Review: The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant


Title: The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant
Series: The V Triology #1
Author: Joanna Wiebe 
Pages: 272
Published: 01.14.14
Acquired: Netgalley
Goodreads Rating: 3.85
My Rating: 3.5

Amazon


Goodreads Synopsis: 

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.

My Review:

I have to admit that there were points in this book that I just wanted to but it down. The first chapter started off with the main character Anne talking about the differences between rich and poor, and there was just somthing about this dialogue that was kind of detering me from reading this book. But except for specific series that I shall not mention, I have never not read a book completely through so I just kept on reading. And I am glad I did, because the main premise of this story was actually really enjoyable and intriguing! 

The first thing that caught my attention about this story was the race to become Valedvictorian. Anne has always wanted to be top of her class, being poor it is the only way for her to get to the university of her dreams. But at Cania Christy the students treated the race for Valedictorian like tributes fighting in the Hunger Games. Anne meets two different boys on her first day there.  Ben who is the richest guy on campus and the most unattainable. There are times where he is flat out rude to Anne. Then there is Pilot, the only one on campus who is against the race for the "BIG V" Pilot seems to be the only one is kind to Anne and does not resent the fact that she is there. Anne will will want one of them while the other will the one to want Anne. But both guys are quite not what them seem to be. 

A lot of strange and mysterious things start occurring and Anne is determined to get to the bottom of everything. Everyone is not like what they seem and some will not have her best interests in heart. Anne must find out the truth behind the mysteries of the school and what the race for the "BIG V" is all about. 

The twist and turns in this book were what kept me going. Just as I had thought I had guessed the premise of the book, something else was revealed that completely threw me. There were some aspects that I just plain did not like about the story. There is not specific scene which involves a dance fued that I just thought was childish and unnecessary and had me skimming through it. But the overall story kept me intrigued and I will most likely pick up the next book in the series to see where he story leads. 


FFBC - All That Glows by Ryan Graudin + GIVEAWAY


Hey Everyone! We are honored to be presenting you guys with 
our first FFBC of 2014! And we got a good one for you :D 

All That Glows
by Ryan Graudin
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 11th 2014
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Synopsis:
Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.
When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

My name is Ryan and I've been writing ever since I grabbed one of my dad's old tax ledgers and created this masterpiece: see image.

My writing has since improved, though my obsession with wolves has remained relatively the same (I even own a wolf-hybrid pup.) My childhood was a happy, sunny thing. I grew up on a steady diet of fairytales, salt-marshes, music and brothers who would re-enact Redwall battles with me in the back yard. I went to an artsy sort of high-school that allowed cello recitals in the hallways and impromptu poetry slams in the cafeteria. It was there I decided that writing was what I wanted to do more than anything.

I'm officially a grownup now (I suppose one must admit that once they turn 26). My diet still includes fairytales, salt-marshes and art, but there are a few new loves thrown in. A big one is travel. Pieces of my heart are scattered like breadcrumbs all over the globe--I've bartered them off for writing inspiration, so I suppose it's a fair trade.

When I'm not cramming my earthly belongings into a backpack and waiting in airport security lines, I'm doing one of the following: Writing YA novels, Photographing weddings with my husband, Making our little white cottage more homey, Playing with my wolf pup, Trying out Korean r├ęcipes, Haunting local coffee shops with my friends.


Oh. That’s a hard, hard question. Of all time? The Harry Potter series.


The moment where you type THE END and mean it. I love working hard and finishing and having something to show for it. It’s always so rewarding after the agony of drafting.

Currently I’m obsessed with BBC’s Doctor Who and Sherlock. Clearly I can’t get enough of British boys! ;) But I’m also a huge fan of LOST and Firefly.


Lord of the Rings (all three of them). I’ve been known to marathon the extended editions with my brothers in 24 hours. I also moved to New Zealand for a month and a half because I loved them so much (but that’s another story).


