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

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Age at time of review - 13
Reviewer's Location - Baltimore, Maryland, United States
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Main character, Leigh, has just lost her mother. As if that isn't enough, on the day of her mother's funeral, she sees the ghost of a cheerleader. Now, on top of grieving for her mother and trying to play a maternal role for her younger sister, she has to make sure that her mother won't come back from the dead, like Sarah the cheerleader did. When in the cemetery, she meets Tram, a seventeen-year-old without parents, who warns her not to give gifts to the dead and isn't exactly what he seems like at first glance.

She doesn't have to go through this alone, however. Her best friend, Jo, and her brother, Callum, are there for her throughout the book, and Leigh soon finds herself entangled in a love triangle with Cal and Tram.

When Leigh gets deeper into the undead drama, she realizes that the people rising from the dead and all of the other quirks that have taken over Krapper aren't isolated incidents; two sorceresses (or, as Leigh put it, "sorceressi") are trying to raise an evil, extremely powerful sorceress by making her their third member. Now she has to protect her younger sister from the evil, figure out exactly what's going on, and choose between Cal and Tram--while trying to make sure the sorceresses can't use her to raise the other sorceress. Good thing she doesn't have to do this all alone.




Leigh was a very real character. Her emotions, for the most part, were understandable, yet complex. Since this is a horror story, capturing the emotions is key for a good book. The characters were lovable; I liked Jo, the best friend, and I liked Leigh's sarcastic, witty way of narrating. The love triangle between Leigh, Cal, and Tram was well developed as well.

This book was only about a hundred and sixty pages, and so the supernatural bits seemed to come into play too quickly for my liking. A little bit more background and character development would have been helpful before diving into the magic. For example, the book talked about Lazarus Syndrome when people began coming back from the dead, and it seemed widely accepted by the citizens. I was a bit unclear on whether the world of Krapper, the name of the town, was used to phenomona like that, or whether the magic was new to the people yet didn't explore the reactions.

Leigh missed some obvious hints that I caught onto immediately, and I found that a bit unrealistic and irritating, but there were twists throughout the book that I enjoyed; it wasn't predictable.

All in all, this was an interesting read, and I would keep an eye out for a sequel.



Content Rating:

Content rating - some mature content

Explain your content rating: 

It is a horror story and might not be suitable for younger children. It also had mild language and heavy themes like death.



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