Goodreads Book Blurb:
***Thanks to NetGalley and Soho Teen for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided.
I’m not sure what I expected from Mercury Boys. When you start a book about teenage girls time travelling with mercury and daguerreotypes, you have to go in with an open mind; especially when it turns out that they’re time travelling to date boys in the past. With such an outrageous proposition, I thought something would have to ground this narrative to bring it into the real world. But that was, unfortunately, not the case.
The root of the problem with Mercury Boys is there are too many things going on simultaneously. Is this a book about divorce and depression? Or bullying and peer pressure? Time travel and love? Addiction and abuse? Honesty and sexual identity? Because trying to be all of these things at once is too confusing, especially from only one perspective. It left all the characters to become extreme caricatures of the roles they had to play to keep everything moving in the right direction. With no range of emotion, there was no growth or development – everyone just stayed in their own lane, becoming worse versions of themselves. It made most of the characters fairly unlikable and the whole story even more unbelievable than the synopsis would suggest.
I reckon if this hadn’t been an ARC, I’d probably round down to two stars. I’m optimistically rounding up to account for potential changes made before publishing. With some editing, the multiple plot points could have a more specific focus allowing for a more consistent narrative and enjoyable read.
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