Well, first I would be able to sleep in (I’m not a morning person. At all.). Then I would wake up to a strong pot of coffee and a few hours of writing. I would go for a nice long hike in the wilderness with my wolf-dog and husband (Exercise! Family bonding!), then get a few hours of writing done in the afternoon with a pot of tea and biscuits. Dinner would magically appear at my table at 7 PM. I would spend the evening marathoning Doctor Who and planning a trip abroad. Also, magic elves would come and clean my house in the middle of the night.

Time by Hans Zimmer (it’s from the Inception Soundtrack). I’ve played it 1385 times on my iTunes.


Ooh, another tough one. I’m a big foodie. Thai food is some of my favorite (Tom Kha Gai soup and Cha Yen tea are the awesomest!). I’m also a huge fan of Ethiopian food

I love Touchstone from Nix Garth’s Abhorsen trilogy! He’s handsome, humble, an amazing fighter with a tortured and mysterious past. If you haven’t read this series then you’re really missing out! It’s so good!


Both? I actually love stories that root in mythology (I did a little bit of this in ALL THAT GLOWS and a lot of this in ALL THAT GLOWS sequel!) because I think this gives them added depth, anchoring them into a commonality of larger stories. It makes the story larger than itself. And magic. Magic makes a story fun. Those are two big properties I find in books I love to read: a fun story that’s larger than itself.

Young Adult, clearly! But within young adult, I veer much more fantastical than contemporary. I love high fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi, alternate history… the works.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield

Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Firefly, LOST, Sherlock, The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy, pretty much anything written by Neil Gaiman.



I would love to meet J.R.R. Tolkien and talk with him about world-building and linguistics and his days with the Inklings.


Well, since you asked me my favorite fictional boy, I’m going to provide you with an example of my favorite fictional girl. I’ve always admired Eowyn from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. She grew up a woman in a land of warriors and was told to stay at home when all of her kith and kin went off to war. She had her heart broken, but she didn’t let the men’s words or her own heavy emotions stop her from doing what she knew she had to. She rode to war, fought and brought down a Nazgul. I’ve always admired her tenacity in the face of doubt and darkness—her drive to fight even when all seemed lost—and how she used these things to save her people.


My books are so vastly different from each other! I’m not sure there is a single song that definitively overlaps. For ALL THAT GLOWS the one song would be Selig (Saelic) by Helium Vola. For THE WALLED CITY (November 2014) the song would be Kodo – Inside the Sun Remix by Yoshida Brothers.

I want to thank you guys for reading. Not just my books, but every book. Thank you for believing in stories and investing your time, resources and emotions into them. Thank you for giving our characters space inside your heads.


Of course! ALL THAT GLOWS is the story of a Faery named Emrys who is assigned to guard Prince Richard of Britain from immortal threats. While she struggles to protect him amidst the chaos of paparazzi and palace murders, she also finds herself fighting for her heart.

Creating Emrys’s world was definitely difficult! Not just the magical aspect but also her life among the royals at Buckingham! I had to do a lot of research from all angles, but I also had to let it grow somewhat organically as I was drafting. I had to establish the rules of magic and Fae hierarchy as I went along and then go back to make sure I followed all of these rules! I think the best part about Emrys’s life are her powers, in particular her ability to fly.

Emrys is both old and quite young. She’s still learning about the world and trying to find her place in the Fae hierarchy. She’s incredibly talented in weaving magic, moreso than most Fae her age. She can change appearances whenever she wants, but she’s kept her hair red ever since the time of Elizabeth the First. (She loved the way it looked on the human queen and wanted to keep it that way!).

On the outside Richard can be a bit rough. He parties and pubcrawls with his friends from Eton and shirks his royal responsibilities. He’s a gorgeous, lost and lonely boy who doesn’t want to grow up. (Yet.)

