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The Grave Winner

(The Grave Winner #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  192 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Leigh Baxton is terrified her mom will come back from the dead -- just like the prom queen did.

While the town goes beehive over the news, Leigh bikes to the local cemetery and buries some of her mom’s things in her grave to keep her there. When the hot and mysterious caretaker warns her not to give gifts to the dead, Leigh cranks up her punk music and keeps digging.

She sh
Paperback, 238 pages
Published May 15th 2013 by Crescent Moon Press (first published May 12th 2013)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author-request
I was given this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Grave Winner by Lindsey R. Loucks doesn't fall into an easy category. The genre is most similar to a YA horror/paranormal (like the wonderful Anna Dressed in Blood), but I don't want readers who aren't into horror to discount this book. It has a lot of really terrific paranormal elements and is a wonderful read. I'm not a horror buff either and I loved it! This book stars Leigh, a typical rebellious teenager that has just e
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-m-the-author
Sometimes I write things. Sometimes what I write is pretty neat.
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*Free copy from the author for an unbiased review*

It took me a while to write my thoughts on the book after I finished it. Because I liked it so much that I didn't know where to start fan girling about it. I am going with a 5 star for this one and I am awaiting the next book which is being released September 29 anxiously. I just can't wait to know what's happening next!!

I will start off with the book cover to share my thoughts. It pulled me in with its dark vibe and the book name wasn't that bad
Tiffany Michele (BookAndCoffeeAddict)
I received this book in exchange for an honest review (LoP or Lovers of Paranormal)

On the day of her mom’s funeral, 15 year old Leigh sees the reanimated corpse of a recently deceased classmate lurking in the graveyard. While the townspeople and the media find this a fascinating miracle, Leigh has firsthand knowledge of the wrongness (not to mention smell) of said miracle. She gets it into her head that if she buries her mother’s favorite things with her, it will somehow prevent her too from ris
Pam Godwin
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This action-packed crossbreeding of undead horror with punker girl attitude is full of surprises. In a creepy-blood-dripping-like-sap-from-a-tree resurrection of sorceresses, prom queens, and arachnids, the plot goes serious when the stakes are teetering, and gets cheeky when Leigh and her BFF catch their breaths.

The cast of supporting characters accentuates this eerie tale's charm. Pitched to a YA audience, the dynamic between the best friends is genuine and rich with heart-warming moments. Add
Shayna Varadeaux
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.


I was captivated from the get go with this book. I started reading it as a very sleepy girl and had to know what happened next! I powered through 39% before sleep won me over and I delved into dreams about being in Leigh's world and three was everywhere!
When my reading infiltrates my dreams I call that impact. The Grave Winner definitely impacted me in many ways.
Leigh is sixteen and just lost
I was given this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Grave Winner is a unique kind of YA horror story. I would say I give it about 3.5 stars. I liked it and thought it was really entertaining, but there were a few things that didn’t quite work for me, so it didn’t quite earn that 4 star rating.

I liked the way the plot unfolded and how we really didn’t know what was going on at first. Leigh’s mother dies and as they bury her, Leigh sees the former cheerleader Sarah in the grav
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Grave Winner is an unusual story and a great debut novel. The premise of the story is totally unique and really captured my attention. Leigh, the 15 year old heroine of the story, is afraid that her mother will come back from the dead. And she has a good reason to be afraid since she saw the dead prom queen come back to life at her mother's funeral. She soon learns that two dead sorceresses evicted the prom queen from her grave to bury someone who offered certain gifts. Bury them alive, that ...more
Jason Crawford
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I give the Grave Winner a solid 4.0/5. Here is my breakdown:

Characters: 4/5. I really liked the cast of characters that Lindsey has presented; she shows a good grasp of YA characters as Leigh and Jo grapple with high school interactions as well as evil sorceressi. I wish that I could have seen more of the father, though, as I'm curious as to how he got ahold of that book he was reading.

