Tuesday, May 10, 2016

YA Review: The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude

First, thanks to Edelweiss and HMH Books for Young Readers for allowing me to read an e-galley of this.  Now, not only did the synopsis of this story grab my attention, but the fact that it takes place in the Missouri Ozarks sold me on having to read it.  I live in Missouri, and we go visit the Ozarks at least once a year, so I definitely love stories set in locales that I am familiar with.  I really enjoyed this story.  It had some unique parts to it, lots of twists, and I could totally see it as a horror movie, because that is how it unfolded in my head as I was reading.

The main character is Ivy.  She lives in a small farming community called Rowan's Glen.  Now they're not Amish really, but they are probably more of a quaint type of society, definitely one with many superstitions and traditions.  The kids do go to the local public school though, where they do get picked on by the town kids.  All of the kids have kind of unique names, for one thing, all the girls' names are some kind of plant or flower.  Ivy's cousin and best friend is starting to slip away from her.  She seems to have secrets and be hanging out with some of the other kids outside of their community.  Ivy is very quiet, and shy, and even has a bit of a stutter.  One of the boys, Rook, who has always been a friend, has also become her crush.  And while she thinks he may kind of like her too, some things happen that make her think maybe he is actually interested in Heather. 

But that's just the "normal" stuff that is going on.  You see, many years ago, when Ivy's father was a teenager, there was a murder case, and a strange boy was blamed for it, before he ran off into the woods surrounding the community.  Now there seems to be the same kind of happenings going on.  Animals are turning up having been killed, often cut up in such a way that makes them think of some kind of ritual.  And then, bodies of people turn up.  Someone from their own community.  The search to find who it is, if it is actually the boy from the past, or if there is someone new in the community being a copycat killer, or is it someone from outside?  There will be all kinds of secrets that come out as the community tries to figure this out and keep everyone else safe.  Secrets that will tear apart some of them, pull in some people who had left after the last round of horrible events, and cause more danger for Liv and her family. 

I don't want to give any more away.  I just want to say the end was so twisty and kept me on the edge of my seat with not knowing just who was behind it all!  So many false leads, but ones that still opened up scary secrets about the people they involved.  And Rook, I wanted so bad for him to be the good boy that Ivy loved at the beginning that he seemed to be at first, until the night Ivy saw something in their barn.  I won't tell you how he turns out either.  Just know that the ending was very satisfying, and I look forward to reading more books by this author!