The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant (The V Trilogy, #1)

Young Adult

MYSTERY, PARANORMAL:  “The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant” is a coming of age story with an unexpected twist. The main character, Anne Merchant, appears on the doorstep of a surly spinster with a yappy dog as a transfer student to an invitation-only boarding school. Hidden on an island off the coast of Maine, Anne faces several issues within her first few days at Cania Christy –an ill-fitting uniform, a student body comprised of the wealthiest kids in the world, an intense valedictorian race, and an icy reception by Anne’s neighbor, Ben. Once Anne became settled in to her isolated new surroundings, secrets surface as mysteries unfurl. In the end, Anne needs to decide if she wants to continue on at her elite high school or return to her normal, less complicated life.

Wiebe’s novel transports the reader to a mystical island wrought with dilemmas and danger. Her ability to weave her characters’ lives between the living and the dead with touches of classical literature was enjoyable and served to enrich the reader’s experience. Though the setting descriptions and the overall notion of the book was intriguing, the pacing of the book lagged in too many areas, taking a promising read into an “I’ve got to finish this book” read. That being said, there was enough in the novel to enjoy to make a reader want continue on and explore the possibilities.

Amy Willis