Plot/Storyline: 4.5/5. Consistent, clear, easy to follow but not predictable. I liked the gradual revelation of
Jeanne Drzewiecki
Aug 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was given this book to read thru Lovers of Paranormal (LoP) and wanted to thank Lindsey Loucksfor the chance to read and review her novel.
I found the idea and concept of the book very refreshing and loved Leigh's character. The book was beautifully written and I adored the supporting characters especially her best friend Jo and Jo's brother, Callum, and Tram. Tram was a difficult character to understand as he did not really reveal all that much of himself in the book which made it a little ha
Laura  Hernandez (TheVoluptuousBkDiva/YABkDivas)
I received an ARC when I signed up and was selected to host the book tour. I made no guarantee of a favorable review and the opinions expressed are my own.

Leigh has just suffered a devastating loss; the death of her mother, so when she sees her dead classmate while at the cemetery she shucks it up to her emotional state of mind. Needless to say she couldn't be more further from the truth if it slapped her across the face as this is only the terrifying beginning.

This paranormal/horror read kept m
Oct 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-library
I won this book from Goodreads giveaways!

I really like this book and can't wait to see what else is in store for Leigh.

Leigh's life falls apart when her mom dies, but her funeral is just the beginning of the pain to come. A mysterious boy is giving her warnings, her prom queen class mate is back from the dead with a darkness following her that kills everything in its wake and fear is lurking around every corner. Leigh quickly learns that the normal life she was used to will never be the same, s
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always say that I’m not a fan of horror stories, they give me the chills and the need to sleep with a nightlight, but always end allured by a horror story that keeps me reading non-stop because I want to know what happened at the end, who was saved and who died. The Grave Winners is an interesting story with very good descriptions and narrations (scary, creepy and all the things that scare me) that made me felt very intrigued. Well written, good plot development and characters that made me wan ...more
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. I've got to say I've never read anything like The Grave Winner. Ms. Loukes has created a world with sorceresses, and other beings I've never heard of before - which is awesome. The pace of the book was fast, always something happening. At times I was a bit confused, but then things would become clearer as I read more. I really hope there is a second book, cause I want to find out more about this world. The relationships between the characte ...more
This book held my interest throughout and I especially liked that Leigh didn't feel the need to be as secretive about what was happening as characters normally are in these type of novels. The only thing that caught me as kinda of strange was the readiness of her best friend and the best friend's brother to believe what was going on. Normally people deny and deny some more until ish really gets real. Another thing I liked was the spin on the best friend's brother romance. ...more
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I've finished The Grave Winner and I struggled a bit to decide what rating to give it. I don't love the book but I definitely don't hate it so that's why I settled on 3 stars. I think the author's writing style is good. It didn't suffer from inconsistencies or poor flow or any other weird issues, so that's always a plus. I really like the characters in the book, especially Leigh. I felt as though she had good character development. We got to feel what she felt and get a good look at what make ...more
Carly Kirk
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy cow, WOW! This is such a good book that as soon as I finished I immediately bought the other two in the trilogy because I have to learn what happens! The story is fast paced and intense and the magic interesting and horrible and so much is unfair about what's happening to Leigh especially that none of the other sorceresses or sorcerers have come forward to help or even teach her anything useful.... how the heck will this all end?? ...more
Mary Beth
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great page turner

Leigh, her best friend Jo and Jo's brother Callum watch as Sarah, a high school classmate returns from the dead. Now, Leigh is wanted and just might be next, if a strange boy named Tram can't help.
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the Legends of The Damned box set.

It was a fast and intriguing read. After reading this you won't look at trees in the same way.
Concetta Phillipps
Interesting premise, but not high on my list to return to.
Nancy (The Avid Reader)
The following review is my opinion and not a paid review. I was received a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinion.

Leigh, her little sister Darby and her Dad Ken are all three in her bedroom listening to Darby who is nine years old read from a book that Darby and their mom was reading together before she died. They buried their mother today and while at the cemetery Leigh saw Sarah a cheerleader from her school that killed herself last week. And now Leigh is sitting in her ro
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to S.B. by: Instafreebie
I really wanted to like this book. I was looking forward to reading a horror story but found myself disappointed to find a lot of the story direction predictable. While there were some pleasant (& not so pleasant) surprises, the majority of plot ideas I'd considered predictable, were just that. Eg: why does she have a younger sister? Who is her mother? & how does that affect her? Who is this mysterious guy? What role is inevitable for her? Can she be saved? By whom?
While I didn't have all the an
Rating Clarification: 3.5 / 5

See more of my reviews @ Moosubi Reviews!

