Monday, 22 February 2010
Review: Tombstone Tea by Joanne Dahme
Publisher: Running Press
Released: February 4th, 2010
Grade rating: B-
In order to be accepted by the “in crowd” at her new high school, Jessie accepts a dare to spend one night in a local cemetery collecting rubbings from ten gravestones. Once inside the gate of the dark and frightening burial ground, Jessie meets Paul, a handsome boy who works as a caretaker at the cemetery. Paul explains to Jessie about Tombstone Tea: a fund-raising performance in which actors impersonate the people buried in the cemetery. The actors are supposedly rehearsing on this particular evening, but Jessie quickly discovers that they aren’t actors at all but the ghosts of men and women buried in the cemetery. When one woman decides to adopt Jessie to replace her lost daughter, our heroine fears she may never escape the cemetery.
Although Tombstone Tea had a fantastic premise, I thought it could have been better, and it didn't quite live up to my expectations. I'm going to put that down to my slight dislike of main character Jessie, as the writing was good and the plot intriguing.
My favourite part of the book was the second section, which was narrated by Paul. He was more appealing than Jessie, and had a far more likeable voice. His story was interesting, and I could easily have read the whole book from his perspective. Jessie was too damsel-in-distress for my liking, and I still can't fathom out why she went to the graveyard in the first place. I wouldn't have thought a school prank would be more important than her safety, but she seems to easily overlook that when popularity gain is involved.
The Tombstone Tea itself was a great idea, and I enjoyed meeting all the ghosts and hearing their many tales of lives long past. I also enjoyed Dahme's writing style, and am tempted to read her other work. It did take me a while to get into this book, but once I reached part two, I was hooked for the most part.
Tombstone Tea might not be up there with my favourite books, but it's a good read if you want a graveyard of ghosts and a different supernaural spin on things. It's not all about vampires and werewolves anymore!