Rummanah Aasi
 Melissa Marr is the author of the best selling urban fantasy series, Wicked Lovely, which features the world of the fae. I really enjoyed the Wicked Lovely series so far (I've yet to read the concluding book which was released earlier this year). Graveminder is Marr's debut adult book which was released last month.

Description (from Amazon): 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.


Review: Graveminder is Marr's take on the American Gothic novel. The world and lore of the Graveminder is fresh, intriguing, unfortunately, I also thought it was a bit underdeveloped. For the first fifty pages of the book, the main characters are asking questions such as how does the undead return and why do they need food, drink, and stories to put them at rest? The character's questions mirrors the reader's, neither are given definitive answers. At some point, I gave up searching for answers and kind of skimmed the book.
  In her YA novels, Marr has a knack of exploring and exposing the emotional aspects of her characters. We feel as if we get to know them personally and understand their actions and motives. In Graveminder, however, her characters are quite vanilla and well, boring. Rebekkah is commitment phobic, refusing to establish ties to her hometown and to man that she loves yet vehemently denies. Though I understood her grief from losing a very close loved one and her uncertainties about her future, her passive aggressive attitude became obnoxious and really irritated me. Her relationship with Byron, a man who once dated her deceased sister, plays a big part in the book, however, I felt we were told more about their relationship than we got to witness it. Bryon seems like a really likable guy who is loyal and always available in a time of need. Interestingly enough, I think the only character that piqued my interest is Charlie or Mr. D who reigns the Land of the Dead though he has very limited appearances in the novel.
   I've read that there might be a companion novel to Graveminder, but I can't say that I find anything that pulls me to read the next book. Fans of Marr may be drawn to this new turn from the fae to zombies, but I didn't find it memorable.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is some strong language, an allusion to sex, and off the page violence. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.


If you like this book try: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, Skinjacker series by Neal Shusterman
4 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Shoot, I was really looking forward to this one! It's too bad the characters aren't exciting or memorable, and there's nothing that frustrates me more than being left in the dark for most of the story. I don't mind a few questions here or there, that's necessary, but I don't like to be clueless. Really nice review Rummanah, I'm still going to give this one a try, but I'll be keeping your thoughts in mind!


  2. Give it a shot, Jenny. Maybe my expectations were just a bit too high. I do know there are quite a few readers who loved it. I just thought it was okay. *Shrugs*


  3. This sounds interesting although not stellar. It's odd that her characters aren't as developed as her YA characters. I wonder why. You'd think it would be the opposite.


  4. Lauren M Says:

    I've been wanting to read this one! It's a bummer to hear that it didn't live up to your expectations. Great review, though! :)


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