About the Book:
History and the speculative collide with the modern world when a group of high school girls form a secret society after discovering they can communicate with boys from the past, in this powerful look at female desire, jealousy, and the shifting lines between friendship and rivalry.
After her life is upended by divorce and a cross-country move, 16-year-old Saskia Brown feels like an outsider at her new school—not only is she a transplant, she’s biracial in a population of mostly white students.
One day while visiting her only friend at her part-time library job, Saskia encounters a vial of liquid mercury, then touches an old daguerreotype—the precursor of the modern-day photograph—and makes a startling discovery. She is somehow able to visit the man in the portrait: Robert Cornelius, a brilliant young inventor from the nineteenth century. The hitch: she can see him only in her dreams.
Saskia shares her revelation with some classmates, hoping to find connection and friendship among strangers. Under her guidance, the other girls steal portraits of young men from a local college’s daguerreotype collection and try the dangerous experiment for themselves. Soon, they each form a bond with their own “Mercury Boy,” from an injured Union soldier to a charming pickpocket in New York City.
At night, the girls visit the boys in their dreams. During the day, they hold clandestine meetings of their new secret society. At first, the Mercury Boys Club is a thrilling diversion from their troubled everyday lives, but it’s not long before jealousy, violence, and secrets threaten everything the girls hold dear.
This book was really unique and had lots of promise, however it was a bit of a disappointment.
The plot was okay. At times it was really intense and drew you in. There were lots of plot twists and gave you lots of shocks. However, it did get dull and was hard to read. It was confusing and left you wondering what was going on.
The world-building was not done well. I enjoyed reading Saskia POV, and then the other girls dreams. However, the ending confused me. It made some of the world-building not seem to happen.
Character development was lacking. Most of the girls were shallow and mean. There was a lot of toxic relationships in this book. The only character I really liked was Lila. She was the only leveled-headed character in this book.
Overall, I enjoyed the idea of this book. It was really unique, but it also fell short. I didn’t enjoy the toxic relationships in this book and characters were hard to like. (Excluding Lila). I would have loved to see better world-building and character development.
*I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. Thank you to Soho Press for the copy.*
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