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The May Queen Murders

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  1,376 ratings  ·  338 reviews
Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.

Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Sarah Jude It depends on where you buy them. The list price for in-store $17.99 (US dollars) for the hardback, but you can find it online (Amazon, Barnes & Noble…moreIt depends on where you buy them. The list price for in-store $17.99 (US dollars) for the hardback, but you can find it online (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc) at a deeper discount. Hope that helps.(less)
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Average rating 3.39  · 
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This is the kind of story that had a lot of potential to be good. Instead it struggled to keep my interest. I could not bring myself to care about the characters. The ending had a lot that felt thrown together and rushed making it all a little too complicated. Overall, The May Queen Murders just didn’t work for me. I’ll go ahead and explain the plot, then go back and reiterate how I’m feeling.

Sixteen year old Ivy Templeton lives in an isolated farming community called Rowan’s Glen. The communit
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
The blurb on this book completely tricked me! This book was supposed to be good.

Ivy lives in the Glen. She lives in a remote community that sticks to itself and doesn't really care for outsiders (they call them rollers) Life is simple in the glen, they don't have regular electricity, TV or any modern conveniences.
Palm Springs commercial photography

Ivy sticks to her memories of her mamie's old tales and is besties with her cousin Heather. Mamie has quit talking ever since Ivy's grandfather died though and all Ivy has of her i
Sarah Jude
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: favorites, my-books
I still can't believe my book is coming out next year! Writing it wasn't easy. I reopened some mental scars when writing it--first fight with your best friend, first love, first time realizing your parents are flawed, first time finding yourself. I'm really proud of this story, and I hope readers enjoy it! ...more
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Edelweiss.)

“A bird in a house means death is flyin’ about.”

This was a YA horror/mystery story, about a small community plagued by a spree of murders.

Ivy was an okay character and she clearly cared for her cousin Heather and didn’t want her to get hurt. She was also quite obvious about her feelings for Rook.

The storyline in this was about animals and then girls t
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
Nov 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arc
Warning: lots of animal death in this

If you're curious about representation:
*Ivy is half-Mexican
*her parents’ “love story” is Eleanor & Park levels of racist, sexist nasty
*Heather is a lesbian and her story falls right into the old Bury Your Gays trope

It shouldn’t be nearly as difficult as it is to find a good horror novel. I’m fully aware it’s a genre as worthy and full of quality as any other, but I have such a bad radar for horror that I wonder sometimes if the good ones are just exceptions t
May 12, 2016 rated it liked it
“The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in.”

----Henry Green

Sarah Jude, an American author, pens a captivating psycho-thriller in her debut book, The May Queen Murders that is set across a farming community village where the folks still believe in superstitions and peaceful life with no electricity, among them are two teenage girls, but when one of them goes missing in their community festival, things turn quite worse, as the other teenage believes that there are secrets
Dec 23, 2015 added it
Shelves: mystery
Finishing a book and not at all knowing how to feel about it.

There should be a club.
And T-shirts.
And buttons.
And a slightly inappropriate anthem.
Lauren Stoolfire
Oct 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, mystery
Ivy's family has lived in the remote community of Rowan's Glen in the Missouri Ozarks for centuries. She loves the traditions and the superstitions associated with that way of life and wouldn't trade it for anything. She doesn't care that the other kids at school think the kids from Rowan's Glen are weird, and she has her cousin (and best friend) Heather at her side. As far as Ivy knows, they share everything, that is, until Heather goes missing after the community's May Day celebration. Ivy qui ...more
Lisa Mandina
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really more of a 4.5 stars. The ending, the twists and turns that just kept coming! No time to rest! I could totally see a movie being made from this, one that I'd be sure to see in the theater. Full review to come on my blog, Lisa Loves Literature in the next week or so. ...more

I don't even know what this book was supposed to be. I felt at one point that perhaps my day drinking was interfering with me being able to understand what was going on, but I took a crack at this Monday morning (sober) and I just gave up. Nothing makes sense at all. I was trying to read this book for Halloween Bingo 2017 and feel annoyed that I DNFed it instead of pushing through. But honestly, I don't have the patience to work through this book.

