Maggie and the Mercury Retrograde is a Cute Coming of Age Novel

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My first (of many!) review of 2016! It actually is over the last book that I read in 2015! I’ve been meaning to get this review up and out, so what better time than to write it at 3 am?

I first want to give a HUGE apology to Anya Monroe, the author of this book. I was given an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) for Maggie and the Mercury Retrograde back in October of last year and it got lost in my email. The copy I was originally reading was on my computer, but then I was able to get it to my phone to read when I refound the email. So again, my humblest apologizes Miss Monroe and I look forward to reading the remainder of the books in this series.

As stated, I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I found this book in part to one of my new favorite authors, Simone Pond. So I knew this would be a good book! Preface, I know many authors do not like the use of the word cute to describe their books, but it was the best word that captured the essence of this book. As I began the book, I had to adjust to the voice of Maggie. She is a teenage girl whose world revolves around an online video game called AsteroMine. She also has a boyfriend who she has been neglecting – due to her hardcore addiction to the game she plays.

While in an intense battle with her nemesis/friend spaceballz, her entire world she has created in the game gets destroyed. In shock, she somehow manages to go meet up with her boyfriend, Orion, only to be told even more disheartening news. In short, nothing is going Maggie’s way. She believes it is due in part to the fact that spaceballz mentioned this mysterious force called Mercury Retrograde.

So, I looked up Mercury Retrograde, and it’s real! No lies! I do like the level of research that Monroe went through in order to portray the things that can happen to a person in Mercury Retrograde. The skeptics of the concept believe that it’s just an excuse for people to blame their problems on something. I can see why they believe that, as Maggie goes throughout the entire book blaming all the negative things that happen to her based on the Mercury Retrograde.

At first, I found Maggie’s character to be a funny, snarky and sarcastic teenage girl. I felt Monroe gave her a very specific character type to follow. She sticks to character throughout the majority of the book, I do have to give her that. I do have to say that at times, Maggie wore on me. I wanted her to experience some type of growth from all the events that happened in her life while she is in Mercury Retrograde. With her mother’s recent engagement, her new step-father to be trying to make friends, and an attractive yet annoying new step-brother to be, there are tons of opportunities for Maggie to grow. I think that the book would have been stronger if she had a greater growth.

Monroe is extremely good at capturing the voice of teenagers. This is something I give her major props for. Teenagers are very difficult to capture in writing, especially if you’re writing straight YA without any dystopian/scifi/fantasy elements.

Overall I give this book a 3.5/5 (rounded up to a 4 star rating on Amazon and other platforms). While I enjoyed the characters and story, there was some predictability to the story that could have been pulled back on some. As a writer, I could see some of the things coming. Perhaps a younger audience and non-authors couldn’t see them coming like I did? Regardless, it is a good coming of age novel for teenagers and I’m definitely going to be reading the second book in the series. I can’t wait to find out what happens to Maggie’s best friend!

On the side (note, this is not included in my reviews on other platforms), I found a glaring amount of grammatical problems. This was primarily with commas and their misuse. It was distracting for me – as I am a self-proclaimed Grammar Nazi – and I do hope that further edits on the book will include updated grammar issues I noted.

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