap dash together the most disturbing stuff she could think of to incite a reaction. Everything that happens has a reason. And once you reach the end you can think back and know how some things were possible, and why some events unfolded as they did. there is kind of an A Ha moment where everything clicks. And honestly I loved the end. I loved the 2 girls and what comes of it. This was an excellently moody book and I cant wait for more.
Date published: 2015-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Greaty Moody Book What did I think? I think there is a difference between a scary book and a book filled with the torture of a teenage girl. Though the idea that teenage girls could and have done this chills me to my very core I did not find this book scary. So I was a little disappointed in that aspect. However everything else about this book was great. I picked this book up on a whim. Who doesn't love a bubblegum pink book with pagan symbols on it? I do I love a good spooky witch story. No witches here though. I did feel as though it took until about page 100 or so to start picking up the pace. Then everything just went crazy. There is quite a bit of gore I guess (I have read some dark stuff so this didn't seem as bad to me) and thats ok. It wasn't just thrown in for shock value. You can see why it was used and it was written well. Danielle didn't just slap dash together the most disturbing stuff she could think of to incite a reaction. Everything that happens has a reason. And once you reach the end you can think back and know how some things were possible, and why some events unfolded as they did. there is kind of an A Ha moment where everything clicks. And honestly I loved the end. I loved the 2 girls and what comes of it. This was an excellently moody book and I cant wait for more.
Date published: 2015-02-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Creepy Story The following review is based off of an ARC I received through Penguin *The following review is based off of an ARC I received from Penguin* The Merciless follows Sofia Flores, an army brat just trying to fit in at her seventh new school. When she meets Riley and her picture perfect friends she thinks that for the first time that she might actually have a chance to live a normal life.... And then it goes horribly wrong. When weird girl Brooklyn invites Sofia to her party on the opposite side of town she witnesses Brooklyn and Riley's boyfriend hooking up in a hot tub. Sofia wanting to be a good friend reports the situation to Riley who seemingly takes it well and is more worried about the state of Brooklyn's soul than anything else. A few nights later Riley wakes Sofia up in the middle of the night claiming she needed to show her something. Sofia, not suspecting anything follows Riley to an abandoned house. Where she finds her friends ready to attempt to perform an exorcism on a terrified Brooklyn. Merciless is pitched as being a cross between The Exorcist and Carrie. This novel does show heavy influence by both, but if I were to relate it to anything, the closest blood relative would be the 1996 teen film The Craft. The Craft, follows the same set up: Sarah Bailey moves to a new school falls in with a group of girls, cue the insanity. There are differences. In The Craft, the group of new friends are unpopular and rumored to be witches (surprise it's true) in Merciless, Brooklyn and her friends are the popular girls, the perfect ones that you want to be friends with. Other than their supernatural elements, both stories deal heavily with group dynamics and mob mentality and with Merciless that is where the true horror comes from. Merciless is written like a traditional slasher film. You have your first act where you're introduced to all the players and their relationships, you are given the set up for the violence, and then all "real" plot is put on hold as the violence begins. I say real plot because in Merciless you still learn about the characters and they still go through development. Most of the characters, specifically Sofia continue through a full character arc. I rarely come across a decent supernatural/slasher horror novel in the teen section. I tend to blame this on the usual parameters of the section or the act of violence not translating well on the page. Even though Merciless never pushed me too far it was an enjoyable quick read and I expect that it's just the beginning of a promising career for Danielle Vega.
Date published: 2014-05-22

– More About This Product –

The Merciless

The Merciless

by Danielle Vega

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 288 pages, 8.5 × 5.88 × 0.97 in

Published: June 12, 2014

Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1595147225

ISBN - 13: 9781595147226

Read from the Book

***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof*** Copyright © 2014 Alloy Entertainment C H A P T E R  S I X “I still don’t understand why it would bleed so much.” Mom wraps up the chicken we just had for dinner in tinfoil while I fill the sink with soapy water and start the dishes. I shrug, staring at a folded dishtowel next to the sink. It’s red and white with a picture of a rooster on it. “It was a really big zit,” I say. I cleaned the blood from my face and covered the piercing with a Band-Aid before my mom saw it, but I’ve had to change the Band-Aid twice since she’s been home. Already the new one is red with blood.Mom puts the chicken in the fridge, frowning as she closes the door. Our phone rings, and Mom leans over the counter and picks it up. “Flores residence,” she answers. A tinny-sounding voice echoes from the other end of the receiver, and Mom smiles. “One moment. It’s your friend Riley,” she says, handing me the phone. “She says she has a homework question. Just don’t take too long.”I slip out the back door with the phone and curl up in the wooden chair on our patio. Our backyard stretches forever, without any streetlights or nearby houses to break it up. It’s unnerving, like being walled in on all sides with empty space. Insects buzz restlessly, like white noise. I tuck my legs beneath me.“Riley?” I say into the phone.“Sof? I saw you with Brooklyn!” My stomach twists, but Riley continues talking before I can worry about whether she changed her mind about t
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From the Publisher

"The Merciless is chilling...think 'Mean Girls' meets 'The Exorcist.'"—MTV.com

“Pretty Little Liars fans, get a sneak peek at your new favorite book The Merciless…a nail biting thriller.”Seventeen Magazine

Danielle Vega delivers blood-curdling suspense and terror on every page with The Merciless, a thrilling debut novel perfect for fans of Robin Wasserman’s The Waking Dark and Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning.

Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream.
 
Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.
 
Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls...unless she wants to be next.
 
By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?

About the Author

Danielle Vega spent her childhood hiding under the covers while her mother retold tales from the pages of Stephen King novels. As an adult, she can count on one hand the number of times in her life she's been truly afraid. Danielle has won numerous awards for her fiction and nonfiction, including a 2009 Pushcart Prize nomination for her short story "Drive." She lives in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter @dvegabooks

Editorial Reviews

"Chillingthink 'Mean Girls' meets 'The Exorcist'...a fast-paced thrill-ride."—MTV.com

“Pretty Little Liars fans, get a sneak peek at your new favorite book The Merciless…a nail biting thriller.”—Seventeen Magazine

“Sick. Wicked. Twisted. This is my kinda fun.” —Marlene King, executive producer of Pretty Little Liars
  
"Mean Girls with an occult twist."—Kirkus Reviews

"This pulse-pounding, debut novel creates a wickedly creepy atmosphere where mean girls quickly turn homicidal."—School Library Journal

"Page-to-page Stephen King-style terror builds, asking the question, 'How much evil is inside every one of us?' Readers will gasp out loud more than a few times, so beware."—Booklist

"After finishing this gruesome and heart-racing novel, readers will be left wondering if the devil is in us all."—VOYA