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.
The story sounded like it had the potential to be a phenomenal book for me to read, but it wasn’t. I guessed the twist pretty early on, and I wasn’t ever truly invested in Stephen or any of the other characters. Maybe it was because the book is under 300 pages, and there wasn’t enough time to build up a connection with the characters, or maybe the writing didn’t allow for a connection to be made.
Or maybe I wasn’t in the mood to read a book like this. I thought I was, until I started reading it, and then…
Whatever the case may be, the characters weren’t what kept me reading. The romance aspect of the story definitely didn’t make me keep reading. If anything, and if there was much more of the romance, I probably would have DNF’d the book.
The romance was just
What did keep me reading was my own curiosity. I had to know what the Winged Ones were. If they were real, and if handling the “bad times” like the days of the town’s past, worked. I was a little disappointed with the outcome, but I was happy to find the answers(ish) to my questions.
This definitely wasn’t my favorite YA novel, but I’d be willing to try Heather Brewer’s other works. The Cemetery Boys fell a little flat to me.
(really more of a 2.5, but
I’m too lazy to make a 1/2 a star in Paint)