The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen has a title that immediately provokes reader thought. If Mercy is unraveling, she (a gender presumption, I know) must have been tightly wound. So if she unravels, then what? Will she have to be reassembled or will she just cease to exist? The reader will discover immediately that Mercy is indeed tightly wound. She lives with her grandmother (Maw-maw) who feeds Mercy information that her mother is a crack whore who abandoned Mercy at birth and has never tried to contact her daughter. Mercy is also driven to succeed as a basketball player by a high school coach who drives the team with the discipline style of a military drill instructor. Mercy lives in a small, socially close-knit town where everybody knows everything about each other; if not, they gossip. She is discovering her sexual self. And, since this takes place before December 2000, ultra-religious Maw-maw has convinced Mercy that the New Year will arrive at the same time as the Rapture, so everyone is going to die soon anyway. Tightly wound, indeed.