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Review: Rose Petal Graves

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Title:Rose Petal Graves

Author:Olivia Wildenstein

Series:Book 1

Rating★ ★ ★ ☆ 


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.

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✩ I had mixed feelings about Cat. Sometimes I loved her because she was headstrong and passionate, other times I was annoyed with her being over-emotional and crying when things got tough.

Ace was probably my favorite character because I like characters with his type of personality. He was funny, a little sassy, and a flirt. I loved that he was probably the closest to being honest or kind to Cat.

✩ I also had some issues with Cruz. At times I liked how he was kind to Cat and joked around, but I didn’t like the way he was dismissive of other people’s feelings.

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He didn’t say anything. He just kept his eyes locked on mine. He’d said faeries only tricked people, but he’d lied. Faeries killed too.

Let’s get one thing out of the way: the cover is pretty. I love the simple design of the rose against the dark background and I’m always a sucker for pretty covers so I thought this was worth mentioning, haha.

Anyways, Rose Petal Graves was the kind of book that you shouldn’t like as much as you do but somehow you’re just addicted to reading it anyway? That’s the best way I can describe it.

Things kick off kinda crappy for Catori when she comes home from college after hearing about her mother’s death. She finds herself unable to simply accept that her mother’s death was caused by a heart attack and begins to suspect something more when the medical examiner, Cruz, makes his appearance. Strange things happen after that. Catori sees things others don’t, and she starts to wonder if maybe the grief is making her imagination run wild.

It’s not very long after that she receives a package meant for her mother that contains a book that not only mentions her family’s tribe but also says quite a bit about faeries. Soon she’s thrust into a world between fae-hunters and fae.

I waited for him to dispute this–to prove that faes weren’t’ completely selfish–but the words I lingered for in my doorway never came.❞

Things are certainly a little messy between all the people involved. Cat was never quite sure who to trust since it seemed that everyone lied about something or other at one point in time. It was hard to figure out who was really on her side.

I really liked the concept of this native tribe that was partly inspired by a real tribe. I think it was better for the author to have taken inspiration from other places and made her own rather than risk getting facts wrong and offending others. I know that was one issue people had with the book, but hey, that’s my take on it. I’d much rather they take inspiration but not appropriate a real culture.

I also enjoyed the concepts for the fae in this book. I liked how they had their own island, customs, and how we got little snippets of what their world was like instead of just info-dumping.

One thing I couldn’t enjoy in this book was the definite insta-love between Cat and another character. Things definitely moved way too fast between them and I just didn’t care for it very much. And of course, there’s a love triangle. I really didn’t like either of the guys in this book for Catori so the whole romance aspect of this wasn’t important to me.

Mini-rant alert: And this one was more of a personal pet peeve of mine, but there was a part in the book where they mentioned Mormons as a way to make a joke about one of the character’s parents being polyamorous. Bringing up Mormons in YA tends to annoy the crap out of me because: 1) They only bring it up to mention the sect of the church that has multiple wives, 2) They bring up the sect that doesn’t allow multiple marriages, but they get information about the religion wrong, 3) They only even brought this up for the one paragraph to make fun of someone who seems to like more than one person. This book fell into the usual category three. I find it very rude and disrespectful to use someone’s religion in a book only to have your character use it as a joke. And well… just downright annoying. My personal opinion, but I think Mormonism has fewer people coming to its defense than other “sensitive” topics. End mini-rant. 

Full disclosure: it can get a little confusing. There was a lot of terminology brought up in the book. I think what made it difficult to keep track of was that everything had two names for it (one in the hunter language, another in the fae language). I think it would’ve been really great to have a glossary or something at the end of the book so you could go back to it.

Overall, I think this a book that’s fun to read although I think you have to be in the right mood/mindset for it. 




5 thoughts on “Review: Rose Petal Graves

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