Author: Melissa Marr
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: May 2011
Genre: Adult Fiction
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I purchased this book.
Rebekka Barrow goes home, the only home she's ever known, back to her grandmother Maylene, back to her old boyfriend and love of her life, back to her past. Maylene has died, under mysterious circumstances, but what Rebekka thinks she knows and what actually is are two different things. Because Rebekka is a graveminder, like Maylene before her. And it's her job to makes things right.
There are so many beautiful things about this book. The unsettling tone kept me feeling uneasy, the townsfolk eager to accept with no questions asked. The sinister and evil quality a small, lone girl can have, running around through the small American town, afraid of nothing, no one. Because she is the one that should be feared.
The claustrophobia of a small town and its residents and the secrets that they keep was fun and eerie. Marr does a wonderful job with a variety of characters. Most interesting is Mr. D "Charles", and Alicia, both found on the other side of the town. On the dead side. The setting is wonderfully crafted and navigated, the town being its own character.
But sadly, some things really fell flat for me.
While Rebekka has been running away all of her life, she quickly finds herself resuming bad habits and old relationships with the townspeople. Most notably Byron Montgomery, the undertaker. Through the years, their on and off again relationship has been rocky at best. And while Byron knows Rebekka will only break his heart again, he can't stay away from her.
Here is the big problem I found with the book- and that is Rebekka and Byron.
Two characters who are supposed to be so right for each other. There's already a history of these two being in love, Rebekka fleeing and Byron left to pick up the pieces. This is what I have to say: Really Byron? Really? I mean, the girl breaks your heart a dozen or so times and still, you're there. Not only there, but following her around like a lost puppy, jumping at her command. Sure, he tries to exercise some control, but in the end it's always what Rebekka wants. And this just made me sad. I wanted Byron to be stronger, with more of a mind of his own. Yes, he can still want/need/love Rebekka, but does it have to be at the cost of himself?
Rebekka is also not a favorite character of mine. I love a good damaged, insecure and suspicious heroine as the next girl, but there weren't enough redeeming qualities to Rebekka for me. She's sorta... annoying. By the end of the book, I still not sure why Byron loves Rebekka. I didn't believe them as a couple. Which is a huge problem if the romance is a big part of the book.
Daisha is a great villian. I will not tell you anything else. Just don't invite her in for something to eat.
I was happy to read a stand alone book. I've been reading so many series books, it was refreshing to have a full complete story arc without a cliff hanger.
And Marr's storytellng is fun to read, on the couch in comfy socks, just in time for autumn. It's a slow creep down your spine.
I'm just sorry that I couldn't stay in the town and hang out with Amity and the others. Those characters I believed.
Rating: 5 Ok, Decent like Diet Coke