Sunday, October 14, 2012

Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Published: May 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 324
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads


Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville. While growing up, Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual at every funeral: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words, "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."

Now Maylene is gone and Bek must return to the hometown—and the man—she abandoned a decade ago, only to discover that Maylene's death was not natural . . . and there was good reason for her odd traditions. In Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected—and beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D. From this dark place the deceased will return if their graves are not properly minded. And only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.

I love it when authors can write such varied themes.  Melissa Marr does that for me.  I was a fan of the Wicked Lovely series.  Previously, all fairies were floaty and fluffy and well, sweet and nice. What a way to squash that image!  Graveminder took on a different approach.  It started out eerily creepy but it turns out the dead are not quite as scary as I thought.  Like Carrie Ryan's - The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Marr does not refer to the undead as zombies.  Where Ryan called them the unconsecrated, Marr refers to them as the Hungry Dead.  

The idea of a Graveminder who tends to the dead and ensures they move forward is a great idea. Often we think of things being final once someone dies but wouldn't you want someone to look after your loved ones until they found their way?  Rebekkah struggles between finding her own way in settling down and helping both the dead and the Hungry Dead find their way to the next world.  Byron, remains ever her rock and as the story unfolds, you see how their fates were written before they were even born.

The themes in this title are slightly more mature than most of the YA titles we normally read.  Look for some violent scenes.  There is language and a bit of nudity but if you enjoyed reading The Body Finder series by Kimberly Derting, you will surely enjoy this.  I know I did!

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