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Without Mercy (Mercy #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  5,201 Ratings  ·  385 Reviews
From the #1 "New York Times"-bestselling author of "Malice, Lost Souls," and "Shiver" comes a riveting thriller--her most intense to date--that goes behind the doors of an exclusive academy where members of the student body are disappearing, one by one.
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Kensington (first published 2010)
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You Don't Want To Know by Lisa JacksonWithout Mercy by Lisa JacksonChosen To Die by Lisa JacksonMost Likely to Die by Lisa JacksonBorn To Die by Lisa Jackson
Best Of Lisa Jackson
2nd out of 10 books — 18 voters
My Rehab Diary by James   WestonAlternatives to the Hospital for Acute Psychiatric Treatment by Richard WarnerWill's Choice by Gail GriffithWhat It Takes to Pull Me Through by David L. MarcusThe Game by Teresa Toten
Residential Treatment Centers
15th out of 16 books — 2 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ruth Turner
May 02, 2015 Ruth Turner rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I didn't like all!

Shay's a troubled teen sent to a remote school, the Blue Rock Academy, under judges orders.
To me she's a spoilt brat and I just couldn't like her character.

Jules, Shay's sister, discovers that one student from the school has recently gone missing and one teacher's been "let go". On this premise she decides that there must be something wrong at school and that she must therefore rescue her poor baby sister. The repetition of the poor baby sister and the comments about
Thomas Edmund
Jun 07, 2010 Thomas Edmund rated it it was ok
Without Mercy is little more than a mish mash of contrivance and cliché. I’m not sure premises get much worse than two ex-lovers both posing as teachers at a ‘boot-camp’ style private school to investigate the disappearance of one of the students. Nevermind how a rodeo-rider come private-investigator successfully fakes being an experienced teacher – or how the two new-comers were completely looked past as suspects despite arriving around the same time as the disappearance (and later murders). Th ...more
Purple Iris
Nov 05, 2011 Purple Iris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
cheesy line: "Nona Vickers realized that she'd lost more than her virginity this night; she'd also given up her life." (p. 145). Eye roll, please.

I am trying to just enjoy this as a light, relaxing read, but these lines are killing me: "The howl of the wind, as forbidding as Satan's laugh, shrieked through the canyon before licking the icy edges of Lake Superstition..." What the hell?

Jackson describes in detail how one of the characters heats up coffee from the day before in the microwave and
Apr 09, 2011 Alison rated it really liked it
This is the first book I've read by Lisa Jackson; after reading Without Mercy, I look forward to her other books. This story caught my attention because it takes place in the mountains of Southern Oregon and the author refers to places I'm familiar with (Rogue River, Medford, Roseburg, Portland, Siskiyou Mountains) although the location and details of the story are fictional. Shay, a rebellious teenager, is sent to Blue Rock Academy by the court and her mother, as a last resort to keeping her ou ...more
Jul 23, 2010 Linda rated it did not like it
Seventeen year old Shaylee Stillman is a hellion, and a judge has laid down the law. She must enroll in a school for troubled teens, or it's jailtime. There's something about the Blue Rock Academy that doesn't sit right with her older half sister Jules, who decides to take a teaching job there as a sort of amateur investigator, just to be sure little sis will be okay. Unbenownst to Jules, her former boyfriend Cooper, the love of her life whom she just can't forget, also works there, hired by the ...more
Wendy Hines
Jun 24, 2013 Wendy Hines rated it really liked it
Blue Rock Academy prides itself on its beliefs, reaching out with God to help the wayward teens turn their lives around, but someone is twisting those beliefs for his own sinister purpose.

Julia "Jules" Farentino doesn't trust the school that her half-sister Shaylee has been sent to. Blue Rock Academy is well known for helping troubled teenagers, and Shaylee had the choice of the school or juvenile detention. She thought she chose the better of the two options, but Jules disagrees. A teenager re
Apr 25, 2011 Mindy rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 08, 2013 SUMMER rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Azeila Rose
Jun 22, 2013 Azeila Rose rated it it was ok
Minor spoiler warning

How this book has as high of a rating as it does is beyond me. I was so disappointed at the end. It felt like I'd wasted time on a wonderful story that was going to connect everything together, but instead it was clear that Jackson wasn't even sure where she was going with the ending. She sloppily tried to throw everything together in the last thirty or so pages, and it just didn't work.

