Review: Mercy Lily by Lisa Albert

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
I take the bees outside, unscrew the lid of the bee jar, and listen to their angry buzzing. 
"I hate you," I whisper.

Lily's mother has slowly been losing herself to multiple sclerosis. After traditional treatment fails, she uses bee sting therapy, administered by Lily, to alleviate her pain. Lily is trained as a veterinary assistant, so she can easily handle the treatments. What she can't handle is what happens when the bee sting therapy fails and it becomes clear that her mom wants to die.

One beautiful spring day, Lily's mother asks her for the most impossible thing of all—mercy. While navigating first love, friendship, and other normal worries faced by high school sophomores, Lily also has to choose: help her mom go, or cling to her fading life for all it's worth.

When I first heard about Mercy Lily by Lisa Albert, I wasn’t too sure about it. The premise sounded interesting enough, but the overall tone of the story seemed sad. However, I ended up trying it, and I am so glad I did, as Mercy Lily is a quiet yet amazing book filled with hope and love as well as the sadness and happiness that comes with growing up. 

Mercy Lily tells the story of Lily, a girl who hasn’t had the most normal childhood due to her father’s sudden death a few years back and her mother’s terminal MS. Lily was someone I liked right from the beginning, as not only is she wise beyond her years, but also she is such an kind and amazing girl, someone who anyone would want on their side. Making her character even better was the level of depth Lisa Albert put into her emotions. I could honesty feel the hope, despair, anger, and love she felt just as if it were my own, and if that isn’t a sign of a well-developed character than I don’t know what is. Lisa also introduced a variety of side characters in this one, such as Jed, Lily’s “uncle” type figure and Shauna and Trent, Lily’s two childhood friends.

The plot in this was definitely intriguing. Mother asking her daughter for her permission to die? Well, I can honestly say I haven’t read a book about that. However, while this sounds almost soap opera worthy, Lisa presented it in a breathtaking way, one where the reader was fully able to see both sides to the situation as well as the feelings felt about both. However, the thing I loved most about this book that it wasn’t just about dying and death. Instead, it was more of a coming-of-age story, one that involved the pain, the love, and the happiness as well as hope involved with growing up.

Finally, I have to add that Lisa’s writing in this one was simply fantastic! As mentioned before, I could truly feel the variety of emotions felt due to the level of depth she gave to the characters and their plot lines.

Heartwarming yet heartbreaking, Lisa Albert’s Mercy Lily is one of the best contemporary YA reads of the year! I can’t suggest it highly enough!

Grade: A+

Mercy Lily (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads) is now out!

Source: Publicist at Flux 

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