The main character (16 year old Ivy
Aug 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
This synopsis had me really excited and I couldn't wait to read it.

Ivy is a decent MC. She comes across as quite sheltered, but I think it's mostly due to her back woods upbringing. She's co-dependent and pretty needy, but by the end of the book here has been some growth. There are a few other secondary characters, but I'll let you find them on your own.

Plot wise, I don't know what to say. Honestly, I was expecting some supernatural explanation, so I was a bit disappointed by the reveal. But the
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The May Queen Murders is set around the main character of Ivy Templeton, who lives in a remote farming community, Rowan's Glen, in the Missouri Ozarks. Ivy's family has lived there for centuries and they live an old-fashioned, simple way of life. The kids from the local high school think everyone from Rowan's Glen is a bit odd but it doesn't bother Ivy because she has her best friend and cousin, Heather, by her side. But Heather has secrets of her own that even Ivy is unaware of. Rowan's Glen ho ...more
Paige  Bookdragon
Nov 09, 2015 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2016-tbr
I accidentally deleted my arc. I want to stab someone with a pencil. ♥
Jen Ryland
Atmospheric and suspenseful, this tale of madness and murder in an isolated town in the Ozarks is not for the squeamish (which would kind of be ... me). There's animal cruelty and a fair amount of violence in this story, if that sways you one way or the other.

I liked the care with which this small community was drawn. They eschew technology, make their own clothes, keep mostly to themselves, and are regarded with suspicion by the wider community. In this way the book reminded me a little of The
Jesse Nicholas
Sep 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-books, horror
Well... that was an interesting ending. Way too many reveals. It was definitely a slow burn of a mystery only picking up the last quarter of the book.

I did see Heather's love interest from a mile away though. But everything just got really messy towards the end and I didn't quite like how things turned out.

The love scenes were really quite good though. For a YA book it was quite descriptive in that department. So A+ for that.

Besides that, nothing else sparked my interest for the story. Meh.
Feb 19, 2018 marked it as couldnt-finish
the cover played me like a violin, i couldn’t get past chapter three.
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight
I have some mixed feelings on this book, and it ended up working out pretty evenly. In the end, I did like it more than I didn't, so that's good.

The Things I Liked:

The creepy, backward town. This place is strange. And I think it is present-day, which makes it even stranger. It's almost cultish in nature, and the atmosphere is very well done. I definitely felt like this was not a
Summer (buttermybooks)
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Everybody knows if you go in those woods, there’s a chance you ain’t coming out.”

After finishing The May Queen Murders, I decided that I needed to wait a few days before writing my review. The ending of this book had such a flurry of revelations that I needed a few days to let everything settle before I could adequately describe how I felt about it.

That being said, I LOVED IT. The May Queen Murders is a story set in the Ozarks in a town called The Glen. The whole vibe of this book is very dark
Heather Reid
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you're looking for a thrilling Southern Gothic tale filled with mystery, atmosphere, and beautifully written characters, look no further! Sarah Jude is a master of her craft. You won't be able to put this one down. Fresh edgy, and diverse YA that doesn't shy away from delving into the dark and twisted, The May Queen Murders is a must read for 2016. Loved it! ...more
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
Read it in one sitting because I was in the mood for something spooky.

The May Queen Murders promises a small-town mystery, superstitions, a crazy guy, murders, gore and romance(both straight and gay).

I could picture the whole town so clearly so props to Sarah Jude for creating such an interesting world. Came for the dark, creepy business but stayed for everything else.
Patty (IheartYA311)
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Creepy, dark and weird. Just what I expected. The Mayqueen Murders is a good fall read. I would have rated it a 4 instead of 3 but it
had pacing issues and some aspects seemed implausible. The first half was a slow burn but I really sunk my teeth into it after that. I may have nightmares tonight.
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Everybody knows if you go in those woods, there’s a chance you ain’t coming out.

