Friday, 3 April 2015

Review: The Cemetery Boys

The Cemetery Boys
Publication Date: March 30th 2015 
Publisher: HarperTeen
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

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

Here I was thinking Tabula Rasa was one of the most ridiculous books I'd ever read because of the characters unrealistic qualities and actions.  Old stuck-in-the-mud creepy town? Check. Strange characters? Check. A towns urban legend complete with eerie atmosphere? Double check. It sounds perfect on paper,  but let's take away the horror aspect from The Cemetery Boys for a minute,  and what do you get? The second most ridiculous book I've ever read because of the characters unrealistic qualities and actions. 
 I don't want to be the mean one here, but well, I'm going to be the mean one here. I did not like this book. At all. it had me rolling my eyes every other page, and there are only two reasons why I finished it. 1) It was short and 2) I wanted to know what was actually going on. So I guess, in that aspect, The Cemetery Boys succeeded. In everything else? Not so much.

The characters were bad, and really, really strange. I mean, okay, there's the horror aspect, you have strange characters and the 'off' feeling about them, but everything moved so quickly  Point in case: Stephen meet's Cara, they sit down for a few minutes, she reads his cards, her twin brother, Devon, shows up. He says, hey, come over here a minute, I have something to show you, blah blah blah, then Devon goes If you hurt her, I'll cut off your balls. Okay then. Devon, do I have to remind you that they met two fucking minutes ago? It's not all Devon's fault though, it's Stephens too, do I need to remind you you've just met her two fucking minutes ago? Obviously I do, because you say something along the lines of, I won't man, she's...different. Then there's Cara herself. She invites Stephen to go to the Cemetery-AKA The Playground-for some charcoal graveyard rubbings.  No, that is not a euphemism. Do I have to remind you, Cara, that you met Stephen two fucking minutes ago, and he could be a murderer, or a rapist, and you invite him at night, to the cemetery? Clearly I do, because you did, and then you were kissing him. Then on the third time they get together, they're basically in the middle of foreplay, while Cara's crazy mother walks in on them. Yup. Now, Stephen, when you're fooling around, with who you dub your girlfriend, though you've only seen each other, like, three times, do you A) Stay and help calm down said crazy mother and I don't know, talk to said girlfriend, or do you B) Roll out from under said girlfriend and jump out her window?

Oh, you picked B), Stephen? Congratulations, you are an asshole.  

Basically, I didn't like the characters. And said characters sunk this ship. I won't get into the horror aspect of the book much, because whoa, that was totally unexpected, and something's make much more sense by the end, but here's the thing, when it comes to being surprised, you want to be surprised because you're theory wasn't correct, not it being unexpected because it felt random, I've read horror/psychological thrillers that have surprised me because they seemed so normal. I just couldn't get over all the rest of The Cemetery Boys to actually appreciate the twist. 

Rating: 1/5