Published March 30th 2015
Review copy received from the publisher
The Cemetery Boys is my first experience with the writings of Heather Brewer, author of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series. Although the story didn’t hold any surprises for me, I’m interested enough to pick up her other books.
When Stephen’s dad loses his job, they are forced to move back to his dad’s home town, some weird small town called Spencer. Here he meets Cara, a cute girl, and her brother Devon. Devon and his friends love to hang out at the cemetery. After a while Stephen discovers that not everything in Spencer is what it seems.
Ms Brewer writes boys extremely well; I enjoyed the inner monologue and sarcastic remarks of Stephen. It was also refreshing to see a young-adult romance through the eyes of a boy, without that romance being a projection of what a female would like a boy to think about his crush. Stephen’s thoughts are destinctly teen-boy, with him wondering what it would be like to kiss those kissable lips, instead of thinking how he must love and protect her for ever and ever. Yay for realism!
Having years of experience with detective and crime fiction (especially on television), I have a knack of guessing endings. I always expect the unexpected – the person least likely of being the killer usually is. Whether it’s the kindly butler or the loving mother, I have a nose for finding the bad apple. Yet again this nose worked, and I knew what the final twist would be. It was still a good twist, it was just a shame that I found it out beforehand.
The Cemetery Boys is well-written, and has a lovely dark atmosphere. I enjoyed how some questions aren’t fully answered, because answering would have diminished the magic of the story. I would recommend this for fans of Darren Shan, Madeleine Roux, and Charles Gilman.
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.