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Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery

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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  233 ratings  ·  74 reviews
When Lacy wakes up dead in Westminster Cemetery, final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe, she's confused. It's the job of Sam, a young soldier who died in 1865, to teach her the rules of the afterlife and to warn her about Suppression--a punishment worse than death.

Lacy desperately wants to leave the cemetery and find out how she died, but every soul is obligated to perfo
...more
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published September 1st 2018 by Carolrhoda Lab (R)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  233 ratings  ·  74 reviews


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Rendz
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was super weird...and yet not. I liked it. RTC
Milana M (acouplereads)
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I loved this!
Jackie
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads, fantasy, arcs
I really have no idea why this was rated so poorly and my only guess is someone didn’t actually read it because wow it was so much more than I could have ever imagined!

“Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery” tells the story of the dead who spend their night stuck in a routine guarded by strict rules when a young woman wakes and finds herself the newest member of their community. Already plagued as the outcast since she is considered a “modern” for dying after 1913 she struggles to find her pla
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Lauren Stoolfire
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery by Mary Amato is a YA paranormal fantasy story told in the format of a two-act stage play. If you like a good ghost story, you're going to have to try this tale because there is so much to like about it. It's a darkly humorous and quirky, features a fantastic variety of characters (including Edgar Allan Poe himself), and it asks intriguing questions about life and death. It did leave me wanti
...more
Dahlia
Aug 12, 2018 added it
Shelves: 2018-releases
This was extremely odd and that definitely contributed to why I liked it so much. With as much YA as I read, it's getting really hard to find books that don't read like ten I've already read, and this was definitely that. It takes chances in both premise and form and it was a lot of fun.
Maren Johnson
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
[enter our wonderful book reviewer who recently finished this gem of a book] Maren looks around the library, wondering what to read now. How could she read anything else after Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery?

MAREN: Mary Amato, how could you do this to me again? First there was Guitar Notes. I've read that 1,001 times (just like the Dalmations), and I thought it wasn't possible that I could read another book that had me laugh so hard and also want to die from the feels by the end. But the
...more
Scottsdale Public Library
There are so many things I want to say about this book! There are many shiny little gems in here for theatre geeks and book nerds. I can say that as the happy center of that Venn diagram; it made this book a very fun and fast read for me. I must also make an impassioned plea that if you are a teacher you pick this one up. Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery is a “holy grail” book for teachers. It’s a dramatic screen play centered around poetry that is approachable and engaging for teens with ...more
Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dana Fontaine
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I didn’t really care for this one that much. It was in a weird style and it seemed not very developed. Not my cup of tea.
Talia Johnson
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was weird honestly, but a fun weird. Also a rip your heart out kind of fun. I loved it.
Joelie
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. Not what I thought the story was going to be like at all. It was better, the characters where amazing and quite well developed in a small amount of time. 3.75 stars :)
Shorty
A wonderfully written short YA novel that hits all the sweet spots.
4 stars, and recommended to everyone.
Jenny
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I received an advance reader's copy (ARC) of this book, so I will not quote, just comment generally.

Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery by Mary Amato initially intrigued me because of the title, then the description — the lives, or rather deaths, of the occupants of Westminster Cemetery are upended by the arrival of a new resident, a "Modern" girl called Lacy. She decides things here are too boring, too strict, and too sad, and suggests an Open Mic Night to cheer everyone up. Little does she
...more
Caitlin
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review originally posted on my blog, Turning Pages.

When I first stumbled upon this book, I knew I wanted to read it. A book set in a cemetery, told via play format? Um, yes. It’s the perfect Autumnal read, and fans of Edgar Allan Poe will especially appreciate it.

I haven’t read a book in play format in years, but it was fun. It made the book quick read. As someone who loves seeing plays, I enjoyed it. T
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Victoria
Oct 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
I'd say "Oh this is just a book I'm too old to enjoy now," but you know? Even at age twelve with my noes in a massive copy of 'Collected Works of Poe' I would have rolled my eyes so far back in secondhand embarrassment by that I could have seen my brain.

There's a raven that beat-boxes. I was already over the entire book by page 40-ish, but that was it, and with pages and pages to go after that I had to sit down and go through it all then or I'd have never finished it.

Just /once/ I'd love to see
...more
Stephanie
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When Lacy wakes up dead in Westminster Cemetery, final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe, she's confused. It's the job of Sam, a young soldier who died in 1865, to teach her the rules of the afterlife and to warn her about Suppression--a punishment worse than death.

Lacy desperately wants to leave the cemetery and find out how she died, but every soul is obligated to perform a job. Given the task of providing entertainment, Lacy proposes an open mic, which becomes a chance for the cemetery's resid
...more
Katie
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-suitable
A Breath of Fresh Air. The book is written as a play, which could be produced, but it'd be a better movie. Anyways, the setting of the story is a graveyard full of dead people (as all graveyards should be). The residents meet up each night to have tea. And talk. It also happens to be Edgar Allen Poe's graveyard.
All of sudden, a new member of the cemetary joins them. And she's a "modern" teenager. She was killed on her way to an "open Mic" night at a coffee house. Her mom and sister planted her
...more
Cherie
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This is my fourier in the young adult genre. No I didn't read Hunger Games like so many others did. I didn't find a story about kids killing kids to have merit. I'm okay with anyone disagreeing with me as I'm fine being an outlier about it.

