Books, General

The Grateful Boys | Review

Title: The Grateful Boys

Author: Françoise DuMaurier

Rating: 4 Stars

Dates read: 07 Oct 19 – 14 Oct 19

Publication date: 01 Oct 2019

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Genre(s): Vampires, YA, Supernatural

Description:

When seventeen-year-old Hailey’s multi-racial, single parent family migrate to the tiny rural town of Corpus, Georgia (population 700), she would rather have moved anywhere but there.

That is, until she spots him. Mysterious definitely, perhaps even supernatural. Where Hailey is awe-struck by the young man of her dreams, her little brother, Mason, sees a soulless creature of the night, a half-man who may be responsible for a series of grisly murders across the southern gothic town.

Antwan Zeddman, the town’s first African-American Sheriff, must enforce a curfew in Corpus to ensure the safety of the townsfolk. He must contend with sightings of hellish winged beasts and investigate the slaying of an innocent young couple traveling through town. There is a growing sense of racial unrest. Hailey will find herself caught between her family, the residents of Corpus, and the vampire she’s falling in love with.

*I received a copy of this book courtesy of Authoright and Clink Street Publishing as part of their The Grateful Boys Blog Tour*

I received this book duo courtesy of Clink Street Publishing and Authoright. I read a lot of Supernatural literature when I was younger and I thought he run up to Hallowe’en was the perfect time to delve back into an old favourite. I don’t know why I have steered clear from literature featuring Vampires of late because this book reminded me just how much I enjoy reading this branch of literature. The book was refreshing, featuring topical issues of race and diversity, strong friend and familial relationships, and addressed some vampiric lore issues I’ve previously had to base the supernatural elements on a strongly logical idea.

I want to start first with the vampires. They’re illusive, mysterious, and all the things a good set of vampires should be. I really like their representation and how they interact with each other and the non-supernatural world. Their intraspecies relationships are amusing and lasting and create a really solid foundation for the lore that is explained as the book progresses. They have the right amount of mystery, intelligence, cunning, and sass to be great characters, and had comebacks for everything (I love that DuMaurier addressed one main issue I had about the Cullen’s from Twilight – why would anyone relive high school if they could choose not too, huh?) I loved that DuMaurier also interwove classical vampiric ideas, such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula and changing into a wolf, a bat, or mist. The base/home they occupied was a great mix of what we expect versus what would need to be seen to cover their tracks and was expertly done.

The humans/non supernatural beings interacted with all the usual human quirks that would be found in a small town dynamic and its inclusion was fascinating to read. Racial tensions played a part throughout the book and I thought the inclusion was both progressive and relavant and actually provided a great edge to the book. The lack of trust between Sheriff and town lead to some of the confusion between the belief the town housed vampires, and arguably let them sustain as long as they did. The tension was completely at odds with the strong friendship bonds that are discussed, mainly between Hailey’s circle of friends and between her brother Mason’s circles of friends. The book predominantly follows the sheriff, Mason and gang, and Hailey and gang’s interactions with he vampire group so witnessing how each differs and moves and interacts was truly fascinating.

The only true downside for me was in the writing/editing, and that might largely be a style thing I didn’t gel with. The friendship groups felt a little like islands and instead of passing between them on seamlessy bridges, moving between them easily, it sometimes felt like jumping and jolting. Yes, the groups were great to read about, but the links between their passages within the novel occasionally felt stilted which disrupted the otherwise great flow of the novel.

Reminiscent of Stephanie Meyer and moreso Charlaine Harris, this books taps into teen psyche, and really shows the differences between teen boys, teen girls, and those turned in previous teen lives when the age 16/17/18 may have presented a very different mind set. The book explores familiar bonds between vampires and their kin, and between vampires and humans, and is both recognisable and refreshing in it’s approach. Overall, I really enjoyed this and it really reminded me why vampires are so popular in all manner of entertainment. The author captured small town thinking with the supernatural world well and created a thoroughly enjoyable story.

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