Graveminder by Melissa Marr
© 17 May 2011
Source: ARC from Goodreads
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Thoughts, Musings, Ramblings...Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."
Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place--and the man--she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D--a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk...
I think that Charlaine Harris hit the nail on the head when she said "No one builds worlds like Melissa Marr." (Quote on the front cover, in case you're curious) Marr really sucked me into this small town world with all its quirkiness and creepiness. If you liked the Wicked Lovely series for Marr's writing style and world building, then this book won't disappear. However, don't go looking for any fey here--this world if of a completely different nature. The magic is dark, hidden, and dangerous.
The story is told from the alternating POVs of multiple townspeople, both living and dead. Each one gives you just enough information to keep the story moving and clue you in just a little more. It also added an extra layer to the intrigue and depth to the characters. The protag, Rebekkah (or Bek), is a strong young woman who, while she wasn't born in Claysville, has always felt and resisted the pull of the town--until her grandmother dies and she is forced to return. Her evolution as a characters is the most profound as she goes from resisting to acceptance. She's never been one to tie herself down, whether to a place or a person, and it's very interesting to watch her emotional evolution as she begins to accept her place in Claysville and Byron's place in her life.
There is so much more to explore in this book! First, the world of the dead and its cast of characters are so intriguing and I can't wait to read more about them. Charlie, Alicia...*sigh* so much more I want to know. Second, the Bek-Byron connection and their history (...and future as Graveminder and Undertaker). After I finished this book, I immediately went
As a side note, while this book is technically an adult read, I think it would definitely has teen appeal. There is one very short bedroom scene, but nothing comes of it and I'm pretty sure I've seen more in PG-13 movies. As a librarian, I probably would reserve it as a recommendation for older teens because of that scene, but other than that, it's got mystery, romance, zombies, and quick pacing--all things I could see a teen enjoying.
Now, on to the really fun stuff before I give anything away...
I really, really enjoyed this book and I want to give a copy to someone else! So, if you can wait for a bit, enter this giveaway for a brand new copy all your own! The contest will run from today through May 28th (when I get back from vacation). Also, you don't have to be a follower to enter this one (but you'll get an extra entry if you are!).
Here are the rules:
(*to anywhere the Book Depository ships*)
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