Tiffany Neal's Reviews > Grave Mercy

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
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's review
Mar 17, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012, young-adult-historical-fiction
Read from March 12 to 16, 2012

I loved this book. For so many reasons.

So, first off, it appears that you either LOVE this book or dislike it. I don't consider myself to be a fan of historical fiction, but just about every historical fiction I've read has been amazing. All the way from adult novel, The Pillars of the Earth, to middle grade books such as Wednesday Wars and Okay for Now to science fiction time-travel books like 11-22-63. Something about history fascinates me, and it's truly strange because I am by no means a history buff, nor did I do well in any history classes.

Anyway, everything about this book had me in awe. The writing was great, the characters were fleshed out and not your typical YA-cookie-cut-out-character, and the plot was refreshing and suspenseful. I've seen a few reviews that talk about how this isn't a YA book, but you know, it truly didn't bother me one way or another. I know that some parts were watered down because it was a YA book, but I was so mesmerized by everything else the book had going that it didn't matter one tiny bit to me.

First of all, the concept: a convent of nuns training to be assassins. Gah! Unique, interesting, and so right up my alley. I felt that one of the best parts of this book was the fact that LaFevers didn't try to rush this huge story/concept into a short amount of time (another one of my YA pet peeves). The total time that it takes to develop the characters, the relationships, and the plot felt true and real and not rushed at all. I was even sad when I reached the 450 page mark, knowing that it would be over soon. I tried my best to savor the last pages, but instead I tore through them.

The characters felt real to me as well. And not just the main characters, but ALL of the characters, even secondary ones that only appeared in a small portion of the book. I could picture them all in my head, and I felt invested in what was to come for them. LaFevers did a great job allowing me to not only connect with the characters as they were presently, but even when she gave information about the past it was done in such a skillful way that it was not an info dump, nor did I ever feel like I was distracted from the story. Another HUGE pet peeve of mine in YA is the extremely rushed-I-went-on-one-date-and-kissed-him-once-and-now-I'm-in-love type relationships. Ismae and Duval move at a rational pace and stayed true to their characters all the while.

Which brings up my next point: the writing. I truly enjoyed her style. She pulled me in from page 1 and kept me flipping the pages at an unimaginable rate. I don't even know how to explain the writing other than the fact that nothing distracted me, instead all her words ebbed and flowed beautifully whether she was delving into some of the politics or looking into Gavriel and Ismae's relataionship. In so many books I read, I feel like the writing is either trying too hard, or clunky, or distracted, or too prosy at times. Not this one. A perfect blend of words and rythym. Plus, 1st person present normally gets on my nerves a bit, but I didn't even notice it at all reading this.

I was completely enamored reading this, and I do believe that it will be one that I will end up re-reading in the future. I will definitely be reading the sequel when it comes out, although, I may die of impatience in the meantime.
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Reading Progress

03/13/2012 page 40
03/15/2012 page 363
64.0% "I'm really liking this one- reminds me of Graceling in some ways..."
03/16/2012 page 451
80.0% "Dreading for this to end..."
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