This novel by Kim Antieau is one I read for my YA class. I am glad that I'm reading things really out of my typical genres. My Richard Peck Essay is below.
Reread the first paragraph of chapter one. What’s in it that made you read on?
The first paragraph of Mercy, Unbound, contains several intriguing insights into Mercy’s life. The revelations about Mercy as a person, as well as the tone and formatting of the paragraph interested me enough to want to know her whole story, or as much of it as she would tell. In the fourth sentence of the first paragraph, Mercy states quite matter-of-factly that she is an angel. However, Mercy isn’t dead. She immediately backtracks a bit and says she isn’t an angel yet but she is becoming one and she can feel wings growing on her shoulder blades. At first it seems as though maybe the story would have some supernatural elements in it, maybe even religious elements. But final sentence of the paragraph changes the meaning of all the previous sentences. “And angels don’t need to eat.”
This statement about eating immediately raised all kinds of questions in my mind. Is Mercy delusional? Does she have some serious eating disorder? How long has it been going on? At what point in her life am I entering Mercy’s story? How old is she? How long has she been sick? What circumstances in Mercy’s life have brought her to the point she believes she is an angel? After reading this first paragraph, I wanted to know Mercy. I wanted to figure her out and see where her story led and see if she answers my questions. Mercy also says, “Those little buds on my shoulder blades – along with everything else – sealed the deal.” What is “everything else?” What other evidences does Mercy have that she is an angel?
I felt like Mercy had a fantastic voice right from the beginning, like she was trying to connect with me. She wants me to believe she is an angel but doesn’t seem to need any affirmation besides her own. She sounds confident and honest and a little bit sad. She sounded like a character I could like.