The Grave Winner review by R. Mae
The Grave Winner (The Grave Winner Series Book 1)
by Lindsey R Loucks
Age Range - 12 and up
Genre - Fantasy

LitPick Review

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Age at time of review - 14
Reviewer's Location - Middleville, Michigan, United States
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Leigh’s Mom is dead, and Leigh is afraid that she is going to come back. And not in a good way. In a scary way that Leigh is terrified of. Strange things start happening in the graveyard, and before long Leigh has to decide if she is willing to give up everything. It doesn’t help that she might be falling for a mysterious boy, and her best friend's brother takes a sudden interest in her.


The Grave Winner was a brilliant, chilling, exciting book.


The Plot:

At first I was worried whether or not I would be able to get along with the curious style of this book, it was kind of a cliche that the book starts with the death of Leigh’s Mom, but it works very well to get the plot rolling. I got upset when it started to look as if it was all about the romances, but then I realized that the plot was developing into something incredibly delicious right before my eyes. It was realistic and exciting. I loved the adventure, falling out of windows and spending a bunch of time in the graveyard. I like how Leigh just scratches the surface in this book. You can feel that Lindsey R. Loucks is setting up for the next book. The magic was realistic, it had rules and wasn’t one of those stories about impossible to stop evil that must be stopped. This evil was possible to stop, it just required sacrifice and a little bit of live bait.


The Characters:

They were so vivid and funny. Jo, with her vow to not shave until Miguel asked her out, how absolutely ridiculous. It was so weird and yet made Jo totally unique. Leigh has this unquenchable fire to protect her little sister, but they still argue. So true to life! I felt that the fiery romances were annoying, but as the book moved on and Leigh got stronger and moved through her grief, I realized it had been a distraction for her, and yet she still loved both guys, which is setting book two up for a depressing love triangle and the possibility of teams. What’s with teenagers and love triangles? I mean, Twilight, The Infernal Devices, etc... I could go on and on. But anyways, I like both of the guys in this book evenly, Callum and his realness, Tram and his unrealness. Also, they both have pretty cool names.


The Setting:

The Grave Winner takes place in the graveyard, except for a few scenes at Leigh’s house and around the town. It’s a localized thing. The characters don’t go gallivanting all over the world. A lot of times the story takes place in dark and freaky places. I loved the graveyard repetitiveness. I have a perfect picture of what it looks like in my head. I could tell you where they were at each moment. It was like the place where the dead rest is where Leigh lives.


The Standout:

This book was beat you over the head normal, other than the magic. Normal isn’t  people who are like you and me, because while we are normal, we are not like other people. Leigh and her friends were not like other people, and so therefore they were normal. Leigh likes the color black, she wears black eyeliner and lip stick. She is known for her black combat boots and black shirts. She is unique and different and so she seems real. Jo was the funniest character, she was on the verge of being a complete weirdo. I loved her, I liked how Callum wasn’t magical, how he didn’t have the guts to tell Leigh he liked her. I liked how he sleeps all day, he is normal, and different.


The Moral:

I think what the author was trying to get across is two things. The question, what would you give up for the people you love? And if you feel like you desperately want be normal, all you need to do is be different. Leigh was willing to give up her life to protect her friends and family. It scared her, but she knew she would never forgive herself if they died because of her. There was a little swearing, but no making out or anything like that. It was an awesomely gory book. I loved it and can’t wait to read number two!

Content Rating:

Content rating - some mature content

Explain your content rating: 

The story is pretty straight forward with some awkward things and has some gory moments.

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