Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
The May Queen Murders was a very okay book for me. I actually expected to like it a whole lot more than I did. The setup was fantastic and the setting eerie. Despite all the makings of a perfect creepy YA novel, I found myself putting it down more often than I anticipated.
The setting felt much like a retelling of The Village to me. The community where Ivy resides is isolated and has a superstitious way of life. The beginning chapter drew me in as I felt eager to find out who was behind the murders occurring in the settlement.
Ivy is a very naïve character, but she still felt believable. Instead of thinking of her as too stupid to live, I actually could understand why she acted so sheltered. The second characters were interesting too, especially her cousin Heather.
The writing was the strongest aspect of the novel. Beautiful. Atmospheric. I’d love to read more from the author.
The pacing was probably the biggest issue I had. After the excitement of the beginning, everything slowed down dramatically and then sped up again at the end. There seemed to be no middle ground. Also, I love a few twists, but the consistent reveals were a little over the top.
Final thoughts: Good book from an author with lots of potential!
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars