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Tombstone Tea

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  166 ratings  ·  37 reviews
In order to be accepted by the “in crowd” at her new high school, Jamie accepts a dare to spend one night in a local cemetery collecting rubbings from ten gravestones. Once inside the gate of the dark and frightening burial ground, Jamie meets Paul, a handsome boy who works as a caretaker at the cemetery. Paul explains to Jamie about Tombstone Tea: a fund-raising performan ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by Running Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Average rating 3.28  · 
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 ·  166 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Oct 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Books and Literature for Teens
I’m not quite sure I liked Tombstone Tea very much. It is suspenseful and mysterious, but I couldn’t help but feel creeped out about Paul and Jessie being able to talk to dead people or that they liked cemeteries. What was even weirder was that one of the ghosts is just insane.
I understood that Dahme is trying to incorporate history into her book, but you don’t have to talk to “ghosts” to learn about or respect history and you sure don’t have to go to cemeteries!
Tombstone Tea takes on two differ
May 31, 2009 rated it liked it
At first I thought this would be a slightly creepy version of Spoon River Anthology, but it's more a revenge tale with Really Angry Ghosts.

Jessie (a spiritualist who "blanks out" occasionally) has moved to a new school, a charter school linked to a nearby cemetery. In an effort to make friends, she agrees to spend the night in the cemetery getting gravestone rubbings. The "spend the night" part just seems cruel, but then it wouldn't set up the rest of the book. Jessie meets Paul, a really cute
Ashley Brooke
Aug 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of A Certain Slant of Light
Recommended to Ashley Brooke by: The good folks at ALA
Shelves: my-faves
You know you love a book when you read the last sentence and your first thought is 'I really want a sequel'!

A surprisingly engaging title! I'm very happy I picked this book up at ALA this year. The story follows Jessie, a sophomore in a new high school, who, on a dare from the 'in' group at her new school, spends a night in an old cemetery. The visit to the cemetery opens a can of worms when her 'gift' of sight makes her quite popular with the residents of the cemetery, one especially negative
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: paranormal
This book is divided into three parts. In the first part, Jessie can see and hear things that nobody else can. She doesn't know why and she hasn't told anybody either. But now she's moved to a new town and the local girls have dared her to spend the night in the cemetery collecting rubbings of grave stones. While there she meets many ghosts who are pretending they are really actors for a "Tombstone Tea" event. This first part was excrutiating to read. Jessie was oblivious and idiotic and the who ...more
Michelle Rebar
Aug 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who liked THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman
This is a quick & spooky read that will make a great companion for a cold, dark night. It's not scary but just the right amount of creepiness with a little history lesson and some quirky ghosts, some of which were actual historical figures. TOMBSTONE TEA takes place in a very real place in Philadelphia, the Laurel Hill Cemetery that overlooks the Schuylkill River (for those who don't live in the SE Pennsylvania area, it is pronounced SKOO-KULL River). I happen to live near this place, and this b ...more
Aug 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Jessie has recently moved to a new town and is going to a new school. In order to be accepted by the “in” girls at school - she has been dared to spend the night at the local cemetery with a list of names whose graves she has to find. Upon entering the cemetery, she meets Paul, a handsome boy who works as a caretaker at the cemetery. Paul explains to Jessie that this evening is the rehearsal for the Tombstone Tea: a fund-raising performance in which actors impersonate the people buried in the ce ...more
Cindy Hudson
Apr 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Jessie is acting on a dare when she shows up at the Laurel Hill Cemetery one night. Her instructions are to spend a whole night while wandering the cemetery and collecting rubbings from the gravestones of 10 residents. Desperate to make friends in her new high school, Jessie has agreed to the task despite her misgivings.

Almost immediately she runs into Paul, a boy who seems to be near her age and who says he works as a night caretaker at Laurel Hill. He offers to help her. While collecting rubbi
Oct 14, 2014 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenny / Wondrous Reads
Feb 02, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-review
Although Tombstone Tea had a fantastic premise, I thought it could have been better, and it didn't quite live up to my expectations. I'm going to put that down to my slight dislike of main character Jessie, as the writing was good and the plot intriguing.

My favourite part of the book was the second section, which was narrated by Paul. He was more appealing than Jessie, and had a far more likeable voice. His story was interesting, and I could easily have read the whole book from his perspective.
Will Mcclinton
Tombstone Tea, written by Joanne Dahme is a venture into the young adult stories that I so much enjoy. Jessie the protagonist is a special teen with a psychic gift.Her family moved putting her into a new school. Having been a teen it was not hard to imagine the difficulties she faced fitting in at a new school. Jessie is coerced by the popular girls into staying a night in Laurel Hill Cemetery to get a list of tombstone rubbing. As a fan of the macabre and frightening tales it does not take her ...more
Kelsie Beaudoin (The Bookworm)
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
When I bought the book I knew it was going to be terrible, but I bought it anyway because it was buy one get one free at a bookstore.

But I loved this book! It wasn’t so much the characters that I loved, they were only “eh”, but the atmosphere of this book was just so wonderful. It was the perfect little piece of melancholy goth to add to my read-a-thon day.

It’s not your typical- girl can talk to ghosts- story, and I loved it. The main character was a bit too weak for my preference, but other tha
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, ghosts
This is not your typical ghost story! I really enjoyed it. I have often wandered through the headstones and wondered who the people were and what they were like. So, this was a perfect set up for me! I enjoyed all the characters and thought they were well written. I especially liked Jenny, as she was so scary she jumped off the page. I liked the wrap up to the story. I have never read Dahme before, but I will search out more by her. Recommended for ghost fans, those who like cemetaries, history ...more
Jan 17, 2010 rated it did not like it
I almost never give up on a book. However, I couldn't even get through the prologue of this one. I even tried picking up at chapter 1 and then flipped to halfway through the book. Nope. Couldn't do it. I don't know exactly why. Just something about the writing style I guess. It made me sad to put it down, but there are just so many other (better) books out there for me to read than to waste my time on this one.
Vicki Jaeger
Mar 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Vicki by: advance reading copy
I think the story summary doesn't do it justice. Think of a mix of The Medium, a smidge of The Ghost Whisperer, and somewhat like the book A Gracious Plenty (though without the main character having health issues). It was a lovely book about the longing to belong, finding your own place and people, and the art of forgiveness and letting go. Oh, and it's one big ghost story without being Stephen King creepy. (Which means I could read it and sleep afterwards.)
Miss Clark
Jun 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

Atmospheric, with some highly visual descriptions of a cemetery at night, but there is not nearly enough plot. It might have worked better as a short story. Climax was extremely confusing and murky. Too little about Jessie, her powers and general background for everything. Vague and unfulfilling.

Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book, although it could have had a bit more of plot, be part of a series, and develope the history project a bit better. I love paranormal romance! And the best thing about it? It wasn't the main theme of the book :) just a young girl trying to fit in a new school, learning to accept herself and overcoming her fears. Quick but pleasant read.
Aug 04, 2009 rated it liked it
This was also another book that I didn't really get caught on within the first chapter. But once I got to the part where she had to go to the cemetery and all that happened there the first night. Wow. I mean it seems so unreal,but it was all unfolding right at her feet. Absolutely incredible.
Feb 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: afterlife
I was about to put this book back because I didn't have a lot of money, but I'm so glad I got it! This beautifully written book will put you right in the middle of the world the characters live in. The only complaint I have is that it was too short because I would have loved the story to continue.
Alicia W.
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
I love the premise. However I found the book to be disjointed. It was though large portions of the story were edited out leaving the bare minimum of scenes. I wanted more. More story, more character development.
Laney S.
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Teens and Young Adults
Recommended to Laney by: Mom and Sister
Sooo good!! It's mysterious and creepy, yet warming and wonderful. The book is about a girl who can see and speak to ghost, or spirits. She meets a boy named Paul who protects her. That's all I'm going to say, just read it for yourself because it's a great book.
Jun 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, ghosts, ya-horror
Somewhat lackluster ghost story. It wasn't terrible, but it didn't live up to my expectations either. It's a short read, and I enjoyed it well enough, but I wouldn't rush out and recommend it to anybody either.
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
The book is about a girl named Jessie who talks about what she experienced staying in the cemetery. How she ended up in the cemetery is for you to find out. If you like when the author changes point of views and like to read an adventure/ scary book, I would recommend this for you. 
Jun 30, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, ghosts, fantasy
This rather bland and unoriginal story about a young girl who can communicate with ghosts had some potential but read like a draft rather than a finished novel.
Jul 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I would think fans of "Ghost Whisper" would enjoy this one.

Aug 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
See my reviews at the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Book Nook at ...more
Sep 29, 2009 added it
Shelves: tried-to-read, teen
It lost my attention about a third of the way through the book. I'm not going to try finishing it.
Mary  (Biblophile)
Nov 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-books
Nifty title. Quick read. Although the characters and plot were a little shallow, I still enjoyed the premise and atmosphere of the story.
Jan 04, 2010 rated it liked it
another middle school level read, good but a little jerky. lots of info on cemeteries and their history. interesting. i'm accidentally on a history, cemeteries reading kick.
Melissa Wehunt
Tombstone Tea by Joanne Dahme (2009)
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Joanne Dahme has first-hand knowledge about the rivers and streams in the Philadelphia area as she works for the Philadelphia Water Department as its Watersheds Programs Manager. Her mission is to restore and revitalize Philadelphia’s rivers and streams.

During her years with the department, Joanne obtained a Master’s of Journalism and Master’s in Creative Writing from Temple University. Joanne ha

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