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Mercy

    Review: Mercy

    Mercy by Rebecca Lim was released in the U.S. on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available online in both formats at Amazon and in hardcover format at Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of the Disney Book Group, the hardcover is 288 pages.

    The Australian edition, first published by HarperCollins on October 28, 2010, is also available online at Amazon in paperback and eBook formats.

    Goodreads description:

    A fallen angel haunted by her past. Yearning for her immortal beloved. Forever searching for answers. Who will show her Mercy?

    Mercy has lost herself. She can’t count how many times she’s “woken up” in a new body, and assumed a new life, only to move on again and again. During the day she survives in the human world on instinct and at night her dreams are haunted by him. Mercy’s heart would know him anywhere. But her memory refuses to cooperate.

    But this time is different. When Mercy wakes up she meets Ryan, an eighteen year old reeling from the loss of his twin sister who was kidnapped two years ago. Everyone else has given up hope, but Ryan believes his sister is still alive. Using a power she doesn’t fully comprehend, Mercy realizes that Ryan is right. His sister is alive and together they can find her. For the first time since she can remember, Mercy has a purpose; she can help. So she doesn’t understand why the man in her dreams cautions her not to interfere. But as Ryan and Mercy come closer to solving the dark mystery of his sister’s disappearance, danger looms just one step behind.

    Will Mercy be able to harness her true self and extraordinary power in time?

    The first in a dazzling new series, Mercy masterfully weaves romance, mystery and the supernatural into a spell-binding tale.

    ***

    I woke up again. But this time feels different. The girl whose body I’m currently occupying, Carmen, isn’t anything special, but somehow this time just feels unlike those other times and those other girls.

    I wish I could remember more about them. I wish I could remember more about me. I know that I’m not this petite, or this plain looking. It feels strange occupying the shell of someone so much smaller than I know me to be. And I know I’m not as shy and awkward as I can sense this girl is.

    This time it seems I’m headed to a small town called Paradise. Something about the name triggers a memory, but I’m confident I’ve never been here before. Well, as confident as anyone who doesn’t really remember too much of her past.

    There’s a reason for her, this Carmen, to be here – some kind of singing event. Do I even sing? What’s my reason for being here now, with this girl? Carmen isn’t like those other girls. I don’t feel that same sadness. I don’t sense any threat to her. So, why am I here? What has changed this time around?

    If only Luc would just tell me. The dreams I have of him offer me no insight into what’s happening to me and why. His words only leave me with more questions. His visits bring me no closer to knowing the truth. But I do know, with everything inside of me, that I want to find him.

    Maybe my time with this Carmen, here in Paradise, will finally give me the answers I need.

    ***

    Mercy is a superbly written and rather unique paranormal mystery. The main character, Mercy, knows little of who, and what, she is or the reason why she’s being made to take over each of these girls, again and again. She is forced to move from one to the next when her time with them is up, with no notice of each departure, and only a vague recollection of where she’s been.

    This first book in the trilogy begins when she “wakes up” as Carmen Zappacosta, a soprano, headed with a bunch of other students to Paradise to prepare for a performance.

    Mercy slowly gains awareness of what has happened, but with only an inkling of she who really is. What she does know is that she must figure out her purpose for becoming Carmen and surmises that it has little to do with Carmen herself, but rather the Daley family who Carmen is staying with in Paradise.

    As Mercy tries to solve the mystery of Lauren Daley’s disappearance she is also determined to find out just who she is.

    While little is revealed about Mercy in this first installment, enough of a glimpse is given to tease readers into wanting to find out more. The mystery behind Lauren’s disappearance is the focus in this story and is both engaging and heartbreaking as Mercy tries to find answers to help this family who is torn apart by the not knowing, the mistrust and their loss.

    Mercy is a story that starts out somewhat unconventionally, but settles onto a path that is easy to follow and will keep readers engaged. Once the backstory is established, the pace picks up and the tension builds as it heads toward a climactic finish with a cliffhanger ending.

    Author Rebecca Lim’s writing style is beautiful, but may not be one that all readers will connect with at the outset. But as the story continues, the cadence of the author’s writing makes sense and works in harmony with the storyline.

    There are several characters who remain a mystery in this first book, but will likely play a larger role in subsequent books. And while Mercy starts out as a very difficult character to relate to, she ends up being one who is very likable and sympathetic.

    Mercy is a great beginning for a trilogy that promises an even more elaborate mystery, a real battle for Mercy to regain what she once had, and a heartrending love story.

    Reviewer gives this book [rating=4]

    On a personal note:

    Mercy was a book that I grew to love more and more as I read on. About one-third of the way in I was hooked on the story, and by the end I was dying to know more.

    I wish I had read the description more carefully before I actually started the book as it would have helped me out during those first five pages that make up chapter one where I felt completely lost.

    By the end of the third chapter I was able to get into the rhythm of the author’s writing and was completely pulled into the mystery of not only the missing girl but of who exactly Mercy was.

    There was just something about the author’s writing style that I connected with. The way she crafted each sentence, each passage, just made this story so easy for me to become immersed. It might not be a style that every reader will relate to, but was one I really loved once I got further into the book.

    I was able to get lost in the story, even with the British words and punctuation in the version I had for review. I’m not sure how much will be changed in the version released in the U.S. but I am curious to see if those changes alter the feel and pace of the story.

    This first book in the trilogy does not reveal much about Mercy’s past and only touches on the paranormal elements to the story. But what was teased is very intriguing. I would definitely have liked to know more about Mercy in this book, but am hopeful that the next book in the series, Exile, will be more revealing.

    I loved puzzling together this mystery and discovering that my guesses were right. And I like the hint of a love story that starts to develop. I hope that continues into the next book. And I really loved this completely different approach used by the author in having Mercy sort of take over someone’s life for a short period of time for reasons unknown, even by the character herself.

    This book was completely unexpected, in a good way, and is a series I will be following to its end. I’ve just got to find out what happens next and learn more about Mercy. And I definitely suggest reading past the first few chapters before making a determination about this book.

    ***

    Book trailer for Mercy:

    ***

    Thank you to Hyperion Books for Children and NetGalley for the eARC for review.

    Note: The eARC received for review was written using British punctuation and spellings and seems to be the published 2010 Australian version.

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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #20

    Below are the YA books coming out this week that I am spotlighting for my “Book Watch: Releasing This Week” post.

    These are books for the week of May 17th-May 23rd that I have pre-ordered.

    ***

    Vampire Kisses 8: Cryptic Cravings by Ellen Schreiber will be released in the U.S. on May 17, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available online to pre-order in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Katherine Tegen Books, a division of HarperCollins, the print edition is 224  pages.

    It feels like forever since the last book in this series came out and I literally stalked Amazon until the book was available to pre-order for my Kindle. I discovered this series during my vampire books craze and completely devoured the first six books in the series in a couple of days. They’re fun, sweet books to read and Raven is a great character.

    In this eighth installment, Jagger’s back along with a whole bunch more vampires and they’re trying to turn Dullsville into a much more exciting place to be. I can’t wait to find out what happens next, and I hope things progress for Raven and Alexander – for Raven’s sake especially.

    HarperTeen is once again giving readers a chance to browse inside, HERE.

    I have not read the peek, but it’s always nice when there’s the option.

    Graveminder by Melissa Marr will be released in the U.S. on May 17, 2011 in hardcover, eBook and audio formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins, the print edition is 336 pages.

    I already spotlighted Graveminder for my Book Watch post, which has the Goodreads description for those who don’t know what this book is about, so I promise not to blather on and on about this book that I so cannot wait to read.

    This cover is so utterly creepy and I’m glad I’ll be reading this on one of my eReaders rather than from the book, because the cover kind of freaks me out. As this is not a young adult book, I can’t wait to see how out there the author went. I just hope that there will be no nightmares involved during, or after, the read.

    Only a few more days until release day. I cannot wait!

    The author has an excerpt of the prologue on her website, HERE.

    Mercy by Rebecca Lim will be released in the U.S. on May 17, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order in both formats from Amazon and in hardcover format from Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Hyperion Books, a division of Disney, the print edition is 288 pages.

    Mercy was previously published in Australia on October 28, 2010 in paperback format and on November 1, 2010 in eBook format by HarperCollins Australia. The eBook version of Mercy is available to download now at Amazon.

    I have an eARC of Mercy on my reading pile this week but I plan on downloading the finished copy on the 17th. And if I love this story and it ends on a cliffhanger I may just grab the two other books in the trilogy immediately instead of waiting for the U.S. release.

    I am always fascinated by all things immortal so I can’t wait to see how that plays into this story of fallen angels. And the promise of mystery and romance makes this even more alluring.

    Book trailer for Mercy from HarperCollins Australia:

    Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky will be released in the U.S. on May 23, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available online to pre-order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both formats.

    Published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, the print edition is 320 pages.

    Awaken is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

    I haven’t heard much buzz about this book. I believe it was one of the first books I requested from NetGalley last winter, after having read its description. In those early days I tried to read everything right away, but I decided to wait for a while to read Awaken, as the release date for this book was so far off.

    I think what drew me to Awaken was that the futuristic world the author created, in which everything is done on a computer with almost no human interaction, seemed like a very real possibility for our society’s future, and it sounded both scary and intriguing.

    As I do have an eARC for review, and I am now within the allotted time frame set by the publisher for reviews, I can’t wait to finally read Awaken and see what the author does to her character who discovers that maybe there’s something more than just living an isolated life behind a computer.

    And I do have this one on pre-order for my Kindle as I think it’s going to be great.

    I did watch the trailer and parts of it really creep me out! So of course I had to include it, below.

    Book trailer for Awaken:

    ***

    This week is another fairly quiet one for new releases, and my wallet would be happy if I hadn’t wandered into Barnes & Noble on Saturday and did not leave empty-handed.

    But at least I only have four books pre-ordered, although, like last week, I don’t anticipate making it to the end without buying one or two more books to read.

    As always, I would love to hear what you’re hoping to add to your collection this week!

    Please let me know if there is a “must read” that I’ve missed. I do not like to miss out on owning great books, even if I can’t read them right away.

