Sofia Flores returns, this time to save her own soul, as a relentless demon, Catholic dogma, and a sinfully attractive classmate threaten to tear her apart in Vega’s gruesome sequel to Merciless (2014).
In the aftermath of an attempted exorcism conducted on the charismatic Brooklyn that left her three best friends dead, Latina teen Sofia wants nothing more than a fresh start. Her wish is granted when her mother dies in a freak car accident and Sofia is sent to St. Mary’s, a remote Catholic boarding school where every student has something to confess. Despite quickly befriending her roommates and catching the eye of the impossibly perfect and secretive Jude, Sofia can’t shake the black feelings of jealousy and desire that cling to her every interaction. When some of her darker thoughts (like wishing something awful should befall her chipper, Asian roommate, Leena) come horribly true, Sofia frantically searches for any means of salvation, terrified that Brooklyn and the past she wants so desperately to leave behind will soon reappear to claim her. Turning to a classic Stephen King–style horror plot that relies on an isolated setting as much as bloodied bodies and hellishly inventive violence, Vega’s grisly second installment rips into biblical platitudes to lay bare the notions of deliverance and redemption.
A departure from the Mean Girls aesthetic of the first book but a sequel still meant for only the most unflinching of readers. (Horror. 14 & up)