Monday, January 23, 2012

Review: Graveminder by Melissa Marr


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.

Pages: 336 pages (Hardcover)
Publisher: William Morrow
Released: May 17, 2011

I haven't read a book in a long time. Somehow, I was busy with school and life to actually have the time to pick up a book and read it.

When I went to the library to pick up some graphic novels/mangas I saw this and somehow I was drawn to it. The cover (with the old house) was creepy and the blurb sounded delicious. For the first time in a long time, I was truly excited to pick up a book.

Then I started to read it. This is the first book of Melissa Marr that I've read, I know her by her Wicked Lovely series and can tell that she's a talented young adult novel. The problem with this book is that it is marketed towards adults, but the writing sounds like something you'd find in teen fiction. Nothing wrong with that if done correctly, but it didn't work here.

The characters. There are actually three issues I had with the characters:

1. Rebekkah is annoying. Byron is whipped. And for the majority of the book (especially the first 2/3rds of it) they talk about nothing except their angst for each other. I felt suffocated just reading about how much Byron loved her but how much Rebekkah couldn't handle commitment, but still wanted him but couldn't. Add on to the fact that they are apparently destined for each other and this little reader couldn't handle it. It was just too much. The entire time they were together, I wished that either one of them died or they broke up.

2. The rest of the characters are very flat, with the exception of Daisha and Elizabeth. Daisha is shown quite a bit, but I wish we saw more of Elizabeth. From the two chapters that she showed up, she was a really interesting character. Her mother is power hungry, but she just goes with the flow afraid of the consequences. She knows her mother is wrong, but she's afraid. Interesting. Except she doesn't show up and after all is said and done, she didn't even need to be in the book.

3. The villain. No spoilers, but the villain was pretty bad. The problem here is that...hmmm, how can I explain this without spoiling? The villain is predictable and one that makes absolute sense. It's just that the villain didn't show up for most of the book and their actions in the latter half didn't make sense.


The plot, by itself, is interesting. It just wasn't executed properly. Was it creative? Yes, I think Melissa Marr had a lot of great ideas in this book. Was the writing great? Sadly no. As an adult novel, it didn't work. Had this been written with teens I think I might have liked it a bit more. Rebekkah and Byron's angst wouldn't have been as annoying, because I could blame the hormones.

The premise of the book makes it exciting and when I picked this up, I felt that. Sadly, the execution and the characters are a different story.

1 star