The Grave Winner
Almost as much as finding a new book to read, I love meeting other authors. When I went to Dodge City for my book's release party, my niece mentioned that the librarian at her school was also publishing a first book. Yay for new Kansas authors! I didn't get much chance to visit with Lindsey, but I did download her book as soon as I returned home.
The Grave Winner is a new genre for me and I very much enjoyed the introduction. Categorized as a young adult paranormal fantasy romance, I honestly wasn't sure what I was getting into. I instantly recognized and felt at home in Krapper, Kansas, however, and although the story opened at the graveside of the protagonist's mother (a factor that might have turned me away not so long ago), I quickly decided that Leigh was a girl with spunk and spirit that I was going to like. I appreciated her friend, Jo, as well.
I enjoyed learning about the parameters of Lindsey's paranormal world and the way the characters felt very real (their behavior "typical" of teenagers) within the bounds of this alternate reality. The dead girl next door has risen to walk again, for instance, but beyond her horrible stench and the fact that she turns the grass black where she walks, there doesn't seem to be a lot of concern. She's not a flesh-eating ghoul or anything. She's just a bit sad, perhaps. The people in the book question why she has risen from the dead, but aren't necessarily horrified by it.
The romance was sweet. I enjoyed both potential love interests and couldn't decide which I was rooting for in the end. There were a few characters who became pivotal to the storyline that I wished I could have learned a little more about before all the action got going, but overall it was an enjoyable read.
I look forward to following Lindsey's writing career. Be sure to check out her blog for news and links to a few of her short stories.