If this wasn't a book by Melissa Marr I would give it three stars instead of two, but since I've read her other work, frankly I think I'm being generous with the two stars
Yes, I know that sounds harsh.
And, yes, it is kinda mean.
But, seriously, this book is not very good when you compare it to the really great stories she's written before. What I've liked about her writing the most is that her characters are so real, so human (even the inhuman ones) that it was hard to leave off in the middle of the book for mundane stuff like eating and sleeping.
Anyways, allow me to explain the many ways this book does not 'speak to me.'
1. Hard to follow character jumps. There are several characters introduced right off, several who are no longer living and whose stories are hinted at. I can handle one mysterious character with broad hints but several really irk me.
2. The main character - Rebekkah, is a mess. She whines, freaks out and acts like a total Daphne (yes, that Daphne, from Scooby Doo). For some reason the people around her put up with her dangerously erratic behavior, in fact, somehow it endears her to them. Sadly, she's super important, so they have to prop her up and roll her out to do her job, it just doesn't make for a real compelling heroine.
3. Byron, the love interest and protagonist - I just don't buy a wandering undertaker. Sorry.
4. Frequent visits to the past. Characters who frequently wander into Remember When land are treading on dangerous soil, storywise. It often drags the story down and stalls the actions of the characters. This was a prime reason that I started to lose interest in the television show Lost - too much backstory and infodumps.
5. Repetitious. Byron asks the sheriff to investigate a suspicious death about four times, each time receiving the same, illogical 'no, natural causes.'
6. More repetition as Byron fights with Rebekkah about being a couple. Byron fights with his dad about information. Byron is just pretty feisty the whole book.
7. Strange names, they're all the rage now, but still, Amity, Maylene, Daisha, Cissy, Byron?
8. A lotta disbelief, even after the weirdest things happen.
9. Byron has to take care of Rebekah, he's even promised her dead sister Ella that he will take care of Bek, I'm not sure I like that.
I think this could just be a style of writing and characters that I don't care for. So keep that in mind when you are thinking about this book. Some books I really adore (just to give a frame of reference) are The Hunger Games, The Hobbit, Game of Thrones, Jane Eyre, Dead Until Dark, the Guernsay Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Furies of Calderon, Suite Francaise, Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief, The Passage, Dead Witch Walking and Moon Called.