Book Review: The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe


Actual Rating: 1.5

Overall: For about 90% of this novel, I fully intended to give this book a one star. However, I must admit that it did pique my interest somewhat towards the end of the book. Hence, I raised the rating to 1.5 instead. That being said, I still would not recommend this book because a book shouldn’t become interesting only at the end and the amount of slut shaming in this book is completely unnecessary and offensive.

Plot:This book is about a girl named Anne Merchant who transfers to a super duper exclusive rich school, but this school is not like others. For starters, everyone is competing ruthlessly for the Big V (no, this does not mean what you think it means). The Big V is a race to become Valedictorian, but good grades alone can’t get you the title. Each person gets a guardian who looks into their soul. Apparently, Anne Merchant has a seductive soul. I’m serious. So, you have to decide on how you’re going to live for the next two years – this is called someone’s PT. So if you have a PT of being selfish. This means you steal from people, you stomp on as many people you can to get what you want, etc. You pretty much live like an asshole. And this asshole can become Valedictorian.

The plot is the best part of this book, and that’s not saying much as I didn’t like it very much. I only say this because it simply is the most tolerable part of the book and the reason I read on. I just wanted to find out what the heck was up with this weird-ass school.

Character:Anne is one of the worst main characters I’ve read in a while. She is stupid, judgemental, and just all around annoying. She literally needs everything spelled out for her and takes offense in everything said to her. This is from someone who has a PT of looking closer. She’s supposedly super smart and at the top of her class. Riiiight. And I’m a sparkling rainbow fairy.

“I think half the guys in here were pitching tents watching you.”

When she arrives at the school, she magically grows boobs. I am not kidding. She friggin grows boobs, and suddenly everyone wants her. This particular dialogue happens right after the infamous Dance Battle of this book. There’s a freakin’ dance off in the book. I wish I was kidding.

“You ready to take this on?” she asks. Not asks. Demands.

“Take what on?”

“This!” She runs her hands up and down her body. “Right here. Right now.”

“Wait. Are you saying what I think you’re saying?”

She wants to battle. She wants a dance-off.

Dun dun dun. Oooooh it’s soooo on right now.

Laughing, I pull out my California street-dancing swagger, which is insanely tough in this dress and heels, but I can’t help myself. This song is begging for some boom-pop, and I am all over that.

Please no, Anne. Nobody wants to see this, Anne.

The worst aspect of this book is, hands down, the slut shaming. God, there was so many. It’s a pathetic attempt to make Anne look righteous and good because obviously, everyone else is a skank but Anne. This is coming from a supposed outcast herself – the creepy mortician’s daughter. Bitch.

Their bodies, hair, makeup – even the way they rock their uniforms – are undeniable signs of their power on campus and their expectations of a perfectly charmed life, which their daddies will guarantee them. Like four slightly oversexed dolls, they stand at arm’s length from me, thrusting out their cleavage, tossing their straightened silky hair over their shoulders and pursing their pouty, glossy lips.

This of course is before she even talks to these girls. And more slut shaming.

She’s over-the-top sleazy.

“ultra-hooker shoes they have”

There are tons more where that came from, but I won’t torture you guys. Way to be tolerant, Anne. Way to look closer.

Romance: So boring. So so boring. The love interest, Ben, is the most boring character ever. I can’t even make a paragraph about him because he’s so boring. Oh, but he does think Anne is speshul.

“Because you’re different from the rest of us.”

God knows why he’s interested in Anne. He says she‘s smart. Cue laughter from me. Oh Ben. Silly Ben.  Poor misguided Ben.

Finishing Thoughts: I don’t recommend this. It’s boring and quite honestly, aggravating with all the slut shaming and stupidity of Anne Merchant who by the way apparently has a blonde afro. Look at the cover and tell me what you see. I don’t think so, Anne.

So this was a complete dud. Thank you, Anne, for wasting my time. Thank you for reminding how to hate a main character. Most importantly, thank you for being a complete and utter bitch.




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