The Merciless by Danielle Vega


Sofia Flores and her mom just moved to a new town. This is nothing new. Her mom is in the air force, so Sofia is used to moving every few years–from town to town and from school to school. She’s never made close connections with others before, but will that all change when she hands Brooklyn, an edgy girl with a kind smile, a bandaid? Things start to get twisted when Sofia is immediately accepted into the popular group of “Mean Girls.” Leader Riley has told Sofia that they have to help Brooklyn because Brooklyn’s been possessed by a demon. But, when exorcism turns to torture, will Sofia be next?

The Merciless (The Merciless #1) by Danielle Vega

Genre: YA Horror
Release Date: June 2015
Source: Target – Bought
On My Shelf: Yes


What. A. Ride.

This book is honestly absolutely insane. Vega starts in with drama and horror basically from page one. Because of this, I thought the plot development was immediately set back from the get-go. However, that did not really cause me to enjoy it any less by a significant degree. Even though I thought the story was still floating a bit on the surface, I did enjoy reading it. Vega’s writing is gripping, intense and quite scary at parts. I was also pleasantly surprised by all the carnage and bloodshed. Wow, that was a weird sentence to write.

If you don’t already know, this book is basically a Mean Girls retelling. I pretty much lived and breathed that movie when I was younger (I still kinda do tbh), so this book immediately became a must-read. I definitely thought the storylines were well-incorporated and made sense to the new (and 10x more gory) story Vega created. I had no problem following the events and how everything played out. So, consistency was not something that this book had a problem with. The plot was well thought out and well executed. As I’ve said, it just needed a bit more development.

The characters, on the other hand, I thought were extremely well-developed. This was 100% a character-driven story. Basically, they’re all crazy. And, overall, I thought all that mostly worked. The character were no-doubt developed more than the plot, but they could have still used a smidge more. Even so, I became incredibly invested in them and their stories–especially the main protag. Even though I knew there was something not quite right about her, I was still rooting for her to win/succeed. Basically, the characters were well-written and the best thing about this book. I loved and hated and maybe even kinda secretly wanted to be them.

One quick warning before I wrap up this review: Even though this is a YA book, there is a lot of violence. I don’t think there’s anything particularly triggering involved, but there is an incredible amount of gore. If “Carnage Candy” isn’t your thing, this book probably won’t be either.

Now that that’s out of the way, I absolutely recommend this book. It was interesting, had me on the edge of my seat, and was honestly quite fun to read. Vega has weaved a story you just can’t put down until you turn the final page. This is also a must-read for any Mean Girls fan who also loved the horror genre. Although I’ve heard the second installment isn’t as good, I still can’t wait to pick it up!

Book Depository – $5.97

The End

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Happy Reading!


5 thoughts on “The Merciless by Danielle Vega

  1. I LOVE this review. And I love Mean Girls so I’m intrigued. But like, how scary is “quite scary”? I don’t mind gore but my level of scary is Cabin in the Woods and the original (and remakes) of Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc. So, like funny (because of the quality and/or because of the witty lines) but bloody and makes you jump.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh first of all THANK YOU! And, hmmm, I don’t think it’s all that scary. Mostly just gory. I do have a pretty high tolerance for horror, but I think this would be pretty comparable with The Cabin in the Woods. They seem to have the same type of feel (especially with things not being what they seem and the gore level). This is definitely more of just a twisty-turny plot/jump scare and definitely not a deep psychological thriller/horror. There is a little humor in this, especially when you pick up on the Mean Girls references/story layout, but over all it is a pretty intense book with action that never stops. I think that gives it less of a chance to get inside of your head, though. The main themes are demons, satanic rituals, and exorcisms. I’m not really sure if that helped at all, but I can say that I didn’t lose any sleep over this book. It was more just in-your-face jump-scare gory horror with a super fast paced plot versus something that moves slow and creeps into your thoughts freaking you out.

      Liked by 1 person

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