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May 2, 2016

A Shot of YA: The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude

Series: Standalone
Format: eGalley
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: YA | Thriller


Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.

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.



THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS by Sarah Jude is such thrill-ride! There's a serial killer on the loose and this superstitious lot of Rowan's Glen is blaming it on some urban legend about some crazy dude named Birch Markle, roaming the woods wearing animal pelt, lurking in the dark, waiting for his next victim. Thing is, Birch seems to have a taste for young girls with secrets and is known to strike during May Day. And this year's May Day brings a lot of terror with it from a string of murders, dumbfounding secrets, and a jaw-dropping conspiracy that you won't see coming.

THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS is wildly atmospheric and dark, I won't be surprised if you get the heebie-jeebies while reading this. Rowan's Glen is the perfect place for this kind of story, their almost puritanic way of life and centuries-old traditions provided a fertile landscape to sow Birch Markle's legend to the point where I even considered he, or whoever the perpetrator is, might be a werewolf or some creature of the night preying on young women. 

Aside from its spine-tingling mystery, Ivy's relationship with Heather drove the story which led to a lot of twists and turns and some shocking revelations. For all the clues SJude dropped and the speculations of the characters, I did NOT see the climax going that way. The truth is more chilling than some serial killer plot which certainly shook Rowan's Glen to its core. Yet for all its tragedies, THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS ended on a hopeful note, I love the resolution and the condemnation and redemption of the key characters. This is a solid standalone and I'm hoping this won't be the last of its kind as far as SJude is concerned. Ms. Jude seems to have a penchant for dark and gothic tales and based on her latest novel, she doesn't censure her plot and characters from delivering the story in the most unexpected and horrific way possible. #bloodthirsty



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Talk Supe


44 comments:

  1. Great review Braine, I love Missouri Ozark tales as I'm a Missourian myself!

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    1. If you do read it, let me know if she got the ambiance right. I so want to visit the Glen

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  2. Gah! I must get my hands on this one, I love reading thrillers over the summer break!

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    1. It's a good YA thriller, gave me the creeps

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  3. This sounds really good, so I'm happy that you enjoyed it so much! I love thriller/creepy novels so this seems perfect for me. I'm also happy it's a stand-alone.

    -Lauren
    www.letsgetbeyondtolerance.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh and just so you know, there's an LGBT slant to the story. Love that little twist, I forgot to mention

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  4. Their relationship and the mystery sounds good

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    1. Oh it's so good! I never would've guessed the outcome.

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  5. I've been missing books like this, adding it to my TBR <3333

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    1. Ive been indulging in a lot of dark reads lately. Browsing my TBR for more, thankfully I have a lot :D

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  6. It sounds quite interesting with the place, the murders and all

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    1. I felt I was somewhere in Europe or something. It's an extraordinary setting

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  7. Ohhhh ... well, hello, I do believe I need this!

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  8. Nice!! Cannot wait to read this one!! Got excited when I learned that the author is somewhat local! I love a good creepy mystery!! Glad it was spooky and surprising! Great review!

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    1. Oh yeah? That's cool! Maybe you can score a signed copy :)

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  9. Oh, sounds like a great story that would be right up my alley. Adding to my TBR list.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

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    1. Enjoy! It's really creepy and I think it'll even be creepier on audio

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  10. I love the sound of this one, Braine. It's been awhile since I read something that gave me the heebie-jeebies!

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    1. If you get a craving for something dark, check ths one out

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  11. I want to read this one, but I think I'll wait a few more months. Glad you loved it!

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    1. No problem, make sure it's on your TBR :)

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  12. Gezz Braine this wasn't even on my radar and I wants it NOW!!

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    1. We all need a dark tale in our life ;)

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  13. That's different and sounds very interesting. Thanks for letting us know about this one.

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  14. This would give me the heebie jeebies, but I like that once in a while. Great review!

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  15. Thrillers aren't usually my cup of tea but this sounds interesting. I will definitely add this to my list for those times when I'm sick of reading romance and need something different. I have a feeling that will be picking up this book very soon. ;)

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    1. I feel you, no romance and even fantasy for me lately. It takes me a day to finish a book like this, 3 days for fantasy, and romance gets me so disinterested

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  16. Oh wow! That's one great sounding book. :D Thank you!

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  17. I just saw this book on Instagram today- glad you loved it! This kind of book has Melissa written all over it, lol, so I'll be sure to let her know about it.

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    1. Ooh, that's cool! I hope she finds the time to read it in between school work

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  18. This one might be a bit too creepy for me, but I do like the sound of how atmospheric it is. Very few authors can really pull that off well. And I love it when a mystery is well written and has twists and turns you didn't see coming or some surprising revelations. Great review!

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    1. I understand how it can be scary for some people. there's a lot of superstition woven into the story only the real story is more horrendous than demons and such. I hope you try it at some point or at least read it only on daytime

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  19. Always a good thing to see YA receive such a high rating from you, B. :)

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  20. Yessss I'm so excited! I have to review this asap, so I'm really glad to see raving reviews rolling in. I love thrillers, but sometimes with YA titles, they don't always end up " thrilling me " leaving me a little bored or underwhelmed, so it's good to hear that this book gives the creepy vibes as it should! Definitely looking forward to picking this one up :)

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    1. This will thrill you I'm sure of it!

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