Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Book Review: The Graveyard Gymnasium

The Graveyard Gymnasium

By:  Kelly Lougheed

Publisher:  Mundania Press

Publish Date:  July 2011

Format:  Paperback 193pgs, 5" x 8"

Genre:  YA Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st book in series, Hawthorn School Dormitory

Recommendation:  For a quick light relaxing read, yes.  And nice for YA reading.

Book Synopsis:
It's difficult to be a rebel at an all-girls boarding school like Hawthorn, but Charity Hooper tries her hardest, smuggling food into the library and favoring CliffsNotes over boring volumes of literature.  In fact, if Hawthorn weren't an all-girls school, she feels certain she would be having a tempestuous affair with a dangerous rogue who copied all his math homework answers from the back of the book.

When Hawthorn hosts a band of exchange students from Romania, Charity knows this is her shot at a tempestuous affair.  But after she witnesses an exchange student slurping her roommate's blood one night, she realizes that the Romanians would be less interested in kissing her than in biting her head off.  And the Romanians aren't the only vampires lurking on campus, either -- according to an old inscription in the school gymnasium, a legion of vampires lie buried alive beneath it.

Does she dare confide in the English teacher she wishes were her BFF, Ms. Van Tessel, who mysteriously saved Charity's bitten roommate with a blood transfusion?  But why did Ms. Van Tessel have blood in her mini-fridge in the first place?  Can Charity even trust her?

First Sentence:
All School.  Please report to the auditorium for a mandatory assembly during period 2 to greet our Romanian exchange students.

My Thoughts and Summary:
After staying up most of the night prior to finish her romance novel, Charity realizes she has bags under her eyes for the meeting of the man of her dreams.  All the girls are in the auditorium to welcome the Romanian exchange students, all boys, to their school.  This is thought to be a way to teach the girls social skills.  Charity knows from first glance, Nicholae is her soul mate, would go to the ends of the world and battle anyone for her love.  But when Christoph passes his fellow Romanian Nicholae a note in their home language, Charity wonders if it's a letter about her.  What she finds out takes her on a mission to find out about the Latin saying on the gymnasium wall, and why these boys have such a strong interest in it.  Then, there is Ms. Van Tessel, Charity's English teacher and the woman in charge of the girls dorm Charity is in, and the nailed shut windows.  Once one of the boys creeps through her high window, Charity learns more than she thought she ever could about these boys and her English teacher.

Charity is a quite the young woman.  I can see some people thinking Charity annoying with her over eccentric thinking, but I will say her personality and over exaggerated thinking is what makes the book and takes her down the direction she goes to uncovering what she does about people, and school.  She is a young woman full of raging hormones and dreams of boys. She tries to come across smart yet as the resident bad girl too.  Charity uses Cliff Notes to get through her school reads as she has better books to read, those romance novels.  But as the book goes, I think Charity is smarter than what I had thought at the beginning.  She has a large vocabulary of words she comes up with and she has a detectives mind.  Then we have Louise, Charity's best friend and roommate, who's smart and always working on her homework or schoolwork.  Louise tries to help keep Charity on the straight and narrow when it comes to school work, tries.

This was a quick light read for me.  Enjoyable.  This could be one to relax with in the summer when you want a quick read.  Oh, there are a few cliches, but that's the gem in this read, what the book is based from and works with so well.

Young Adult... Yes, these kids are in high school.  Smart kids at that.  Charity is one of those girls in love with love and actually gives a positive view in her own way.  I will say, there is no sex mentioned, just a young girl dreaming of the love of her life and future.  Now that I think about it, there was no swearing either.  The girls use some big words, that even made me pause and wonder at them, good words many teens may not hear often and good to hear used.  I think this would be a very good read for a Young Adult to read while in school and having to focus on school work, but wanting a relaxing, fun read.

This is the first book of Charity at Hawthorn Academy, so a slower start on the Urban Fantasy front.  This is to get to meet and know the characters; Charity, Louise, Ms. Van Tessel, and a few others.  I liked the mystery behind the inscription on the gymnasium wall and where it lead to.

The one thing that sticks out to me... to the girls, Vampires were make believe, things of stories, in Charity's case romance novels.  But they took the news so well, even Louise (on more than one meaning).  At the end there is a change that comes about and all are okay with it.  Not really to much shock or surprise.  I will say, the girls taking all this in stride kept me at ease and the story light.  I even am curious about the characters in the future.  I look forward to future reads in the Hawthorn Academy setting.

Cute isn't the right word for this book, but keeps coming to mind.  I did enjoy this light read.

I received this book from the Publisher for an honest review.


Gina said...

Nice job on the review! Sounds like the characters were pretty mellow, even with all the unusual activity going on....hmm. Not certain this would be for me, but it's great to see the variety of paranormal YA books entering the mix. Happy reading!

Melliane said...

I didn't know about this one but it sounds like a nice read. The cover is quite intriguing I confess. I'm glad your feelings about the main character improved all along the story. Great review!

Cherry said...

Sounds like a promising start to a new series...

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Hm... I do like the light ease sound to this book. Sometimes that just fits the bill. I swear I often feel like I've missed out on something by not being able to attend an academy like these. :D

Kristi The Book Faery said...

This sounds fantastic and right up my alley!
I think Charity and I would have been BFF's in high school

Great review, Melissa!

Blodeuedd said...

Cute? Well if it fits it fits :) And I do like cute ones

Jackie said...

I even like the "cheap" cover, sounds like one I am adding to my YA wishing to read books Melissa so thanks for pointing it out.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

GMR - Thank you! Glad you liked the review. :) I thought it was very well done and for a YA read. Nice. :) Thank you! Happy Reading to you as well!

Melliane - Thank you! She's really not a bad character, I actually like her. But I can see where some readers might not like her as much.

Cherry - It really is a promising start. I'm looking forward to following through with the characters.

Melissa (Books&Things) - I really enjoyed the lightness and ease of the read. It was very nice. :) Thank you!

Kristi The Book Faery - Yeah! So glad you like the sounds of this book! And hope you enjoy it if you get it.

Blodeuedd - :D Thank you!

Jackie B Central Texas - Oh great! :) I do hope you enjoy it if you get it. :) Thank you!

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

This sounds like such a fun read..thanks for sharing it..loved your review

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Hi Kimba! Thank you. So glad you enjoyed the review. :)

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

I have to share with you all...

You could enter to win an eCopy of this book, or other book Kelly has written: Cads and Cadavers

The giveawa ends Friday and will be picked on Saturday. ( I think)

Do hope you all go enter. :) Good luck!


Alexia561 said...

Enjoyed your review! Sounds like a light, fun read!

Beth D. said...

I saw this book on Goodreads today. I think what bothered me about it is the introduction of the boys so the girls get some social skills. Other than that it sounds pretty good. The main character sounds like a teenage girl. Nice review!

Beth ^_^

Jennifer @ Bad Bird Reads said...

Great review. Sounds like an interesting book to me.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Everyone, if you would like to win an ecopy of this book, or even another book by Kelly Lougheed - Cads and Cadavers, I posted a link in a previous comment. Giveaway ends on Friday, I think. :)

Alexia - Oh glad to hear youliked the review. :) And yes it was a nice light read. :)

Beth D - This is a nice little read. Thank you! I was a little curious about the introduction part, but with the light air of the book, it worked and skimmed by. :) THank you

Jennifer L Bielman - THank you! Glad you like the sounds of it.