The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant

3.7 4
by Joanna Wiebe

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So 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

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So 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Two years after her mother’s suicide, Anne Merchant is sent to boarding school. Anne is used to being an outcast—her mother was mentally ill, and her father is a mortician—and she hopes things will change at Cania Christy, an exclusive institution on an island off the Maine coast; they certainly do. While Anne has long dreamed of becoming valedictorian of her class, she isn’t prepared for how the process works at Cania. She’s assigned a Guardian she describes as “the ugliest son of a bitch alive” to guide her and evaluate her progress 24/7. He advises her to cultivate her talent for “seduction,” making the most of her “hyper-sexualized state.” She rejects the advice, but can’t stop thinking about it—at least until she witnesses the locals’ is-it-real-or-isn’t-it baby-burning ritual. Wiebe’s first novel uses the oft-seen boarding school setting to saturate this coming-of-age story in eroticized, derivative horror. The book opens a paranormal trilogy, but while major revelations turn Anne’s world on its head, it’s not a world that invites lingering. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jason Anthony, Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

"This story will envelop you in its mysteries, surprise you with its plot twists, and keep you guessing even to the last page."
San Francisco Book Review

"From the very first pages, I was spellbound by this deliciously dark tale of mysterious attraction, cutthroat ambition, and how far we will go to keep the ones we love."
—Amy Plum, international bestselling author

"An original, breathtakingly written, and often chilling tale of what lengths people will go to for love. Joanna Wiebe has crafted a book that is unputdownable. Joanna has officially made my instant buy list."
—Lindsey R. Loucks, author of The Grave Winner

"She had me at the introduction of the spooky setting—the kind of stuff readers can lose themselves in. Joanna Wiebe is a fun new author to be on the lookout for!"
—Wendy Higgins, author of The Sweet Trilogy

“School grounds shrouded in mystery, beautiful student body obsessed with the race to be valedictorian, and a gorgeous, infuriating, unobtainable guy. Welcome to Cania Christy.”
—A.E. Rought, author of Broken

VOYA - Shanna Miles
Sixteen-year old Anne has a second chance. At Cania Christy, she does not have to be the daughter of a suicidal mom and funeral-director-to-the-rich-and-famous dad. Through some miracle, she finds herself at an elite boarding school on Wormwood Island, Maine, a thousand miles and lifetimes from her sunny California existence. Here there are rules. Rule #1 is no fraternizing with the villagers. It seems easy enough until the rules start piling up and every aspect of her life is scrutinized and graded. At home, only a few kids care about becoming valedictorian, but here everyone treats the race for the Big V like it is life or death. When her mysterious and beautiful older neighbor, Ben, tries to warn her of danger, she is forced to determine who her friends really are, a task that gets harder and harder as the island's secrets begin calling to her and she cannot help but dig for answers—answers that have been buried for a reason. Wiebe's novel is not an average ghost story, and fans of Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed In Blood (Tor Teen, 2011) will be clamoring to get their hands on this page-turner full of second chances, twists, and fatal decisions. Even when readers think they have it all figured out, Wiebe delivers a blow that will keep them energized and panting for the next installment. Reviewer: Shanna Miles

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Product Details

BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Joanna Wiebe is the author of The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant (2014). She is also the cofounder of Copy Hackers and Page 99 Test. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband.