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    My Reading Pile #9

    So, I finally read all of the books shown in my previous reading pile photos. Just kidding… Now that was wishful thinking. I decided to only show the new books added to the huge heap this week.

    I am still working on tackling this scary, toppling pile of books, but I only seem to be getting through my eBooks. Hmm… Anyway…

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

    (May 15-May 21, 2011)

    ***

    First up is Mercy by Rebecca Lim. I received an eARC from Disney/ Hyperion courtesy of NetGalley and I am so excited to read it. I am, however confused about the release date for this book. It seems it may have previously been published by Harper Collins Children’s Books in 2010 and is now being released by Hyperion on May 17th. It might not have been a U.S. release, but it was available to purchase at Amazon at least since January, so I’m not certain.

    I will have this sorted out when I actually write up the review, as I do research each book as much as I can, but as of the time of this post I haven’t yet done that work.

    I love books about fallen angels and immortality. I also love books with a bit of a mystery to solve. So I can’t wait to find out more. And I like that the author named her character Mercy. It’s not an unusual name, but one that’s not often used and it definitely fits in a book about heavenly beings.

    The second and third books in this series are called Exile and Muse and I hope to be able to check them out soon.

    I received an eARC of The Girl in the Steel Corset from the publisher, Harlequin TEEN, through NetGalley. But I also received a print copy in the mail through a trade with another blogger. I haven’t decided which version I will read – maybe a little bit from both.

    I cannot wait to read this book and I love this cover. As I’m not a huge fan of romance novels, I love when these gorgeous covers appear on books in other genres so I can have these amazing covers for my collection.

    This is the first book in The Steampunk Chronicles and it will be my very first true steampunk series, so I’m totally curious about this sub-genre. Although I’ve read Clockwork Angel the book only touched upon the steampunk aspect in the story. I have a feeling that in this book I’ll learn a lot more about what steampunk is, and what the appeal is. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to like it.

    I’ve actually started reading the short novella and I already like the author’s voice, so I am excited to see where it goes and plan on reading the full-length book in the next few days.

    I purchased a copy of Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren when it was released in paperback format in February. Before I had a chance to read it in print format, the eBook came out. So I bought that one, too.

    However, by the time I could have read it, it was so far beyond release date that my review would have gotten lost in the shuffle. And so I decided to take a more seasoned blogger’s advice and read it closer to release of the sequel.

    As Cascade, the second book in the series will be coming out in a couple of weeks I wanted to add it to my pile this week to give me time to read it without having to do another back-to-back read. As much as I enjoy reading books back-to-back, I find writing the reviews a lot harder.

    Another reason this got moved to the top of the pile was because I just read Die for Me and I’m looking for another book with a touch of romance, set in a foreign country. Italy is definitely one of those romantic foreign countries. And a book that involves time travel to the fourteenth century with knights and sword fights sounds like a great escape.

    ***

    Yep, just the three books this week. I’m keeping it small because May 31st and June 1st are going to be huge for releases. I am hoping to read one more book that’s releasing on the 23rd, but I refuse to make that commitment. And looking ahead into June is super scary.

    I also am hoping to receive Jennifer Armentrout’s Half-Blood which I finally won in an auction. You don’t know the stress it caused. After reading Daimon, I was even more desperate to get my hands on a copy. I believe I’m on a list to get an eARC from the publisher, but I just couldn’t wait. This is one book I will not wait to read.

    Ah how I envy you summer readers. I wish I was back in school and had those long, leisurely vacation days to get lost in a book and where time doesn’t really matter from June through August. But for me, my summer reading will be just like any other time of the year – whenever and wherever I can, I will.

    Wishful thinking reads:

    I really want to read Graveminder this week. It comes out on the 17th and I’m dying to read it. But because it’s not one of the books I’ve agreed to review, but rather one that I want to review, I may not be able to read it this week. Though this may be one of those books that becomes more than a wishful thinking read just because I say so.

    I also want to read Hourglass. But as the release date is now in June, I will have to wait for a bit. But this is one of those books that has received a lot of buzz and the cover is just so cool that I have got to find out what’s between those pages.

    Those left behind:

    I did not get a chance to read Flawless or Dreamland Social Club, two of the three books I picked, but I hope to squeeze one – or both – of those into my schedule between now and the end of the month. I am still not caught up with writing my reviews, but I’m happy to say that I finally finished reading and reviewing a book that had been on my pile for way too long.

    This week was a completely terrible week for reading. I’m not sure what happened. I can blame Thursday on The Vampire Diaries season finale, but other than that, I have no excuse. I managed to read a couple books that weren’t on last week’s pile, but I also ended up reading a book that wasn’t on any pile so I really shouldn’t have spent the time. But sometimes you just have to read what you want, regardless of deadlines or schedules.

    And if you aren’t one of those who check out my Facebook page, I uploaded proof that I really don’t own a bookshelf and my poor advance review books are simply stacked haphazardly on a small television table. Perhaps next week I’ll show you the sad story with my signed books.

    But I am truly a girl without a bookshelf and one with way too many books left to review.

    ***

    Do you create a reading pile?

    If so, what’s in your pile this week?

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