Ancient secrets cannot remain buried forever.
Founded two centuries ago by a powerful tribe of Gottwa Indians, Rowan was a quiet town, so quiet that I fled after graduation. Staying away was the plan, but Mom died suddenly.
Dad said she suffered a stroke after she dug up one of the ancient graves in our backyard, which happens to be the town cemetery. Creepy, I know. Creepier still, there was no corpse inside the old coffin, only fresh rose petals.
As we made preparations for Mom’s burial, new people began arriving in Rowan, unnervingly handsome and odd people. I begged them to leave, but they stayed, because their enemies—my ancestors—were beginning to awaken.
I both hesitantly and eagerly picked up Rose Petal Graves--eagerly because of the synopsis, and the way it's described as "The Vampire Diaries with faeries." And a little hesitantly because of those very same reasons. I feel a lot of books promise this, but delivery is a whole other issue.
Rose Petal Graves is, at its heart, a story about family and the secrets family members can keep in a misguided attempt to protect their loved ones. It's also about finding the best people to keep around you, especially when you're trying to figure yourself out. Oh, and magic. And confusing love and desire.
The basic premise is this: Catori comes home from college (where she's a pre-med student) to be with her father and family after her mother's sudden death. Cat immediately notices that something is not right, with either her mother's corpse or the cute guy who is the supposed medical examiner. And what's up with the casket she was found near, that holds fresh rose petals but no remains?
Surprise! Magic is involved and Cat's magical and never even knew it. There are faeries and there are witches, and Cat's left facing one tragedy after another, never knowing who she can trust.
We also have two love interests, but I'm not sure which one we're supposed to like best (because the readers aren't sure who we're supposed to trust, either). I think I'm okay with this, though. The romance situation feels a little like it could swing into ACOTAR territory (I think the comparison has been made in other places, too).
Rose Petal Graves was a fun, quick read. It's definitely got its issues, though. I feel a little uneasy about the author creating a Native American tribe and culture from thin air. I'm not sure the purpose of this decision, or what it adds to the story. This element just doesn't sit right with me. And in general, the plot is pretty convoluted and so much happens so quickly. Just when I'm wrapping my head around one revelation, another thing comes out of nowhere. It's one thing for both the character and the reader to not be sure who to trust, but it shouldn't feel like the author is still trying to figure it out, too.
Will I read the next one? I'm not crazy excited for it, but I did end the book wondering what would come next. So maybe?
Should You Read It? If you're looking for a book to feed your science fiction & fantasy/paranormal/witchy/faerie book requirement and have no other options and find it for .99 on Amazon, sure!
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*
2 1/2 Stars
Published on March 29, 2017
Check it out on Goodreads