But this book, has a mystery, several love stories, poetry, music, humor and gives understanding to the term "bored to death".

The author discussed honesty, rivalry, jealousy, self-awareness, secrets, segregation and remorse at an adult level but not in a
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Ben Truong
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery is a gothic theatrical story written by Mary Amato. This play centers on a newcomer arrival at Westminster Cemetery and shakes things up among the Dead.

Lacy Brink is a 16-year-old with a penchant for poetry. While on her way to an Open Mic Night, she wakes up dead and becomes a ghost resident one that is houses Edgar Allan Poe. She’s also the most interesting thing to happen to the residents of the graveyard in over a century.

As she attempts to come to term
...more
Brittany
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike Davis
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was just darling. I was reluctant to pick it up, because I could see that it was written as a play, and that wasn't what I was looking for. I am so glad I changed my mind.

A young girl dies, gets cremated, and is buried (in a clandestine way?) in Westminster Cemetary. When she rises as a ghost, she meets other spirits who are buried there, starting with Mrs. Steele who is not very pleasant.

The book is written like a play, and it could be a play, but I think it reads very well
...more
Vanessa
Release Date: September 2018
Genre: Humorous stories; Paranormal fiction
Rating: 3 out of 5

What it's about:
A newcomer arrives at Westminster Cemetery and shakes things up amongst the Dead. Of the 178 cemetery residents, only 10 arise regularly. One is 17-year-old Sam, who died wearing his Civil War uniform over 150 years ago. Ever the tortured artist, Sam longs to be a writer like Edgar Allan Poe—the cemetery 's most famous resident. When Lacy Brink, 16, arrives—the first "recently Deceased" perso
...more
Bryce
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is a 2.5 rating from me.

This would make the perfect summer goth beach read for the right person. Although it tackles some serious issues, Open Mic Night at Westerminster Cemetery is mostly feel-good fluff. Lacy wakes up among the ghosts haunting Baltimore's Westminster Cemetery -- she's dead too and uncertain how she came to be that way. She's instantly put off by all the rules that govern the lives of these ghosts and wants to liven (heh) up the place with an open mic poetry slam.

The pro
...more
Sarah
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you have read the book "The Afterlife of Holly Chase" by Cynthia Hand, I think that this story will give you similar feels. Both are heartwarming stories, following characters trying to come to terms with their death as well as trying to have them navigate their afterlife. Both rely heavily on literary influences and authors (Charles Dickens and Edgar Allan Poe), and both finding acceptance and changing for the better.

This story is set up in as a play, following Lacy, who is surprised to fin
...more
Dana
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book! Written in the form of a two act play, it begins with sixteen year old Lacy awakening, as it were, dead, in a the cemetery where Edgar Allen Poe is buried. Prior to her arrival, the last resident arrived in 1913, so Lacy is seen as a "modern", by the other residents who include Sam, who died during the civil war, Poe's wife Virginia, two sisters who do needlework, and Sam's overly controlling mother, Mrs. Steele, who rules the cemetery and has the disorderly dead "supp ...more
Monae Branham
Oct 22, 2019 rated it liked it
While I love the absurdity of the idea behind this book, I do not feel like it was executed successfully. The set up is entirely insane, but in a good way. Yet, it is hard to get a sense of direction with this book and the play format seems to hinder it. If it was written like a typical novel or even a collection of poems, all following a narrative, it would have worked better. The world and character building needed more room that the play format did not allow for. However, I think it did well ...more
Cathy
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, paranormal, drama
According to the "Dear Reader" letter at the beginning, this is based on a true story and was originally written for the Deceased and performed first at Westminster Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland. Most of the characters are Deceased and indeed if this play is performed in other cemeteries across the country, sign me up, I will sneak in.

The scene opens in front of Edgar Allen Poe's cemetery as Sam Steele, wannabe poet and hopeless romantic struggles to find his muse. When the Raven announces the
...more
Rebecca
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I really liked this.

1. The play format is something that will really work shopping this book to teens who seek story and alternate format.
2. The size of the book, content, alternate format will all work for reluctant readers.
3. The storyline moves. Set over the course of 3 or 4 nights, the story moves with consistent speed.
4. Characters are interesting. Concept is fresh. Poe is involved but it's a pretty surface level involvement (teens won't have to have any type of understanding of Poe to get
...more
Maurynne  Maxwell
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dear reader, I did not want to like this book, but I ended up loving it. I didn’t know its structure when I ordered it, just the plot: a young girl wakes up dead in Poe’s graveyard. I must admit it’s been years since I read a play, let alone a novel written as a play. I doubted. I didn’t want to do the conceptual work of reading. But what is drama but the exploration of character, and these characters (though dead) live on the page. What the book pulls off is Coco for grownups. I laughed, I crie ...more
Teresa Grabs
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! Lacy wakes up in the Westminister Cemetery, not realizing that she is dead. She is the first person buried in the cemetery in decades and immediately thrusts the place into a silent revolution. Under the stern, watchful eye of Mrs. Steele, residents have been ruled and scared into sleeping. What started as a challenge, blossomed into a reawakening and honest uprising that helped all the residents.

I especially loved the final open-mic night when all souls are bared and truth pours fro
...more
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I write fiction for young adults and children and enjoy connecting with my readers through Skype and school visits. I also write for adults--songs, plays, poems, and essays. I teach privately via Skype and in person.

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