Mercy Rule
Danny's parents yanked him from the art school that let him wear a kilt and listen to bands that no one's heard of. Now he's starting sophomore year at the public high school--the one with the gymnasium at the heart of the building and the glorified athletes who rule it all. The smart thing would be to blend in, but Danny has always been about making statements.Brady just wants to get out. Go to college, play football, maybe reach the NFL. He definitely wants to stop waiting for his deadbeat mother to come home, sleeping on park benches, and going to bed hungry. But first he has to lead the team to the championships. It all adds up to a lot of stress. So who can really blame him when he and the football team turn their aggressions on the new freak? Even the quarterback needs to blow off steam sometimes.Coach turns a blind eye to his players' crimes--because this year, they're going to States. But maybe if Coach had paid more attention they could've caught it before it all happened. Maybe it could've been avoided.Maybe.With quick cuts between a large cast of unforgettable characters, and razor-sharp plotting, Tom Leeven takes readers on a countdown to an inevitable, horrifying act. This gripping novel offers an intense, smart perspective on the tragic, toxic mindsets behind the celebrated American sport and the monsters it creates.

Mercy Rule Details

TitleMercy Rule
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 20th, 2018
PublisherSky Pony Press
ISBN-139781510726987
Rating
GenreContemporary, Sports and Games, Sports, Young Adult, High School

Mercy Rule Review

  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    I have mixed feelings about this book ... so this might stay at 4 stars or it might go down to 3.5 - not too sure yet. Full review to come
  • Stephanie Elliot
    January 1, 1970
    So I don't even know where to start. Normally, a book about this kind of topic is a bit scary, but Tom Leveen hits it out of the park with Mercy Rule, which I think is his best yet of all that I've read from him. He has an incredible ability to create very real characters, and although this book has a lot of what I would call main characters, he makes it easy to 'see' each individual. The chapters were tight, the storyline was suspenseful, and the situations were extremely true to what I imagine So I don't even know where to start. Normally, a book about this kind of topic is a bit scary, but Tom Leveen hits it out of the park with Mercy Rule, which I think is his best yet of all that I've read from him. He has an incredible ability to create very real characters, and although this book has a lot of what I would call main characters, he makes it easy to 'see' each individual. The chapters were tight, the storyline was suspenseful, and the situations were extremely true to what I imagine kids in high school deal with. It is a tragic yet beautiful story. I fell in love with so many characters. Your heart will break for Danny. You will laugh at Cadence and her sweet innocence. You will hope for good things for Drea. You'll even have compassion for the 'athleaders' in the story. It reminds me a lot of Thirteen Reasons Why in the sense that there's bullying, school drama, etc. and I can very much see this as a TV show or movie. It's a tough read, especially toward the end, but the message is clear, and it would do high schoolers well to read this book.
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  • Olivia Fishwick
    January 1, 1970
    This is the best YA I've read in a looooong time. It's smart. I mean it's *really* smart. Its structure is smart, its narrative is smart, its characters are smart, its portrayal of high school is smart. This book and its characters are genuine. No one in this story is "evil" or one-sided. This story is real, but more importantly it's *fair*, and that's what makes the events in it so profoundly painful and hard to swallow. This book also got me to cry more genuinely than any other book I've read This is the best YA I've read in a looooong time. It's smart. I mean it's *really* smart. Its structure is smart, its narrative is smart, its characters are smart, its portrayal of high school is smart. This book and its characters are genuine. No one in this story is "evil" or one-sided. This story is real, but more importantly it's *fair*, and that's what makes the events in it so profoundly painful and hard to swallow. This book also got me to cry more genuinely than any other book I've read in recent memory. I finished it not long ago and keep having sporadic emotional attacks. We're talking big impact here, folks. On the writer's side, Leveen does a great job of using structure and format to build a growing sense of inevitably. The things that happen in this story feel truly unstoppable--and yet, when the major crisis actually takes place, the reader is compelled to spend the entire time looking for a possible way out. In other words, it's inevitable right up until it happens, at which point it just becomes random agonizing chaos. And that, I assert, is part of its intentions. I didn't give a 5 because I almost never give 5s. And I think there's a couple logic-based parts of this book that someone could reasonably complain about. My qualms on that end are extremely minor, though. I'm dismayed to discover, upon Googling this book, that it's actually extremely difficult to find. Which says a lot about its current level of popularity. So PR this. Get it out there. Read it, carry it around, shitpost about it on Facebook. This book is meaningful, and painful, and meaningfully painful, and it needs attention. "We don't have to live like this."
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  • Tam Chronin
    January 1, 1970
    So. I finished this at about 2pm. It's been a good four hours. And I am still recovering.I'm not going to give any spoilers. Instead, I'm just going to say that you should read it. Like all of Tom Leveen's works, this is a page-turner I couldn't put down, and time completely passed unnoticed while I was absorbed in the lives of the kids, and my own memories of what it was like to be that age.It's a timely book, which once upon a time would have been remarkable since the subject matter is a schoo So. I finished this at about 2pm. It's been a good four hours. And I am still recovering.I'm not going to give any spoilers. Instead, I'm just going to say that you should read it. Like all of Tom Leveen's works, this is a page-turner I couldn't put down, and time completely passed unnoticed while I was absorbed in the lives of the kids, and my own memories of what it was like to be that age.It's a timely book, which once upon a time would have been remarkable since the subject matter is a school shooting. Now, it's just a sad commentary on society that no matter when this book had come out, there'd be a mass murder, a school shooting, fresh in our mass consciousness.It's easy to be trite and preach down to kids when trying to teach a less on to teenagers in prose form. I've seen so many of those I hesitate to read YA novels about social issues, but Tom has never let me down. It's not about the lesson. He writes with compassion and a real feeling of "been there, done that, and listened to people who are in the trenches right now." He treats teenagers like human beings, not "characters" in his books. They're real. They're flawed. They're me. They're you. They're all of us. And we're all hurting, and all groping in the dark for someone to cling to, someone to save us, or someone to help. And that's what I love about his YA novels, every last one of them.And that's why this one killed me. It hurt so much to read, but I've needed a catharsis since the last shooting on Valentine's day, and this book delivered.Read it. Trust me. You want this book.
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  • Tabatha
    January 1, 1970
    What would drive a person to open fire on a group of people seemingly at random? Could the action have been stopped?I knew, based on what I choose to do for a living, that this would be a tough one to read. I read it anyway. It was so much more than I expected. I can't remember the last time a book brought me to tears; I don't cry. I literally had to put this one down to cry MORE THAN ONCE.This book is SO important. This book is, unfortunately, relevant. This book is AMAZING.This is a keeper. I' What would drive a person to open fire on a group of people seemingly at random? Could the action have been stopped?I knew, based on what I choose to do for a living, that this would be a tough one to read. I read it anyway. It was so much more than I expected. I can't remember the last time a book brought me to tears; I don't cry. I literally had to put this one down to cry MORE THAN ONCE.This book is SO important. This book is, unfortunately, relevant. This book is AMAZING.This is a keeper. I'm putting it on the shelf. I'm reading it again. I'm telling you all to READ IT. I don't care what genre you normally read. READ THIS.5 smiles because it's the max I give around here. A wink because WHOA. A tear, which you know is rare if you follow the blog. This book has it all.
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  • Erica
    January 1, 1970
    Omfg
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