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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year


by Melissa Marr

Three sips to mind the dead . . .

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the attention her grandmother Maylene bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the small town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn’t a funeral that Maylene didn’t attend, and at each one Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: She took three sips from a silver flask and spoke the words “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”

Now Maylene is dead, and Bek must go back to the place she left a decade earlier. She soon discovers that Claysville is not just the sleepy town she remembers, and that Maylene had good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in 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. If the dead are not properly cared for, they will come back to satiate themselves with food, drink, and stories from the land of the living. Only the Graveminder, by tradition a Barrow woman, and her Undertaker—in this case Byron Montgomery, with whom Bek shares a complicated past—can set things right once the dead begin to walk.

Although she is still grieving for Maylene, Rebekkah will soon find that she has more than a funeral to attend to in Claysville, and that what awaits her may be far worse: dark secrets, a centuries-old bargain, a romance that still haunts her, and a frightening new responsibility—to stop a monster and put the dead to rest where they belong. (goodreads.com)

I’m slowly working through the last of the review books I have, since I decided to not really accept any more. Of course I did jump at the chance to review Graveminder by Melissa Marr because, hey, MELISSA MARR. I say this having still not completed the Wicked Lovely series, mind. (I have a love-hate relationship with that series, I seem to like half the books and hate the other half.) What I DO love about Melissa Marr’s storytelling is her writing, so I knew I had to try her adult novel.

The gorgeous cover of the trade edition, plus the curiosity the summary created helped me stick with the book through a somewhat slow start. I had some doubts that I wouldn’t care much about the characters or the plot when I started reading, but I am immensely glad that I kept on because – WOW! What a creepy and charming novel all wrapped up into one.

I wrote on Goodreads that Graveminder made me think of Sarah Addison Allen teaming up with Tales from the Crypt Keeper. Although the story and characters are not as epic as those Ms. Allen creates, I still got the same vibe once I was a little further into the book that I do in SAA’s novels.

There were aspects of the book that bugged me, though, especially the “romance” aspect. I was a little annoyed by Byron’s constant pining over how much he loooooooooves Rebekkah and how he’ll always be there for her, as a friend, as more, etc. But he loooooooooves her sooooooooo much. Always has and always will. Get over it already, buddy. Find another topic. I’m yawning here. It’s pretty inevitable that these two are going to end up together, so I could have done with a little less pining and a lot more explanation of this whole Undertaker and Graveminder business. I found some of the description of the Underworld place a little vague at times, too. The whole business about Rebekkah being shot and Mr. D. having some secret agenda was slightly confusing to me. I thought I’d missed something and I reread that part twice, still clueless.

What I did love though was the originality of the story. I loved that Claysville has this somewhat paranormal pact where no one dies until they hit 80 and no one can leave. I love Marr’s take on the zombie-type character, without it being a zombie. The chapters with Daisha freaked me out completely (until she became much more sentient). The horror/thriller aspect of the story was original and fresh. Sure the romance parts were predictable, but easily overlooked in my opinion because I was so enraptured by the Hungry Dead.

I have to say that I was almost completely in the dark about what was going on with the Hungry Dead, too, until a certain line had been spoken, then I was almost positive I knew what the Big Reveal would be. I was right, but it was also revealed in a twistier manner than I was expecting so it wasn’t too disappointing once I got to the end.

Overall, I think Melissa Marr’s debut into the adult literary world was a success. I was browsing through reviews on Goodreads and noticed that opinions of this novel are all over the place. I love that about a book! I’m in the middle of the love-hate group. I liked this novel a bunch, but it was slow to start and had some annoying looooooooooove issues (really, Byron, grow up, dude). I was creeped out and stayed up way past my exhaustion point where I lost vision in both eyes (when I get really sleepy my eyes dry out and blur like crazy. I was squinting so hard for the last 80 pages of the book I had a headache by the time I was done!). I am very happy to have been offered a chance to review this novel for you guys.

For those of you who might have started it and not finished it, I suggest this – try it out in October where the weather is gloomy and perfect for a creepy ghost story. Try reading it for Carl’s RIP challenge. Sometimes the right season can help you get into a story, at least I find that happens. Also remember, I found the start slow and almost gave up myself. Besides, look at that cover! I couldn’t put aside a book that looked THAT pretty! 😉

In My Mailbox #53 – the I Have No Subtitle Edition

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

All my IMM posts can be found here!

Birthday week yielded some exciting book additions!

