Welcome to my stop of the OPEN MIC NIGHT AT WESTMINSTER CEMETERY Blog Tour!! I would like to thank the lovely people at Thomas Allen & Son for inviting me to be a part of the tour. This was a book I really enjoyed, and I am glad I get to share it with the rest of you!
Be sure to keep scrolling after my review for a chance to win a copy of the book!
OPEN MIC NIGHT AT WESTMINSTER CEMETERY
by Mary Amato
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab (CAN: Thomas Allen & Son)
Pub Date: Sept 1st, 2018
When Lacy wakes up dead in Westminster Cemetery, final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe, she’s confused. It’s the job of Sam, a young soldier who died in 1865, to teach her the rules of the afterlife and to warn her about Suppression—a punishment worse than death. Lacy desperately wants to leave the cemetery and find out how she died, but every soul is obligated to perform a job. Given the task of providing entertainment, Lacy proposes an open mic, which becomes a chance for the cemetery’s residents to express themselves. But Lacy is in for another shock when surprising and long-buried truths begin to emerge.
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This book was a pleasant surprise for me. I have never read anything like it. Everything about it was engrossing, from the characters to the plot to the poetry. And what makes it even better is that it’s perfect for the oncoming Halloween season!
What I Liked:
I really enjoyed the characters in this book. They were so many personalities that made this novel/play so much more fun to read. The MC, Lacy, was quite the character! As a newly dead person to be buried in none other than Edgar Allen Poe’s cemetery, she has to come to turns with her death and her new “life” as a wandering soul. Of course her welcoming committee are not that prepared for her bold persona and modern ways since they all died before the 21st century. Lacy’s bravado and her love of poetry brought out the best and worst in the other souls. I liked her a lot. She was not flawless and had this bite to her that I loved!
Her secondary characters were quite lovely too. From Sam to Mrs. Steele to the famous poet himself who makes an appearance, they all tie quite nicely together and make for some good drama and fun! They all may be old and have more conservative views of the world but I loved that *most* of them embraced Lacy and her new, modern ways!
It was perfect. It was cold, dusky and dark setting. The author paints it perfectly with the stage directions that she gives. The cemetery, like the book, although very dark was full of life and yet so eerie. It always went along with the mood, when characters were distraught or even happy! I just loved the cemetery setting so much!
I have never read a novel play. I mean of course I have read plays, but never like this. It was a mix of the two. Where I would still get those descriptive paragraphs but the stage directions and dialogue were all formatted as how a play would be. The writing was smooth and very comical. The narrator, who we don’t actually know, sometimes interrupts the story which I enjoyed. It served to give a quick backstory, which was sometimes much needed.
The direction of the story was great. It’s not only Lacy’s journey to accepting her death, but the journey of each soul in the cemetery. The subplots were intertwined with the main story very well, I especially loved how they all finally came tied together through the open mic towards the end of the story. The story is easy to follow, fast to get through and quite entertaining. It not only discusses coming to terms with death, but it revolves heavily around forgiveness and learning to accept past mistakes. It held many beautiful messages which I loved.
I’m not the biggest expert on Edgar Allen Poe so I cannot say how much influence or how many references there were to his work! But his character was great!
There was some romance, which I was not too focused on, but it was cute. It definitely serves for the suspense element and our dear narrator likes to remind us of it often. The ship was still very much, very cute and I loved them.
The ending was beautiful.
What I Disliked:
I’m not exactly sure why this is not a five star read. I mean it did have its boring moments, and there was this part where I found it to be a little repetitive. I think I would have to knock off a star for that. I also feel like it could have been perhaps a little more twisty, some things were very predictable and I would have liked a bigger air of mystery.
And maybe I would have liked to see more from Mr. Poe himself. He didn’t need to outshine Lacy, he just needed a little more oomph to his character.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It has an excellent cast of characters, poetry that makes you nod your head, confessions that make give you all the feels and a stunning ending. It is a tale of heartbreak and forgiveness, but it still has its moments of comedy. I thought it was lovely!
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars!
Recommend: To all my poetry lovers and then some! Yes!
ABOUT MARY AMATO
Mary Amato is an award-winning children’s and YA book author, songwriter, and poet who lives in Maryland. Her books have been translated into foreign languages, optioned for television, and produced onstage.
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MY FAVOURITE COMEDIC SKETCH
As part of the tour each blogger will post a clip of their favourite stand up or sketch to pay tribute to the dramatic arts element to the book. I love stand up and sketches! (Although not all are always appropriate for book blogs, if you know what I mean) But sometimes there are those gems that you have to share!
This sketch is a little old, but still very relevant and not to mention HILARIOUS.
*cackling* I just can’t *wipes eyes from laughter*
Now it’s your chance to WIN the book!
One winner will receive 1 copy of Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery (HC) by Mary Amato.
– Canada Only (full rules found in the T&C on Rafflecopter)
– Giveaway ends on Thursday Oct. 4 th at 11:59 pm EST
– Winner will be drawn randomly through Rafflecopter, contacted via email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize
Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Do you enjoy reading plays and/or poetry? Which are your favourite?