Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things Review’

Published August 31,2015

510 pages

I received this book for review back in the beginning of 2016 and I was so excited to read it. Life seemed to have a different plan for me that year and all of my reading stopped. Now that my son is 1 and more independent I am able to get back to another love of mine, reading. Starting my YA year off is Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things by Martina McAtee.


Seventeen-year-old Ember Denning has made an art of isolating herself. She prefers the dead. She spends her days skipping school in old cemeteries and her nights hiding from her alcoholic father at the funeral home where she works. When her father dies, Ember learns her whole life has been a lie. Standing in the cemetery that’s been her sanctuary, she’s threatened by the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and rescued by two people who claim to be her family. They say she’s special and that she has a supernatural gift like them. They just don’t know exactly what it is.

They take her to a small Florida town where Ember’s life takes a turn for the weird. She’s living with her reaper cousins, an orphaned werewolf pack, a faery and a human genius. Ember’s powers are growing stronger, morphing into something bigger than anything anybody anticipated. She has questions but nobody has answers. Nobody knows what she is. They only know her mysterious, magical gift is trying to kill them and that beautiful, dangerous boy from the cemetery may be the only thing standing between her and death.

As Ember’s talents are revealed, so are the secrets her father hid and those in power who would seek to destroy her. What’s worse, saving Ember has put her cousins in danger and turned her friends’ lives upside down. Ember must learn to embrace her magic or risk losing the family she’s pieced together. (

My Thoughts

That synopsis was what grabbed my attention first! Holy cow doesn’t that sound like an amazing ride and such a colorful mix of different paranormal races! I have to admit one of the reasons I didn’t pick it up was because of the size of the book. It’s a little over 500 pages but once I read the first chapter I knew it was going to fly by. Since I do have kids and business to run it took me longer than I planned to read it, a week to completion. That’s ok though.


So let’s chat about what I loved about this first novel. The characters, the setting, and the pace of this book was so engaging and rich. I grew to know all of these different people and I feel like I am already apart of the pack myself. I laughed throughout the book and even cried at the loss of a loved one. The main setting is their town of Belle Haven and it’s a town that is guarded against the outside world. It is run by the supernatural community and I love that. The shops and school are all creatures of this world. So cool!

There is action, suspense, and even romance through out this book. Oh my gosh😍the angst is done so well and kept me turning the pages quickly. There is also a LGBT element to this book and I have yet to read a book with diversity in it. So that was a very pleasant surprise and made it that much more enjoyable because it felt real. The author, in my opinion, wrote those parts well. Like I said before the only thing that was challenging was that it does have over 500 pages. I did fly through it when I got a moment to sit down and read it.

I am so pumped and ready for book 2. Thank you so much Martina for sending me your books and I hope you all enjoyed my review! Head over to her website and take a look around!

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