Jules was overly skeptical of a school with no real good reason. It was described that s
Nov 28, 2010 Jaime rated it liked it
I thought this was just okay. It’s hard to like Shaylee, who is really a little brat at the beginning, and therefore it’s a little difficult to understand why Jules would go to the lengths she does, and why she’s so quick to suspect the school of wrongdoing. One missing student doesn’t really seem to be enough. Not to mention how quickly she gets hired as a teacher at such a specialty school, with a seemingly minimal background check and no experience with troubled kids. Not to mention the cowbo ...more
Pretty good for the genre of romantic mystery thriller. The story is tightly written with plenty of plot twists, tension, atmosphere and readability.
Jules little sister Shaylee is being sent to a school for troubled teens. The school is located in the mountains of Oregon, very isolated, and even though all the literature looks great Jules is suspicious that all is not as ideal as it seems. She decides to investigate this school and get her sister out. This leads her to take a teaching position
1.5 stars. I realize that I don't like weak women and juvenile delinquents and this book is full of both. The characters are very one dimensional.

* Possibility of romance
* Trent sounded delicious, but not enough of him and why was he hung up on Jules? Everyone said he's so hot, again multiple times, I get it, move on
(view spoiler)

* Didn't care for the narrator
* Writing was
EZRead eBookstore
Apr 15, 2011 EZRead eBookstore rated it liked it
Shelves: amelia-reviews
I know, I know, the whole premise sounds so dramatic, but that is just what comes from reading a thriller like “Without Mercy.” Is it all that it’s cracked up to be? Well, it certainly is as hair-raising as described. You’d think you stuck your finger into a socket at the end of reading this. If it isn’t the gruesome killings and fear of more killings, than there is also the characters themselves that can keep a reader tense.

As a correctional academy, the kids attending are obviously troubled in
Mar 26, 2010 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Jules Farentino’s half sister, Shay is such a trouble maker. Unfortunately, Shay has used up all of her chances. Their mother sends Shay to Blue Rock Academy. A school for troubled teens. Jules has a bad feeling about Blue Rock Academy. Jules’s mother tells Jules there is nothing to worry about. Yeah then why has Lauren Conway, a student at Blue Rock Academy been missing for six months and no one knows of her whereabouts? Jules must find a way to get Shay out of Blue Rock Academy before she beco ...more
Mar 03, 2015 Andrew rated it it was ok
About two thirds of the way through it finally dawned on me what was bugging me about this book: Take out the oddly placed sex scene and the occasional PG-13 content, and this book was basically every episode of Scooby Doo. I half expected the who-dunnit to be revealed at the end with the villain exclaiming "It would've worked too if it wasn't for those meddling kids!"

An exaggeration? Yeah, but not much. "Something creepy at the isolated private school" and which of the weirdo people is the guy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was my first book by Lisa Jackson. It started out pretty good and then it just sort of fizzled a bit in the middle. I felt it was waaaaaay too long, over 500 pages of redundancy. So it was okay. The whole ending was a bit disappointing and the mystery just wasn't that great. The person they revealed as the "Leader" at the end just left me with a "meh" feeling and the reasoning behind all the mayhem was just so so. The ending left me feeling like...What the what! That's it?! I didn't feel li ...more
Lori Henrich
Mar 27, 2014 Lori Henrich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this. It kept my attention until the very end. The ending made me wonder if there was going to be a sequel to this.

Shay is sent to a private school for troubled kids in Oregon. She isn't happy about it and begs her half sister Jules to get her out of going. Jules tries to talk their mother out of sending her there, but it is an order from a judge so she doesn't really have much choice in the matter. Jules feels that there is something off at this school especially since one of
Jul 25, 2012 Jess rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I could NOT finish this book, and I very, very rarely give up on a book but this one irritated me from the very beginning. I couldn't take anymore of Jules' "poor baby sister Shay". I was yelling at the book... its #!@#!! court ordered to go to the damn school... I guess juvy would have been a better choice?!?! Jules was not a character I could like or respect and that just did it in. Cooper wasn't much better. I struggled to even make it close to halfway. This is one of only 2 books I have ever ...more
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Two words: Loved it! Jules is fantastic. All she cares about is keeping her sister safe, despite Shay being a brat most of the time. Trent is delicious. The main focus of the story is the mystery, the secrets in this school and let me tell you, what a ride Without Mercy is! I was up until three am reading this, I could not put it down. The story progresses and theory’s of truth come together in an shocking explosion. Then I go
Amy Rosenkoetter
Jun 03, 2010 Amy Rosenkoetter rated it really liked it
She kept me guessing right to the end which I liked. Just when I was getting disappointed because the answer was rather mundane, she turned the tables and I was reminded of the one mystery that remained unsolved. Excellent piece!