I really love the Tower Ravens who first appear in Chapter 3. When I first went to the Tower of London as a teenager and heard about the legend of the ravens (if they ever left the tower the kingdom would fall) I was captivated by them. BUT I think it would stink to have your wings clipped and stick around in one place all your life (even if you were an avian seer). I’d probably choose to be a Fae. They shapeshift and fly and have all sorts of fancy tricks! Plus being immortal wouldn’t be so terrible!

I loved writing the action scenes! Especially the chase scene that takes place in London’s creepiest cemetery (see Chapter Twenty-Five).

“We dance even after the last notes die, moving about in each other’s arms to some unheard song. We dance until nothing is left.”

Emrys - Karen Gillan. Ever since I first saw her appear as Amy Pond in Doctor Who she stole the role in my mind! She’s a gorgeous, precocious redhead with a Scottish accent.

Prince Richard – Francisco Lachowski. He’s not technically an actor, but he is a supermodel who is the spitting image of what Richard looks like in my head.

Princess Anabelle – Blake Lively. She’s perhaps getting a bit old to play a teenage princess, but I think Blake Lively’s persona and acting style would fit Anabelle to the tee!

Mab – Tilda Swinton. She’s regal and gorgeous and just a touch cold.


Herne the Hunter – Benedict Cumberbatch. Of course. Because he has an amazingly scary monster voice!!!


I have another book coming out this year! My thriller THE WALLED CITY will hit the shelves in November 2014. 
"There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife. Right now, my life depends completely on the first. Run, run, run. 
Jin, Mei Yee, and Dai all live in the Walled City, a lawless labyrinth run by crime lords and overrun by street gangs. Teens there run drugs or work in brothels—or, like Jin, hide under the radar. But when Dai offers Jin a chance to find her lost sister, Mei Yee, she begins a breathtaking race against the clock to escape the Walled City itself."
Also, ALL THAT GLOWS’s sequel will be hitting stores a year from now, so keep an eye out for that as well! Me and my stories will be around for a while.




JANUARY 26th
The UnofficialAddiction Book Fan Club & A Reading Nurse -> Welcome to the Fantastic Flying Book Club!

JANUARY 27th
Between the Pages -> Promo Post
After Dark Rendezvous -> Review + Dream Cast
Jessabella Reads -> Promo

JANUARY 28th
Sarah Elizabeth's Bookshelf -> Review + Favorite Quote
Musings of a Blogder -> Review + Excerpt

JANUARY 29th
Swoony Boys Podcast -> Review + Dream Cast
Book Sp(l)ot Reviews -> Review + Guest Post
Bookish Outsider -> Review

JANUARY 30th
Fictionators -> Review + Excerpt
Addicted 2 Novels -> Review + Favorite Quote
Rampant Readers -> Review

JANUARY 31st
Tressa's Wishful Endings -> Review + Interview
BoundbyWords -> Review + Dream Cast

FEBRUARY 1st
Some Like It Paranormal -> Review + Excerpt
Book Reviews -> Review + Favorite Quote

FEBRUARY 2nd
Library Of A Book Witch -> Review + Excerpt + Playlist
Young Adult Book Haven -> Review + Guest Post
Book Swoon -> Review

FEBRUARY 3rd
A Reading Nurse & The UnofficialAddiction Book Fan Club
Review & Winners of the February FFBC!!



  • There will be TWO winners
  • You must be 13 or older to enter this giveaway
  • Each day there will be available a #QOD (question of the day) in each participant blog. You can earn more points by answering the answers.
  • For those who don't know how this works, the winners will be those who have participated the most. Meaning, the winners will be those who have more points. No Rafflecopter luck this time, Book Addicts. This is all on you now! If there's a draw, then the odds will decide and this time the Rafflecopter luck would be a major factor deciding if you win or not.


Ryan chose her favorite creature from All That Glows and the one she'd like to be. Let us know which creature you'd choose to be from All That Glows (if you have read the book) or which magical/mythological creature you'd like to be.



PRIZE!!!
2 autographed copies of All That Glows with tins of custom All That Glows Tea! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway




Thank you to our beloved team for making this event possible.





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