Graveminder by Melissa Marr: Book Review

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Cover of Graveminder by Melissa Marr

2 Stars

Rebekkah Barrow has left the town of Claysville behind. She keeps in touch with a few people, including her “adopted” grandmother, but otherwise she’s a free spirit roaming the earth. One day she gets a phone call that her grandmother has passed away. She heads back to Claysville for the funeral and learns that her grandmother was actually murdered. There’s more to it than that though; Rebekkah and her on-again-off-again boyfriend Byron both sense it. There are secrets in Claysville, and Rebekkah and Byron must learn them before time runs out for everyone.

This could have been so good. I loved the idea. The Barrow women are graveminders, assiduously tending the graves of the town residents. It’s obvious from the beginning what is going on and I liked it. But the story just kept circling around and around and around the why of things. There’s a lot of drama between Rebekkah and Byron, both in the past and their present. They fight, they make up, they decide they don’t have time for fighting, and then they disagree again and have to have another “discussion.” It was exhausting! But not in any kind of interesting way. Just in an “Oh my gosh, can we please just get back to the dead people now?” kind of way.

I did actually like Byron. He was trying his very best to figure out what was going on, take care of Rebekkah, and respect her wishes.

Rebekkah was my downfall. Deep down, she knew what she wanted but she kept fighting it and fighting Byron and I just got so tired of it. I didn’t really care about her or her personal drama. I wanted to know why these crazy things were happening.

The ending slightly redeemed it because it was fairly horrifying. There had been enough hints throughout that I wasn’t surprised, but I guess I was still hoping that I was wrong.

The narrator, Emma Galvin, was absolutely perfect. I wasn’t sure what to think of her at first. Her tone was a little flat, but then it quickly came across as eerie as I learned what was going on in this quintessential small town.

I am sure there is an audience for this book. I know it’s marketed for adults but older young adults might like it. Rebekkah and Byron have a lot of the same issues that turn me off contemporary young adult novels, so it could be a good fit for readers who do enjoy them. Just remember that there is a touch of horror here. Readers looking for a strong horror read should probably skip on this one.

Read an excerpt.

Find author Melissa Marr on her website and Twitter.

Read more reviews at S. Krishna’s Books, Stiletto Storytime, and The Guilded Earlobe.

Buy Graveminder at

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore located in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

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