Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Today's read... Grave Things Like Love by Sara Wealer

We're going to tread into the spookier side of life, today. This is, actually, advertised as a contemporary read...with romance, I'd assume...but has a slightly, paranormal twist. Kind of like magical realism but on the ghostly end? It sounds like it could be interesting, so I wanted to take a peek and see what I think.

It's not October, yet, although this one does release just before Halloween. So, you can get you can grab this one up just in time for the creepier time of year, too! 

by Sara Bennett Wealer
RH Childrens Books
YA Paranormal Romance
352 pages

OCTOBER 22nd!!!

A contemporary YA romance with a paranormal twist: what happens when in between trying to decide which boy is the right boy, a girl finds out the funeral home her family owns might be haunted?

Elaine's home is a bit . . . different. It's a funeral home that has been in her family since the 1800s—and it's why everyone calls her Funeral Girl. And even though she's lived there her whole life, there are still secrets to be found.

When Xander, a cute new boy with a penchant for ghost hunting, arrives in town, Elaine feels an instant spark. His daring and spontaneous ways help her go from Funeral Girl to Fun Girl. Then there's Miles, Elaine's oldest friend, who she's starting to see in a completely new light.

After Xander convinces her to stage a seance one night, Elaine discovers that her home might be haunted by a kindred spirit—the daughter of the funeral home's original owner. But who wants to be haunted by the dead when there are boys to spend time with? After all, you only live once. . . .



Teenage love is tough enough, but throw in life at a mortuary, a demanding family, and a ghost with an attitude, and nothing is simple.

Elaine loves her family...she thinks. Actually, she does, but sometimes, being counted on to help out with everything is almost more than she can take. But she understands the problems and reasons. If only she had a bit more breathing space. When a new guy comes to town and has an interest in paranormal investigations, she's sure he's only bugging her due to her family's mortuary. He is cute, though, and soon she finds herself drawn to him, despite the rumors that he's a trouble maker. When a seance gets a bit out of control, a ghost decides to give Elaine a hard time, and that's the last thing she needs.

Teen romance meets a tiny hint of paranormal, and that in the most perfect setting, a morgue. The set-up is very well done as Elaine tries her best to help the family and business, which puts her at odds with her social life...or the one she'd like to have. She's easy to connect with, especially since she does have a giving heart. Even when she makes mistakes, it's understandable and her attitude isn't over the top. In other words, she a wonderful character to follow to the very end.

While there are paranormal aspects in the plot, this read more toward the high school romance side. There is quite a bit of drama, which has absolutely nothing to do with ghosts and spooks in the night. When the ghost does haunt, it's more like a side-dish and adds a nice flair, but the other problems always hold the main focus. On this end, the author keeps up a steady pace, and something is always happening thanks to the array of characters, weaving side plots. There were some moments which dragged a tiny bit, but then, I do tend to be an action fan and lose interest on drama aspects quickly.

Romance is key in these pages, and that includes a love triangle with a dose of insta-attraction. Elaine can't chose between her love interests, which will thrill some readers and bother others. But it's laid out nicely with tension and confusion, and all of those other things which make high school romance so much fun.

Readers, who enjoy romance and high school drama, will enjoy this one, especially when they like a tad bit of ghostly chills with it.

And here she is...

Sara grew up in Manhattan, Kansas (the "Little Apple"), where she sang in all the choirs and wrote for the high school newspaper. She majored in voice performance at the University of Kansas before deciding she had no business trying to make a career as an opera singer and transferred to journalism school, where no one cares if you can hit a high C or convincingly play a Valkyrie. She went on to become a reporter covering everything from house fires to Hollywood premieres.

These days, she writes event scripts and marketing copy while the sun is out. By night, she writes books for young adults. Sara lives in Cincinnati with her husband, two daughters, two dogs and four cats, and she still sings sometimes when her schedule allows. When Sara is not writing or running around doing Mom Things, you’ll find her at the ballet, or obsessively watching ballet on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. Find out more about Sara on her website.

Follow Sara Bennett Wealer on social media:

Instagram: @sbennettwealer

Twitter: @sbennettwealer 

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