I Am Mercy by Mandi Lynn
Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction/Young Adult Romance
Imagine living every day, knowing your family doesn’t love you. Imagine living a life in a world that looks at you as a curse. In 14th century France Aida is accused of being a witch when the Black Death wipes through her village. Abandoned by her family she is surrounded by death and disease, but when a woman who may actually be a witch tells her how to cure the plague it may mean uncovering a dark magic. But if that means being able to save those you love, wouldn’t you do it? Even if they didn’t love you back? (Goodreads blurb)
Characters: Aida de Luna, poses as the strong female lead character. Throughout the story, she experiences many hardships, and ends up falling in love with a boy named, Garren. He shapes the way Aida thinks and inspires her to be optimistic and act courageous when the going gets rough. Her best friend, for the majority of the book, is Hadley, who has a heart of gold, keeping Aida constantly questioning the boundaries of love and mercy. After reading I Am Mercy, it’s hard not feel a sense of catharsis. Mandi has a special way of capturing emotion within her characters. She makes them grip tight onto a feeling and never let go—even at the end. And when a character seems so human, it’s impossible to put a book down.
Plot: The book is separated into four parts. Each part tells a portion of Aida’s past from her early life in Marseilles, France (1343), to the present. The book’s pacing went smoothly. I didn’t feel the need to rush reading chapters. The story’s characters also had great chemistry, really making me feel attached to them. I definitely saw improvement and growth in maturity in Mandi’s writing style, since the publication of her first book at the age of sixteen. Her language usage is a lot more sophisticated and descriptive. I also noted that there was a much better balance between the amount of description and dialogue in I Am Mercy, unlike Mandi’s last book, Essence, which in my opinion, didn’t have enough dialogue, and a little too much description.
My favorite part was when Aida escaped her parents’ home near the beginning of the story. They treated her horribly. I mean who despises their own daughter just for having different colored eyes? That’s ludicrous! How Aida conquered still amazes me.
Cover Analysis: The I Am Mercy cover resembles a significant scene inside the book. I don’t want to spoil it for everyone, but right after the scene in the picture happens, Aida’s whole world drastically changes. Be prepared for that high tide!
Key Notes: Make sure you know exactly what the Black Plague is in history before reading I Am Mercy. You’ll understand Aida’s POV and the mindsets of her family members.
Overall: I loved reading this book. However, I saw A LOT of similarities between Essence and I Am Mercy. Hopefully the next book Mandi writes, has a different approach towards the plot. The conflict felt unclear and stagnant at some points.
Recommended For: Fans of Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting.
*I was given this book for a honest review.
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