I loved this book. I had a feeling I was going too, but it really did give me what I wanted. I was glued to the pages, and I just couldn’t get enough. This is a really great debut novel.

May Queen takes place in an incredibly small town, that does things in all of the oldest ways. There are no cell phones, or other modern conveniences. What the town of Rowans Glen does have is a dark history. Because of th
Trigger warnings: murder, mutilation, animal cruelty, assault, mental health, (view spoiler).

The whole time I was reading this, it reminded me of M. Night Shyamalan's The Village. It's about a teenage girl who lives in a community that keeps itself separate from the world, that embraces the ways of the past, that is kept out of the woods that surround it by a monster (although in this case, it's a man who murdered a girl 20ish years earlier), that f
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Between a 4.5 and a 5 for me. I love vibe of her book it's quirky a sense of otherworldness and so engaging! I was hooked from the start and read the majority of it in one sitting.

Ivy and Heather are best friends until secrets start tearing them apart. When ivy sees weather's shadow self she knows something bad is going to happen. As ivy tries to find out what was going on and uncovers her cousins secrets the danger surrounding her reaches epic levels.

I won't spoil the ending but I will say I e
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned
Awwww, this has been on my to-read since May 2016 and it was a let down :/ I have had it on every wish list/birthday/Christmas list for ages, and when I finally received a copy I was so excited! But then reading it I felt like it was nothing like what I expected. From the beginning I was just waiting for the murder to happen (come on, not a spoiler, it's in the title!) But then it takes FOREVER for someone to die, and then randomly everyone else and their dog goes that way (hmmm don't read this ...more
It's October, I've been in a terrible reading slump, and I needed something really spooky to try and draw me out. Horror in general is a tricky genre, and I've only found a handful of books over the years that have truly spooked me. I was still hopeful about this book, until I went to add it to my shelf and noticed the rating. I try not to take ratings too seriously, but in this case it should have served as a warning.

The blurb pitches us a mystery of a missing girl after a big celebration, but
Kathy Martin
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Set in the Ozarks, in the town of Rowan's Glen, THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS tells the story of generations of secrets coming to light. The kids have always been scared into obedience by the tale of Birch Markle who murdered the last May Queen and who ran away to the woods and can now be heard screaming in the night.

This is a story told by Ivy who loves living in Rowan's Glen. She buys into all the superstitions and practices. She tells about her cousin Heather who has been her best friend since they w
Dec 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
Hated this book so much. Ivy was the worst idiot MC you could ask for. She is weak minded and pathetic. Like an ass who hides in the corner and expects everyone else to fill in for her shortcomings.

Throughout I wanted to do this to her


Worst portrayals of females which is weak and stupid. I hated how the author put Ivy so pathetic as if females are not strong and cant do anything on their own. It was nit a scary book and the plot was awefully poor. I wanted to dnf so many times. Milo, the druggi
why do blurbs feel like they need to describe half the story?


I received an Arc of this through a Goodreads giveaway; however all opinions are my own.
mad mags
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
A Haunting Story of Love, Loss - and Severed Lips

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through Edelweiss.)

We’ve always been afraid he’d be drawn back to take our girls. He’d take her into the woods and make her his bride. We even wondered if we should give him one, just to make him go away for good. But of course, we couldn’t. That’d be murder.

For her entire life - and those of her ancestors, going back generations - Ivy Templeton has called Rowan's Glen her home. An isol
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The May Queen Murders 1 2 Sep 26, 2019 12:27PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude - Starting March 14th 2016 10 16 Mar 14, 2016 01:59PM  

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Sarah Jude lives by the woods and has an owl that lands on her chimney every night. She grew up believing you had to hold your breath whenever you passed a graveyard or a bridge spanning water. Now she writes about cemeteries, murder, and ghostly apparitions. She resides in Missouri with her husband, three children, and two dogs.

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