The one thing I rolled my eyes at was that at the beginning the main character's former boyfriend, who is, of course, her one twue wuv (gag) happens to be working at the same school for troubled kids that her sister gets shunted off to. Really? *sigh* Couldn't we have go
Feb 02, 2016 Kris rated it really liked it
I thought this was pretty good! Not the outcome I that was good! Advice? Pay close attention to the characters in the first part of the book, no matter how insignificant they seem, they will matter later!
Susan Conboy
Aug 19, 2014 Susan Conboy rated it it was ok
I should have mercy for this poor reader! Actually, no mercy for this listener...heard it on cd. And not very well done, at that.
...Irritating ignorant Jules...bratty, entitled little sister. This tired tome starts with a murder....ends with murders...and frankly, there was such a paucity of character development that I just didn't care...and too many inconsistencies to make it background checks on the new teachers, but dossiers on everyone else? The bad kids just
Sandi Willis
Mar 13, 2015 Sandi Willis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Talk about a "Twist Ending!" I was so engrossed in this story that it was hard to stop listening to go to bed. This story follows Julia “Jules” Farentino and her sister half-sister Shay. Shay is a teenager with a lot of problems. She has been sentenced to a boarding school for delinquent teenagers in the middle of nowhere in the mountains of southern Oregon. Shay is desperate to get out and tries to manipulate her sister Jules to get her out of the school. Jules, an unemployed teacher, gets a jo ...more
Daniel Rudge
Feb 02, 2014 Daniel Rudge rated it liked it
My first foray into the Lisa Jackson suspense world was a good but not great experience. While the plot was very good, the story got bogged down in several places. I understand the need to try and create the mood, but it didn't quite make it to creepy and thus I think this book would have been better if it was a little shorter and more tightly written. As stories go, this one was about a young girl, Shay Stillman, being sent off to a remote academy for wayward youth under court order. Her sister ...more
Oct 08, 2015 Shannon rated it did not like it
I've liked the previous Lisa Jackson books I've read but this one was truly horrible.

I didn't really find any of the characters believable and the main character, Jules, was just plain annoying. She is obsessed with idea that the school her sister is being sent to - as an alternative to Juvie - has something terribly wrong with it based on some extremely flimsy reasons. We know she is obsessed because of the way she repeats her thoughts over and over and over again.

In fact that was one of the
May 23, 2010 Jane rated it it was ok
I kept wanting to just get to the end of this book. The book was chaotic, with too many characters and not a lot of clarity. There were also some pockets of really bad writing with too many exclamation points. I've enjoyed Lisa Jackson books before, but would skip this one.
Dyan Eka
Sep 09, 2014 Dyan Eka rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel-terjemahan
First, let me give two thumbs up for shay stillman who did a 'great' job to make jules believe her, to take her out from blue rock academy. She's totally a psiko!
Awalnya aku kira antagonisnya cuma si pilot pesawat amfibi, Kirk Spurrier, yg awalnya malah aku kira Reverend Lynch. Tapi ternyata lebih serem cara berpikir Shay, dengan memanfaatkan kondisi yg ada dia bisa sangat manipulatif. Dengan alur cerita yg menurutku cepat, hanya dalam kurang dari 2 minggu bisa menimbulkan kekacauan dan semua ra
Jan 19, 2016 Lisa rated it did not like it
I'm really not liking this so far. I'm at 20% and it feels so fake. Especially the characters' names. Each sounds more fake than the last. If it were just a couple of uncommon names mixed in it wouldn't be so bad, but it seems like the author went out of her way to make sure none of the names were every day run of the mill names. If less time was spent on this, I'm sure she could have spent more time on the plot and story line.

I will finish reading the book, only because I feel morally obligated
Anna Mcfadden
Jul 13, 2015 Anna Mcfadden rated it liked it
Shaylee is a troubled teen who is sent to the middle of nowhere to a school for reform kids. She hates it and trys to convince her sister Jewls that Blue Rock is not a safe place to be and she's scare for her safety. Jewls gets a job as a history teacher using her married name so no one will know they are related. Jewls g I e's there to find out what goes on at the school and try to get info bout the school wrong doings. at the same time Jewls runs into her ex from 5 years ago. Cooper Trent. He ...more
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Lisa Jackson is the number-one New York Times bestselling author of more than 85 novels, including Afraid to Die, Tell Me, You Don’t Want to Know, Running Scared, Without Mercy, Malice, and Shiver. She is also the co-author of the Colony Series, co-written with her sister, Nancy Bush. There are over 20 million copies of Lisa Jackson’s books in print in twenty languages.

Before she became a nationa

More about Lisa Jackson...

Other Books in the Series

Mercy (2 books)
  • The Life and Death of Lauren Conway

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