Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review: The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude

The May Queen MurdersThe May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Purchase: Amazon
Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.

Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.
My thoughts:
The May Queen Murders was a little bit backwoods, a little bit superstition, and a whole lot of crazy.

Ivy lives with her family in a farming community called Rowan Glen.  This secluded part of town is very old fashioned and heavy on superstition, but it works for the families that live here.  Outsiders think they are weird and cultish, but the families that stay in the Glen just want a simple life.  They tend to their own look out for one another and stay to themselves.  Nothing wrong with that unless you have a crazy murderer on the loose.

The characters Ivy, Rook and Heather were an okay trio.  I will admit I was a little irritated with Heather and Ivy in the beginning.  I'm over the whole best friend being a horrible friend and Heather was not one of the worst I have ever read, but she's not wonderful by any means.  She was very mean at one point and I just couldn't figure out why Ivy chose to stick with her.  I get being shy I was that girl in school, but after awhile you just have to have enough strength within yourself to say I don't deserve to be treated that way. In the end I understand a bit more about Heather, but I would have liked to have seen a few scenes where Heather and Ivy actually got along.  I think that would have helped me forgive Heather for her behavior.  I needed to see more than just hate on her part instead of just reading about their fun past.

I thought I would love this story, but I'm on the fence about it. I liked the premise, but everything kind of fell apart at the end.  I think the author tried to throw too much into the big reveal and during those last three chapters I just couldn't keep up with what was going on.  I had suspicions early on and while I did guess some of them I didn't guess them all because the author chose to have several crazy endings.  It all unraveled really quickly and I feel kinda let down.  I wish the author would have stuck with one ending and picked only one direction for the big climax.  As it is I am left wondering why she chose to throw so much at her readers.  Okay I'm trying to explain this without spoilers...if you really don't want to know things about the book stop here!  If you are okay knowing a few things then keep reading =)
I think I can safely tell you there were three different endings that took place. I honestly think each ending was strong enough to have held the book up on it's own.  I of course preferred one, but I would have been okay even if that one wasn't the one picked. I just wish there had just been one.  After I finished reading the small town looking out for each other felt like a sham because there was so much corruption with all three stories!  I was so confused for awhile I had to put the book down just to reorganize my brain. It was all just too much.

This story was dark I will say that and that part I liked.  I honestly think I liked this until the ending.  It was a bit slow, but the build up was great.  Adding in the farming town was a nice touch and added something spooky.  I really think I would have given this one 4-5 stars of that ending hadn't of happened.  I keep going back to this in my head and I can't let it go.  There was one part in the end that I LOVED.  It was twisted and dark and I really wish the author would have stayed in that direction.  It felt very unresolved and I'm unhappy about it.  I wanted more from that part of the story because in that instance it felt like a true thriller.

I'm going with 3.5 stars because I did like the darkness that hung over this story.  It was unique and different and I loved the glimpse of thriller I got at the end.

3.5 snowflakes



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