Cemetery Girl Book One: The Pretenders by Charlaine Harris

March 12, 2014 Graphic Novels, Paranormal, Reviews 0

a girl seen only in silhouette runs through a stormy graveyardOk, fine, this is a graphic novel and (probably) not even a romance but my curiosity for how Charlaine Harris would translate into this new medium was strong. After all, from the necrophilia and furry-fetish loving of Sookie Stackhouse to the quasi incest is best life of Harper Connelly, Harris can be trusted to dish out WTF action in a page turning fashion. I was going to save my review for IMGB, but there was an element of Cemetery Girl Book One: The Pretenders I really wanted to unpack with LITM readers. So let’s do this thing.

As graphic novels go this is a definite C read. The art is fine, the pace is numbingly slow, the storyline is hardly original yet still intriguing enough. Issuing this first chapter in hardcover is a blatant money grab as the content better suits a $3.99 rack title, but you’ve got to pay your marquee name somehow. We open with Calexa waking up in the cemetery with only a vague memory of having been killed and dumped. She takes her name from the tombstones and hides in the crypts, afraid whoever wanted her dead will find her if she leaves. Calexa is already off to a perfect Charlaine Harris start because if I ever wake up with no memory and the knowledge that someone might want to finish me off I am absolutely going to do anything except stay where they left me. But our dear Calexa, she… who are we kidding? She doesn’t matter at all. Let’s spoil this thing and you’ll see why I brought this book to you.

Calexa witnesses the murder of a girl named Marla. Because there is a huge empty hole in the house of Calexa’s body, Marla takes up residence. Calexa hates having Marla’s memories of a loving Hispanic/Black family in her brain and she wants them gone. Marla isn’t terribly happy about being trapped in Calexa’s white slacker brain, but she doesn’t know how to leave. The rest of the book is Calexa leaving Marla’s family in agony because reporting the murder doesn’t fit into Calexa’s plans. She carries around Marla’s magic smart phone. It can answer calls, be accessed without a password, and never loses power or leads the police to it’s location. (Ah, Charlaine, I love the way you roll.)

Eventually Calexa realizes that Marla videotaped her own murder. I’m not sure how, what with lying on the ground and then being dead and buried and all, but Marla got some damn good camera angles. Calexa realizes that Marla has solved her own murder while giving Calexa a way to report the crime without involving herself. Eventually Marla’s murderers come looking for the phone, endangering Calexa. This is the kick she needs. Calexa sends the video of the murder to Marla’s entire contact list, including Marla’s parents. (Hey Mom & Dad! Know you’re sick with worry – but here’s a cool video of my murder and a few snapshots of where my body is buried! XOXO!) Cops round up the villainous brown kids, as the mentally ill white kid (Calexa, in case I lost you) finds safe haven.

That’s the entire book. $24.95 worth of action, right? But wait! You also get a snippet of the script for Book Two revealing that Calexa was experimented on in a mysterious laboratory and that Marla won’t be the only dead person to invade her empty brain!

Final Assessment: 5 bucks of graphic novel in a 25 buck bag with plenty of POC as plot props. C

Series: Book One of The Cemetery Trilogy

Source: Public Library

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Meoskop's first non-compulsory book review was in 1973. Although a hit with the 3rd grade, concerns raised by the administration necessitated an extended hiatus. Reviews resumed in 1985 but the concerns are ongoing.

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