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Mercy Lily Paperback – October 8, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Flux; Original edition (October 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738726990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738726991
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,032,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A beautifully written and heart-wrenching story about friendship, love and finding the courage to let go. Lily's strength and soul make her a character that you won't soon forget."
--Kristi Diehm, The Story Siren

"Teen readers will find this novel both affecting and thought provoking as they identify with Lily's agony and examine their own beliefs."
--VOYA

"The conflicting emotions of Lily, [ ] are described in such a way that any reader can easily sympathize with her inner turmoil, making this story a page-turner, especially because nothing, including both the virtuous and the shameful, is held back. Those who enjoy well written character development should take a look..."
--VOYA

About the Author

Lisa Albert (Muskego, WI) grew up in the Midwest where she spent many summer afternoons reading at the public library. Albert is the author of three nonfiction books. This is her first book for young adults.

 

Customer Reviews

I usually just don't read books like these.
princess bookie
Lisa also introduced a variety of side characters in this one, such as Jed, Lily's "uncle" type figure and Shauna and Trent, Lily's two childhood friends.
Lauren
Odd thing though--it never seemed to me like Lily was really suffering all that much, other than the whole "my mother wants to die" bit.
The Figment Review

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lauren on November 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
When I first heard about Mercy Lily by Lisa Albert, I wasn't too sure about it. The premise sounded interesting enough, but the overall tone of the story seemed sad. However, I ended up trying it, and I am so glad I did, as Mercy Lily is a quiet yet amazing book filled with hope and love as well as the sadness and happiness that comes with growing up.

Mercy Lily tells the story of Lily, a girl who hasn't had the most normal childhood due to her father's sudden death a few years back and her mother's terminal MS. Lily was someone I liked right from the beginning, as not only is she wise beyond her years, but also she is such an kind and amazing girl, someone who anyone would want on their side. Making her character even better was the level of depth Lisa Albert put into her emotions. I could honesty feel the hope, despair, anger, and love she felt just as if it were my own, and if that isn't a sign of a well-developed character than I don't know what is. Lisa also introduced a variety of side characters in this one, such as Jed, Lily's "uncle" type figure and Shauna and Trent, Lily's two childhood friends.

The plot in this was definitely intriguing. Mother asking her daughter for her permission to die? Well, I can honestly say I haven't read a book about that. However, while this sounds almost soap opera worthy, Lisa presented it in a breathtaking way, one where the reader was fully able to see both sides to the situation as well as the feelings felt about both. However, the thing I loved most about this book that it wasn't just about dying and death. Instead, it was more of a coming-of-age story, one that involved the pain, the love, and the happiness as well as hope involved with growing up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Milw. Writer on December 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
Bold. Daring. Lisa Albert had a lot of guts to write this book for young adults, and for that I deeply admire her. Death is a hard enough subject for people to discuss, but to add in assisted suicide takes a fortitude and belief in oneself that is tough-as-nails underneath a soft, caring heart. The story is about a girl named Lily who cares for her sickly veterinarian mother who unfortunately is stricken with MS. Conventional medicine had brought her no relief, so she opts for alternatives including BVT, having bees sting her in order to control the pain brought on by MS. I personally am not fond of bees, so it took me awhile to become "desensitized" to the descriptions. But I stayed with it.
I am certain there are people who will see this novel as pro-assisted suicide/pro-alternative medicine. Maybe. I saw this novel as presenting a different side to a very controversial issue. An important side that people face every day. I've never walked in these shoes, but reading MERCY LILY gave me a small glimpse into that world and made me think about my own beliefs connected with my own faith. It's a conclusion worth looking at. Lisa Albert handled these difficult circumstances with grace and dignity, whether or not the reader would agree or disagree with the choice Lily and her mother made.
This YA novel should be read by high school or college ethics classes. Definitely recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Beverly's Reviews on February 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
When someone we love has a terminal illness, we hate to see them in pain. Yet we don't want to lose them either, so we'll try most anything to help them survive and to even be cured. But what if the person is tired and wants to end the days and nights of suffering? Whose wishes do we honor? Ours? Or theirs?

Author Lisa Albert's debut young adult novel, Mercy Lily, is a gentle story about a girl named Lily and her mother, Sophia, who has multiple sclerosis. Traditional treatment hasn't helped Sophia, so to ease her pain, she tries bee sting therapy. Since Lily was an eighth grader, she has treated her mother, a veterarian who taught Lily to be her helper. Now Lily is a sophomore in high school and her mother's condition is getting worse. Lily watched her father lose his battle with cancer and cannot bear the thought of losing her mother as well. The author describes the treatment in detail which I found interesting since I knew nothing about it. But then Sophia asks the unthinkable of Lily. For one so young, she has tough decisions to make, not only about her mother's wish for mercy, but also about her feelings for Trent (possible boyfriend) and her relationship with her friends that has grown distant. Life has changed for all of them.