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The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
eternalised More than 1 year ago
Anne Merchant has always been different. She’s poor, her mother passed away and her Dad has the best job in the world – he’s a mortician. Yet, somehow, Anne ends up at a super-selective school, Cania Christy, a school for the world’s wealthiest teens. How she got there, since she’s poor? God knows. It’s super-important to be Valedictorian at this school, and even though that should usually mean just getting the best grades, apparently it means a lot more here. You can even set one of the challenge yourselves, to become Valedictorian. But despite becoming Valedictorian being on everyone’s most-wanted list, there are still the typical high school clichés. There’s the Mean Girl clique, which Anne immediately brands as skanks, even though she’s seen them for half a second. Anne is apparently loved by everyone. She’s such a special cookie everyone wants a piece of her. Even though she manages to judge everyone in one single second. While the book is supposed to be about this mystery surrounding the island and its inhabitants, we spend most of the time reading about anything but the mystery. Heck, there’s even a dance-off. This book is one cliché on top of another cliché wrapped in a cloak of clichéness. Did I mention that there’s a love triangle as well? Yeah…It’s that bad. I’m giving it two starts because the mystery somewhat redeemed the second half of the book, and because I didn’t figure it out right away, so that part of the book was entertaining. If Anne had been less of a Mary Sue character, I might’ve been able to look past the writing, the cliché cliques at school, and everything else, but Anne pretty much ruined things for me. The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant had potential, but failed to deliver. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
SezjbSB More than 1 year ago
The Unseemly Education Of Anne Merchant is the first novel in The V Trilogy by debut author Joanna Wiebe. You know how you have those books where you are so sure that you have the storyline figured out, and you get to thinking that you've read this story before, well that was my opinion of this book, and then it twisted into something I would never have guessed, and then it twisted again just when you think you have the last twist figured out. It's going to be hard to review this book without wrecking both twists but I'll try, so the gist of the story is about a girl called Anne who is starting her first day at new school Cania Christy, on an island far away from most places, being a very exclusive school parents are willing to pay anything to get their children enrolled, but what has Anne confused is the fact that her Father is poor, as a Mortician he doesn't earn much and she can't understand how he could afford to send her to Cania Christy with all these rich kids. First day and she's given a Guardian named Teddy who's job it is to observe and record every little thing she does, all this goes toward winning The Big V, being the Valedictorian of the year, and at this school it's a very big deal. But Anne soon realises that there is something very strange about this island, for one the red line that no student from their side can cross over into the village on the other side and vice versa, without being given a reason why, and that is the same for most things at Cania Christy, which leaves Anne with a load of questions that no one is willing to answer. Then there are the two boys: Pilot who is the only friend she has at school who seems to like her way more than she likes him, the reason why Ben Zin, her next door neighbor and the guy she has a crush on although he won't give her the time of day. There is a big secret on this island and when it's revealed get set for a huge shock that will knock your socks off. This book was fantastic, from the concept, the very well-written storyline and the often mysterious island and it's inhabitants, this was a very enjoyable read that had me guessing a lot of the way through. I eagerly await the next book so I can discover what happens next after the finale we were left in this one, I want to know what's in store for Anne next. Highly recommended.
GinsBookNotes More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars rounded up to 4  The Unseemingly Education of Anne Merchant is book 1 in the V series by Joanna Wiebe. It tells the story of Anne Merchant, the daughter of a funeral director that mysteriously finds herself sponsored to attend Cania Christy Academy, an elite boarding school on an island off the coast of Maine. Since I am having a hard time starting this review I decided to go with a question and answer format on this one to help me sort out my thoughts on the book. Three words to describe The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant: Surprising, Dark, Allegorical Surprising. There are some twists and turns in the story that I never saw coming. One of the biggest things I liked about the story was the turn it takes when we find out what is really going on with Anne. Dark.  The book is a young adult paranormal and it definitely has a darker theme to it. The author does a great job of building the suspense and keeping the reader guessing. There are some attempts at bringing a little lightness to the story that I felt feel a little flat. The biggest one that comes to mind is the dance off scene. It just didn’t fit with the character or the story and actually had me rolling my eyes. Allegorical. I hesitate to even say that because you never know if that was the author’s intention. But there were just so many things that seemed to be suggestive of deeper concepts than the surface story that I can’t help but think it was intentional. Whether intentional or not, it is another aspect of the story that I liked. How did I feel about the characters? They were okay. I was able to connect with Anne pretty well. The other characters not so much. I think that the “big secret” that is discovered as you read the book helps you to see the characters in a different light and might help explain the disconnection I felt towards many of them. How did I feel at the end of the book? Initially, I loved the story because I was so surprised at the direction it took. Then I realized that there are parts that I didn’t feel so great about. For instance, the “faculty” encourages several of the girls to act like sluts to get ahead in the competition. On the other side of that; I will say that when you find out what is really going on at this school it makes more sense why all that occurred. Summary: I would say this is a book for older YA. There are some sexual situations, drinking, and again things are a little on the dark side. The book ends in a “to be continued” cliffhanger so be prepared for that. The book has a unique storyline. It may not seem like it at first but trust me, it’s different. I was thrown for a loop when I found out what was really going on with Anne. The mystery and suspense part of the book are very well done and I feel like the characters will come together more in future books. *My Book Source: Publisher I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago