NEW! School Library Journal Review
Gr 10 Up–This sequel to The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant (BenBella, 2014) is just as complicated as the previous volume, perhaps even more so. Anne continues to discover new depths to the supernatural angle of her situation, including an old identity that gives her unimaginable power, if only she can extract and control it. Meanwhile, her sweet romance with a doomed Ben remains chaste as she fights an inexplicable sexual attraction to Cania Christy’s new headmaster, Dia Voletto, who insists on closely mentoring her artistic endeavors. Anne is the Nancy Drew of the vivified realm, searching for answers at every turn no matter what the consequences may be—and they just might be the loss of her chance to permanently wake from her drug-induced coma. The twists and turns of Anne’s sleuthing, along with the emotional and sexual implications of her story, call for careful reading by mature teens who will appreciate the moral dilemmas she faces. How do we define good and evil? Should one sacrifice the here and now on the mere hope of a better future?
VERDICT: Fans of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” and Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s “Beautiful Creatures” series (both Little, Brown) will enjoy Anne’s dark journey, which ends with the promise of more surprises to come.