Usually when you think zombies, you probably think something along the lines of The Walking Dead or a gory horror movie. The Grave Winner , on the other hand, is more of a fantasy-zombie hybrid, with both enchanting magic and romance you might expect from a fantasy novel, kick-butt action and creeps you might expect from a zombie novel, and strong characters and storyline a reader would want from any story!

As a whole, I re
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First thing, and totally unrelated to how I rated The Grave Winner, the cover of this book is Kick Ass! Seriously, I'm a cover fanatic and sometimes the covers just blow me away. Oh, and just wait until you see the cover for book 2 of the series, What Gifts She Carried, when I review it next week. Holy Cow! Love, Love, Love!!

Ok, now that I'm done drooling over the excellent artwork, how about I review the contents that are between the covers?!

Not only is the cover of The Grave Winner phenomenal,
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
First things first — the cover. Does that cover not make you want to start reading this book immediately? Dark, ominous, and a badass heroine – that is the scientific formula for a ‘must read’ book for me. My reaction was one of pure insanity. I think I showed it to my husband several times, begging him to adore it as I did. Eventually I calmed down and read the synopsis. Wow! How much fun does a prom queen coming back from the dead sound? Then Loucks adds in dead sorceresses and a hot cemetery ...more
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
*I received this book from the author, via Goodreads, in exchange for an honest review*

This is the story of Leigh Baxton, a slightly rebellious (in a good way!) goth teen in small town Kansas. She has just lost her mother, and now needs to be the rock for her Dad and sister, Darby.

Strange things are happening in Krapper. Dead prom queens suddenly showing up, well...not quite dead. Someone is raising them. Why? To create havoc and mayhem, of course! Oh, AND to raise a dead, evil sorceress.

Leigh w
Valencia Lee
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Leigh, a 15 year old high school student is dealing with the recent death of her mother and she is doing her best to cope. What amazes me about this novel is that it really goes into interesting details about how a teenager rise to cope with the death of a parent. Leigh being the heroin of this story, is strong, self assured and will do whatever it takes to keep her mother from coming back from the dead like the recently departed, yet reawakened Prom Queen that everyone in her school was mooring ...more
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
We first meet Leigh at her mom’s gravesite on the day of her funeral. This is a day that will change Leigh’s life forever and it’s not just because her mom has died. While standing at the gravesite she sees a girl who was dead a couple of weeks ago walk toward her in a horrific look of dirt, mud and gore. Leigh hurries back to her family only to return later to bury some of her mom’s favorite items so that she will stay in the ground. While trying to bury the items at her mom’s grave a strange b ...more
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

The Grave Winner is a YA paranormal story and a lot is going on in the book. Leigh, our heroine, has just lost her mom and at the funeral witnesses the resurrection of the suicidal prom queen/cheerleader. This leads to a lot of questions and concerns about her mother being raised as well. In her efforts to keep mom resting in peace, she comes across Tram. He is a a warrior against dark magic trying to save the world. Leigh has unwittingly
Jun 25, 2013 rated it liked it
* I received a free copy of this book from the author through Goodreads in return for an honest review*

Leigh is mourning the death of her beloved mother as her family tries not to fall apart. When a suicide victim buried nearby comes back from the grave in a grotesque form, Leigh panics that her mother might rise again and decides to bury a few favourite things to keep her in the grave, unaware that she has just started a chain of events that will put everyone she loves at risk.

There were plenty
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Lindsey R. Loucks is a USA Today bestselling author of paranormal romance, science fiction, and contemporary romance. When she's not discussing books with anyone who will listen, she's dreaming up her own stories. Eventually her brain gives out, and she'll play hide and seek with her cat, put herself in a chocolate-induced coma, or watch scary movies alone in the dark to re-energize.

Check out her

Other books in the series

The Grave Winner (3 books)
  • What Gifts She Carried (The Grave Winner #2)
  • The Trinity Bleeds (The Grave Winner #3)

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