Review: The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant - Joanna WiebePublisher: BenBella Books (January 14th 2014)
Hardcover: 272 pages
Series: The V Trilogy #1
Source: Netgalley
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.


It was definitely… interesting. I’m a little mixed-feelings with this book, more-so on the “I think I like” side but at the same time it was kind of weird. It’s almost hard to talk about this book because spoilers. But man, the twist was pretty good.

This book is creepy. In both the, “oh gosh, is that a ghost coming after me, spiders are crawling everywhere” creepy and the “umm…that’s kind of awkward and uncomfortable, please don’t tell me about that” creepy. Anne is sent to a private school, where the main goal is to become the Big V (aka the valevictorian), there is nothing bigger than this. Which means every student is competing against each other.  To make things weirder, the villagers on the island are not to associate with the school/students (and viceversa) at all, or there’s hell to pay. There’s a looming dark secret and a lot of crazy evil going on.

I found the story started off interesting enough, if not uncomfortably creepy and a little hard to focus on. There’s sort of a love triangle that I think tries to be more of a focus than it needs to be. The romance is also a bit insta-love though nothing too bad. There’s a big secret that finally gets ousted that makes the story suddenly more interesting than your average high-school teen story.

I can see why some people might find it difficult to read/finish because for me at points, it’s a bit cheesy and frustratingly over-dramatic. Overall though, not too bad of a paranormal read. There’s big potential for the rest of the series.

{*Thank to BenBella Books & Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for the an honest review.

Find Joanna Wiebe:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the book:
Barnes & Nobles | Chapters Indigo |

Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

0 Replies to “Review: The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe”

  1. Oh gosh, now you have me curious as to if I will like this one. I love the sound of the book, like creepy and crawley things- but I’m wondering about uncomfortable and weird. Well, I’ll know for sure soon, as it’s up for me to read and review. Thanks Cyn 🙂

    1. It has a lot potential to be good, so I do hope you enjoy it! I just had a little problem connecting with it the entire way haha

  2. That sounds like something I’d read! I hope that really creeps me out. I still haven’t found a book that actually scares the daylights out of me yet.

    1. Usually I’m terrible at reading books that are scary haha. This one’s not super scary, but it’s definitely interesting. Hope you like if you try it out!

  3. This does sound interesting. I haven’t read a creepy book in a while; however, the cheesy drama might be annoying. Lovely review.

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