Thursday, March 19, 2015

Review: The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer

First thanks to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for allowing me to read an e-galley of this title.  I have to say that I am one of the biggest fans of Heather Brewer, and consider myself to belong to her minion horde.  I've met her several times, and plan to meet her again any time she is in my town or at some event where I'm at. She's such a great voice for young people, and her stories are all very good!  Okay, I'm  not very good at gushing I guess, that was kinda silly.  So here goes my review of this book!

A majority of the book does take place in a cemetery like the title would lead you to believe.  The main character is Stephen, and he has just had to move with his dad back to the small town where his dad grew up.  They are having to move in with a grandmother that he never knew.  And she seems really particular from how his dad tells them that they have to move in.  And once she shows up, Stephen sees that his dad wasn't kidding.  They've had to move because Stephen's mom kind of had a breakdown and had to go into a mental institution.  His dad has lost his job, and they can't afford his mom's medical bills anymore. 

Stephen's first introduction to the small town was a guy just standing outside his house staring up at the house.  But Stephen isn't the kind of guy to act scared, nope, he yells out the window that he's going down and immediately heads down to confront the guy.  The guy is gone by the time he gets down there, but has left a leather book, a journal on the sidewalk.  Stephen grabs it and goes chasing after the guy.  On the way he runs into a girl named Cara.  A girl he'd already seen at a diner in town when she'd had to convince her mother to leave after the mother had been yelling at people that they were going to burn!

Stephen is definitely attracted to Cara and she seems interested in him as well.  Then the guy who'd been standing outside his house shows up, and it is her brother, Devon.  Devon says he has something he wants to show Stephen, and from then on, kind of takes Stephen into his group of friends.  This group likes to go to the cemetery at night and drink. 

But the journal that Stephen found is Devon's, and it has all these drawings of huge wings, and something that everyone in the town calls "the Winged Ones".  The myths about these winged ones says that when they come and take a sacrifice, of a human, the town's bad times will be over.  Now Stephen must decide what is real, and what isn't. And if his new friends are crazy and murderous, or if he is just buying into the seemingly urban legends.

Several bits of this really gave me a feeling of the movie The Lost Boys, from the 80s with Kiefer Sutherland and the two Coreys, Haim and Feldman.  One of my favorite movies that I watched over and over, probably why I saw the parallels.  But the feeling was a good one, as I loved the movie, and I also like the way the new kid in town is initiated in this story.  There is a bit of a twist at the end, and I would say that it also isn't left with a clear yes or no answer about the Winged Ones.  And I like that.  As the author thanks Stephen King in her bit at the end of the book, this reminds me a great bit of his stories as well.  Often you're left wondering just what was real, and what wasn't.  I also wondered at first if the winged ones would be like those that supposedly just alert people to bad things happening, but no.  The ones in this story were ones that supposedly ate people. 

I highly recommend another great story from Auntie Heather!