Monday, February 2, 2009

Review: The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner

2 out of 12 for the 2009 Young Adult Reading Challenge
genre: young adult
rating: 4/5

Lauren's a rich girl - but she's always taken pride in the fact that she didn't think like one. Instead of going to an ivy league school or letting her Daddy pay for a posh condo to live in, she chose a state school and lives in the dorms. She's out to prove that life hasn't been handed to her on a platter.

Except it has.

And despite her efforts to not judge or make assumptions about people, she does, and much of this book is Lauren working her way through her own thought processes about people. What's interesting is the way the author has combined this storyline with another: that of a girl, about Lauren's age, living during the Salem witch trials. Lauren comes to learn about her life as she takes a job translating Mercy's diary, at the request of Abigail, the elderly owner of the diary who has far more in common with Lauren than she initially thinks.

I always appreciate a story that can go back and forth in time and do it well. Of course, the "historical" periods are only diary entries, but these entries felt authentic and we really do get a sense of who Mercy is - as well as events around her - through her writings. As a coming of age story, Lauren's struggle to find out her role in her close relationships had a moral undertone that never felt in your face but yet had a really good message: we all have the ability to choose how we are going to act and react, especially when we are dealing with those we care about the most. And sometimes this act of choosing is the most important act of all.

4 comments:

Tricia said...

Sounds good. I like the cover too!

Beth F said...

Nice review! I haven't even started on this challenge yet.

Serena said...

I love the cover of this book. I think this is already on the TBR list for me.

Also, I tagged you for a meme.

Shelley/Chain Reader said...

This sounds great for both me and my daughter.

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