Shades of Mercy is a very sweet coming of age story about Mercy, a fourteen year old girl, who believes she has her life planned out. In a few years, she and her long time friend and recent boyfriend Mick will go off to college together, then once finished with school, they can get married, and live happily ever after. However, Mercy dreams come crashing around her when a friend of hers and her boyfriend disappear. This isn't a normal young love runaway, at least in the eyes of Mercy's friend's father. When he finds out that the girls boyfriend is from the local Maliseet tribe, his prejudices come to a boil and sets the whole town on edge. Mercy hopes that everything will be resolved soon and then things can go back to normal. Sadly, that isn't what happens when her boyfriend Mick, who is also Maliseet, is charged with a crime.
The struggles Mercy's deals with are presented in such a realistic way. She is innocent to the ways of prejudice and still young. Mercy is written in such a way that you feel for her. You watch as she holds out hope for her dream to still come true and for everything to blow through. It was refreshing to read about a real teenager that has respect for her parents and who was raised in a loving home, not a teenager that was full of angst. I enjoyed that about the book.
The book was a little slow at times but overall it was a good read. It dealt with a very heavy topic and handled it nicely. The book focused on one summer in Mercy's life and I really liked that. The ending left it open for the series to continue on and to grow with Mercy.
***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.