For review from William Morrow Paperbacks:


I’m actually at the point where I have so many books I WANT TO READ RIGHT NOW! that I can’t figure out what to read next. I hate that! Does that ever happen to you guys at all?

In My Mailbox #50 – The Thwarting my Arch Nemesis Edition!

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

All my IMM posts can be found here!

Welcome to my 50th In My Mailbox! I feel like this is some sort of fancy milestone and it amuses me that though I am only at 50 posts for IMM, Kristi herself is at her 100th IMM *VIDEO* and last week was her 150th IMM post. She’s a rock star, yo!

So this week was crazy fun for me and the mail! I got a book for review, books I bought and a surprise box of books from a friend. I think this week was a lovely way to end my 2 month sick leave. I’ve got a book high going on!

For Review:



Various other paper products:

I’ve already devoured Touch of FrostThe Faerie Ring and Prized. Those links will bring you to my reviews if you haven’t seen them already. (er, except for Prized, because I haven’t written it yet.) All other book-related links go to Goodreads.

I only got one bill this week, too! So I think that makes for a super excellent mailbox week – all stuff that makes me happy and nothing much that I have to dish out stupid money for. (I am so tired of the mortgage and utilities companies expecting me to pay them every month! Nags, the lot of ’em.)

Fragile Eternity

Fragile Eternity (Wicked Lovely, #3)
by Melissa Marr

I have a love-hate relationship with this series. I loved Wicked Lovely. I did not like Ink Exchange. This book? Well, I bought it the day it came out in 2009… and you might notice that it is now 2011. It took me a while to get to the book as I am a mood reader and I finally picked it up last summer. I got 74 pages in and I gave up. I just couldn’t stomach Ash and Seth’s constant pining for each other. I couldn’t. So I put it away and read other things.

With the release of the final book, Darkest Mercy this month I realized I had some catching up to do with the series so I picked up Fragile Eternity today and continued on from page 74 all the way until the end. Oddly the book did not rub me the wrong way this time around. I truly am a mood reader and if I am not in the mood for something there’s little that can be done to sway me otherwise.

I don’t know why, but I seem to dislike any character named Seth in a story. I disliked Seth in Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven books almost all the way until the end of that series and I can’t say that I am fan of Seth in this series. Sure he lived in train cars but that wasn’t even a plot point this time around (boo! hiss! I love trains!). His obsession with doing what he thought would fix the relationship with Aislinn was just stupid. He was a selfish idiot and though I can sort of see how he would be blinded by his love for Ash and do stupid things, I still feel this was idiotic.

Donia’s character was much more interesting this time around. All dark and bitter and I loved that. I love that being the Winter Queen is forcing her to BE the Winter Queen and despite her love for Keenan, she’s trying very hard to fill her role. I wouldn’t have been as happy if she didn’t have that mean streak in her.

Also, I totally want to be able to make snowflakes in the palm of my hand. So. Freaking. Cool.

Hey, I was born in January, I am a 100% Winter Girl. 😉

In the end I was quite pleased with how the story ended and knew that I made the right choice in finally finishing the book. I now need to buy Radiant Shadows (which apparently I never got last year) but I am in a pickle because the hard cover is no longer for sale and I can’t buy the trade paperback because MY SERIES WILL NOT MATCH! ARGH! I am forced to wait and see if/when Chapigo will put it out as a bargain book and I can pick it up right away. I even received Darkest Mercy for review and I didn’t even realize that I didn’t have the 4th book! Ack! Ack! I would like to read more NOW!

(My crappy library also does not have a copy of Radiant Shadows (why would it?) so I can’t read it that way either. Ugh!)

Wicked Lovely series

  1. Wicked Lovely
  2. Ink Exchange
  3. Fragile Eternity
  4. Radiant Shadows
  5. Darkest Mercy

In My Mailbox #42 – The Luck O’the Irish Edition

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren … and I end up adding a ton of books to my wish list every week.

All my IMM posts can be found here!

A lucky Irish THANK YOU goes out to Harper Collins Canada for these books. I was so surprised and delighted when I came home from work on Friday to find my one expected book multiplied like bunnies while in the mail to me and turned into FIVE books! *dances*

Books received for review:

(all links go to Goodreads for more information on the titles)

People mentioned:

Erica of The Book Cellar

I don’t get books for review very often but when I do I feel like I have won the lottery! These came at a lovely time when I am unable to buy new books right now. So, yay!