I received this book for free from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer
Published by HarperTeen on March 30th 2015
Genres: Horror, YA
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When Stephen is forced to move back to the nowhere town where his father grew up, he’s already sure he’s not going to like it. Spencer, Michigan, is like a town straight out of a Hitchcock movie, with old-fashioned people who see things only in black-and-white. But things start looking up when Stephen meets the mysterious twins Cara and Devon. They’re total punks–hardly the kind of people Stephen’s dad wants him hanging out with–but they’re a breath of fresh air in this backward town. The only problem is, Cara and Devon don’t always get along, and as Stephen forms a friendship with the charismatic Devon and something more with the troubled Cara, he starts to feel like he’s getting caught in the middle of a conflict he doesn’t fully understand. And as Devon’s group of friends, who hang out in a cemetery they call The Playground, get up to increasingly reckless activities to pass the summer days, Stephen worries he may be in over his head.
Stephen’s fears prove well-founded when he learns of Spencer’s dark past. It seems the poor factory town has a history of “bad times,” and many of the town’s oldest residents attribute the bad times to creatures right out of an urban legend. The legend goes that the only way the town will prosper again is if someone makes a sacrifice to these nightmarish creatures. And while Stephen isn’t one to believe in old stories, it seems Devon and his gang might put a lot of faith in them. Maybe even enough to kill for them.
Now, Stephen has to decide what he believes, where his allegiances lie, and who will really be his friend in the end.
This was interesting and creepy. I didn’t really care much for most of the characters, but I did feel for Stephen. I found myself really feeling bad for him. Devon was horrible, and Cara just didn’t seem believable to me. In general though, I thought the story was pretty good. Based on old town stories and people who are set in there ways. It’s hard being an outsider, especially in a town like Spencer. Where things aren’t quite right, it’s hard to know if the old stories hold any truth, or if it is just the overactive imaginations of everyone.
Stephen doesn’t feel like he fits in, and he isn’t sure if he really wants to. He just wants to go back to Denver and away from the small nowhere town where he feels unwelcome. He meets Cara and she seems like the perfect girl for him. Everyone believes that her mother is crazy, and he feels like she is the only one who really understands him. But then there is her brother. He hangs out with Devon, but there is something off with him and his friends. Stephen is all about going to hang out at The Playground, which is the cemetery, to get drunk and hang out. The boys tend to get a bit reckless and do things that aren’t safe or legal. Devon also seems to be a bit protective of his sister and doesn’t really want Stephen hanging out with her. Stephen has a lot of anger at his mother for being crazy, for his father for moving him away, and at himself for feeling so helpless in everything. He was a really great character actually really liked him.
This book wasn’t my favorite, but it was enjoyable. I love creepy books and this one definitely had that creep factor. It wasn’t obvious whether the winged creatures really existed or if it was just a town story that they all believed. Fear ruled everyone, some more than others. This book really captured the small town feel. I found this book to feel really drawn out even though it wasn’t very long, but it was still fun to read. If you are looking for an entertaining, sort of creepy book, this is the one. It’s all sorts of messed up, but I liked it. That’s maybe why I liked it.
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Nick @ Nick's Book Blog
That sucks that you didn’t care for the characters as much! 🙁 I would be frustrated by that. I do like that it’s a creepy sounding book! I think I’ll listen to it on audio!
Great review, Amy!
Sounds like a good read something I would really enjoy. I am kind of afraid of the characters. I am a real character driven reader and if I dont connect i have issues. Although I dont mind hating them as long as that hate is strong. I am thinking of getting this on audio. sometimes I like books more on audio.
I’ve only read a handful of reviews for this book but it does sounds interesting to me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I haven’t read anything from Heather Brewer and I plan to begin with this one. I’m also glad to know that for most bloggers it’s creepy and that the MC is well-written. And, I don’t know if I’m mistaking it for something else, but the author is writing a somewhat companion novel to this, right?
I have seen this book on one other blog and it does seem like it has the creepy feel to it in general. I just wish we had more time to connect with the characters or feel for them, because that is when a book really hits it off with me. So I am not sure about this one personally :/