Mercy Lily is a story of love and family, courage and fear, hope and heartbreak, and also of acceptance. I'm not sure how I feel about the choice Sophia makes, but the author handles the situation with sensitivity. I wanted to hug Lily and tell her all would be okay, but I knew it wouldn't. From now on, when I see a Lily flower, I'll remember the story of Lily, a brave young woman who faced what life handed her with a strength that even she did not realize she had. Lisa Albert's novel would make a great addition for school libraries and classrooms where students might be experiencing a situation similar to Lily's. And of course you'll want a copy for your own library.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Figment Review on October 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
by Kat Alexander

Lily's mother is dying. The last few years have been hard on her as she's suffered from multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that has been wreaking havoc on her brain and spinal cord. After traditional treatments failed, Lily and her mother turned to bee sting therapy to help with the pain. But when the BST begins to fail, too, Lily is asked to make an impossible choice. Her mother has been classified as terminal, which under Oregon's Death With Dignity Act allows her to end her own life via physician assisted suicide. How can sixteen-year-old Lily chose to let her mother end her life? But with her mother suffering so much, how can she not?

I'm a little fascinated by the debate over the morality of suicide, physician-assisted or not, so I was definitely excited to get my hands on a copy of this one. It begins after Lily has been presented with her choice, so there's no weird reaction scene. Lily clearly struggles with the idea, and she also struggles with, well, the blurb on the back says the normal worries of high school sophomores, but it basically boils down to: a Boy and two Former Friends. Odd thing though--it never seemed to me like Lily was really suffering all that much, other than the whole "my mother wants to die" bit. She handles herself perfectly around The Former Friend, and even makes up with The Other Former Friend (pretty convenient timing on that one, really). And as for The Boy. I don't even know why he is considered a worry at all--he does everything exactly right the entire book. There has never been a more perfect guy.
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More About the Author

Lisa Rondinelli Albert grew up in the Midwest where she spent many summer afternoons reading at the public library or on the steps of her front porch.

She hung a Do Not Disturb sign on her bedroom door and wrote songs and poetry at the age of seven. Eventually, she wrote cheers for her older sisters.

Her desire to write continued throughout high school, where her first published poem appeared in the school newspaper. She branched out nationally and received her first rejection letter at the age of eighteen from Cosmopolitan Magazine. (she still has it!)

Today, when she's not busy writing, Lisa spends time with her husband, children, and playing hide and seek with her dog. She can often be found reading on her back porch.

What made you decide to be a writer?
I've loved to make up stories ever since I learned how to read. (and I read tons as a child and up to this day). I think it stems from playing "pretend" a lot. I wrote all through my teen years and drafted my first novel my freshman year in high school. At nineteen, I submitted slice-of-life essays to Cosmopolitan Magazine and still have my first rejection from Helen Gurley Brown. I kept a journal, wrote short stories and poetry ever since I can remember but it wasn't until I had my children that something clicked and I knew I should be writing for kids. Rediscovering children's literature with my own kids was like finding a pot a gold at the end of a rainbow...cliché, I know, but true.

Favorite books/authors?
Judy Blume, Shel Silverstein, Sara Zarr, Mary E. Pearson, Lisa Schroeder, Lois Lowry, Nancy Werlin, Sonya Sones, John Green, and too many more to list!

Morning person or a night owl?
Night owl unless I'm on a deadline...then I'm both!

Because my next book comes out 2011, here's 11 random things about myself.

11) I'm the youngest of eight kids.
10) I'm a former dealer of antiques and still dabble in it when I find a treasure.
9) I'm afraid of heights but have been on top of the Empire State Building twice. Once by myself and once with my family. I almost threw up when my kids were close to the edge.
8) I'm afraid of deep water but jumped off of a cliff in Jamaica. There were barracudas nearby. No kidding!
7) I like to conquer my fears. :-)
6) I play hide and seek with my dog. I hide, she seeks.
5) I collect heart shaped rocks.
4) I owned a car before I had my driver's license. Shhh!
3) I love bird watching and my favorite bird is the Cedar Waxwing.
2) If I had to choose between a hot fudge sundae and cheesecake, I'd pick the sundae.

And the #1 most random thing about me is......

1) I got in big trouble in 3rd grade when I was asked what my favorite word (in Religion class) was and I blurted "BLUBBER!" even though all the other kids were saying, "love," "angel," "Heaven." I had to be truthful and tell my favorite word. I mean, it WAS religion class! But, Sister Reynalda didn't think it was funny and I had to stay after school and write "blubber" on the chalkboard 100 times. I still liked it. Ooops!

COMING FALL 2011 FROM FLUX BOOKS!

MERCY LILY, Lisa Rondinelli Albert's thought-provoking, heart wrenching young adult novel. A stunning debut not to be missed.

Growing apart from childhood friends is hard enough, but when it happens right after losing her father, Lily folds into herself and focuses on taking care of the family Vet clinic and her mother.

As the veterinarian assistant on their small farm, Lily's always been surrounded by the concepts of quality of life, natural death and euthanasia. She's a pro at tending to her animals and the clinic and even better at caring for her mom. Even if that means snatching honeybees with tweezers, stinging Mom and watching the venom empty into her flesh.

After four years of treating her mom's Multiple Sclerosis with the Holistic bee venom therapy, Lily's duties of caring for animals and being her mom's caretaker become blurred. With her mom's health failing, she finds herself in some sort of déjà vu when childhood friends who abandoned her years ago, reenter her life.

Lily unfolds as she navigates her sophomore year. She struggles to trust and believe in renewed friendships and dreams of more with a lingering crush. Her home life unravels when mom requests the unthinkable and Lily is faced with the hardest decision of her life--and her mother's.

Website: www.LisaAlbert.com
Blog: http://lisaalbert.livejournal.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/profile.php?id=1262194614
Twitter: @LisaWrites4kids


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