Graveminder by Melissa Marr
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Melissa Mar is known to young adult readers as the author of the popular faery series Wicked Lovely. Her debut leap into adult fiction lands her in the small community of Claysville, a town where the dead walk free unless there their graves are not properly tended. Into this eerie maelstrom, Rebekkah Barrow descends as she returns to a place that she once believed she knew. Kelley Armstrong justly described Graveminder as "a deliciously creepy tale that is as skillfully wrought as it is spellbindingly imagined." A new genre author to watch. (Goodreads)
Rebekkah has itchy feet and can't seem to settle down anywhere. She moves from place to place, as she never quite feels at home in any one location. The only home she really has is with her grandmother, who she visits periodically. Unbeknownst to Rebekkah, her grandmother is a Graveminder, tasked with keeping the dead at rest and their town safe. Rebekkah is her heir, but her grandmother wanted her to have a taste of freedom and kept postponing telling Rebekkah of her destiny. Suddenly, her grandmother is gone and Rebekkah faces the strangest on-the-job training anyone has ever known!
Helping the Graveminder with their duties is the Undertaker. Like Rebekkah, Byron wasn't told of his destiny until it was almost too late. They learn that the Graveminder and Undertaker are tied together, which may explain their lifelong attraction to each other. With no time to figure out their feelings for each other, Rebekkah and Byron must work together to deal with the threat to their town and figure out why the dead are suddenly so restless.
There are actually two mysteries in this book: why are the dead suddenly so restless, and what exactly are Rebekkah and Byron supposed to do to help? Unfortunately, the Graveminder's journals that her grandmother promised would answer Rebekkah's questions are missing, but at least they have the Undertaker's books. They are running out of time, as more and more residents are being attacked. I loved that I got so caught up in the story that I worried about what would happen next!
This was a great read! Haven't read anything similar to the graveminder/undertaker premise, and I really liked how Melissa kept us guessing. I enjoyed the relationship between Rebekkah and Byron, and understood her confusion even though I didn't agree with her hesitation (who wouldn't want a guy like Byron!?). Gave this a 4/5 as it was a great read, kept me guessing, and introduced me to something original, which I love! Melissa is a very talented author, and now I want to read more of her books!