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Lazarus

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Margo and Hank are two teens in tiny, god-forsaken Lazarus, Nebraska. They have a profoundly deep relationship; the only hitch is that Hank has been dead for two months. Somehow he has remained in limbo— no doubt due to the sheer force of their love, and unfinished work to be done. When the pair get tangled up investigating the latest local murder— with Margo doing the ever Margo and Hank are two teens in tiny, god-forsaken Lazarus, Nebraska. They have a profoundly deep relationship; the only hitch is that Hank has been dead for two months. Somehow he has remained in limbo— no doubt due to the sheer force of their love, and unfinished work to be done. When the pair get tangled up investigating the latest local murder— with Margo doing the everyday detective work and the late Hank spying on suspects unseen—they discover nothing and no one in Lazarus are as they seem. The investigation becomes more dangerous, and it’s up to Hank to protect Margo—as much as a ghost-bodyguard-boyfriend can. While clinging to each other, the teens uncover the sinister secrets of the people they’ve known all their lives, reopen the cold case of Margo’s mother’s death, and learn how to face their past—and how to move on.


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Margo and Hank are two teens in tiny, god-forsaken Lazarus, Nebraska. They have a profoundly deep relationship; the only hitch is that Hank has been dead for two months. Somehow he has remained in limbo— no doubt due to the sheer force of their love, and unfinished work to be done. When the pair get tangled up investigating the latest local murder— with Margo doing the ever Margo and Hank are two teens in tiny, god-forsaken Lazarus, Nebraska. They have a profoundly deep relationship; the only hitch is that Hank has been dead for two months. Somehow he has remained in limbo— no doubt due to the sheer force of their love, and unfinished work to be done. When the pair get tangled up investigating the latest local murder— with Margo doing the everyday detective work and the late Hank spying on suspects unseen—they discover nothing and no one in Lazarus are as they seem. The investigation becomes more dangerous, and it’s up to Hank to protect Margo—as much as a ghost-bodyguard-boyfriend can. While clinging to each other, the teens uncover the sinister secrets of the people they’ve known all their lives, reopen the cold case of Margo’s mother’s death, and learn how to face their past—and how to move on.

57 review for Lazarus

  1. 4 out of 5

    Denice Langley

    A unique story line with original characters that pulls on your emotions throughout the whole book. Lazarus is the name of a small town in Nebraska that is the perfect back drop for this murder mystery/ investigation by a young woman and her boyfriend...who happens to be dead. Their interactions with each other while she tries to figure out who killed a local woman are skillfully written. Maryanne Melloan Woods has spent the time and energy to give us a story line that only leaves us with one qu A unique story line with original characters that pulls on your emotions throughout the whole book. Lazarus is the name of a small town in Nebraska that is the perfect back drop for this murder mystery/ investigation by a young woman and her boyfriend...who happens to be dead. Their interactions with each other while she tries to figure out who killed a local woman are skillfully written. Maryanne Melloan Woods has spent the time and energy to give us a story line that only leaves us with one question. Is there another book coming?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Martine

    This book...was everything. Sure, there were a couple of things that were not perfect. All loose ends got tied up, but some had pretty lame or anticlimactic endings. That being said, at least all of them were tied up. And the thing about this book is that it hurt my heart in some visceral way, but it also filled me up again. The number of times I laughed or smiled at something a character thought or said was too many times to count. If you want a book about grief and young love, with a big myste This book...was everything. Sure, there were a couple of things that were not perfect. All loose ends got tied up, but some had pretty lame or anticlimactic endings. That being said, at least all of them were tied up. And the thing about this book is that it hurt my heart in some visceral way, but it also filled me up again. The number of times I laughed or smiled at something a character thought or said was too many times to count. If you want a book about grief and young love, with a big mystery and a fun supernatural element, I could not recommend this enough. I think not everyone will have the experience of losing someone they loved romantically through death at a young age, as was the case in this book. I think almost everyone, however, will understand Hank's experience of not being able to have someone you love from a young age anymore. To have someone taken from you and your heart. Sometimes, our hearts don't want to let go but, as Hank said, "You're sixteen and I'm dead." Life never works out how we want it to. I desperately want more from these characters. A prequel about the main characters falling in love? A Delia and Boyd story? Literally any plotline you could think of, I just want it so bad. All I can say is that I devoured this book whole.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rajiv

    [Blog]::[Youtube]::[Twitter]::[Instagram]::[Pinterest]::[Bloglovin] This was an intense novel that had a bit of everything, like mystery, supernatural, crime, romance thriller all rolled into one. The author did a wonderful job in telling the story. There are just so many things happening in it! June’s murder, Hank’s mother trying to pin Carolyn to Hank’s murder, Gib’s reaction to June, Boyd and Margo’s relation, Margo and Hank, etc. I could go on, but suffice to say, there is never a dull moment. [Blog]::[Youtube]::[Twitter]::[Instagram]::[Pinterest]::[Bloglovin] This was an intense novel that had a bit of everything, like mystery, supernatural, crime, romance thriller all rolled into one. The author did a wonderful job in telling the story. There are just so many things happening in it! June’s murder, Hank’s mother trying to pin Carolyn to Hank’s murder, Gib’s reaction to June, Boyd and Margo’s relation, Margo and Hank, etc. I could go on, but suffice to say, there is never a dull moment. This is a serious book, and a bit depressing at times because the characters mourn the loss of their loved ones. However, it is emotional, beautiful and haunting too. Although the main characters are Hank and Margo, there are many characters in the canvas which make this story gripping. It was also interesting to see how the multiple storylines connected with each other. Moreover, I loved the concept of Hank being a ghost and Margo communicating with him. For one thing, this added a new twist to the storyline. I also liked the ‘stairway to heaven’ setting of Ancient Egypt. Some of the scenes are intense, like when Gib makes a scene in June’s funeral, or when Ted almost discovers Hank’s mom in their home. Moreover, there are some characters like Sam and Carolyn who were conniving and calculative, that made the story interesting. Probably the only thing that threw me off a bit was Boyd hitting on Margo. Additionally, it stepped away from the plot and I thought it was unnecessary. Also, few of the characters were thrown as red herrings, which was nice, but looking back, did not add much to the storyline. Apart from that, I loved this tale and thought it was a wonderful debut novel!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jammin Jenny

    I really enjoyed this mystery set in Lazarus, Nebraska. It's MC is Margo, who lost her mom and her boyfriend Hank. Hank is still around as a ghost though and he's there to help Margo solve her mom's murder. The characters were great. I loved the little romance that didn't happen between Boyd (Hank's younger brother) and Margo, and the spirituality of the afterlife was awesome. I loved that the ghosts ended up in a movie theater with Egyptian settings, and would walk up the staircase to heaven. I really enjoyed this mystery set in Lazarus, Nebraska. It's MC is Margo, who lost her mom and her boyfriend Hank. Hank is still around as a ghost though and he's there to help Margo solve her mom's murder. The characters were great. I loved the little romance that didn't happen between Boyd (Hank's younger brother) and Margo, and the spirituality of the afterlife was awesome. I loved that the ghosts ended up in a movie theater with Egyptian settings, and would walk up the staircase to heaven.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Masters

    This was a wonderful book! Great choice for middle school and up. It has it all- the charming story of young love, finding yourself again after terrible tragedy, and the chilling dark secrets that haunt a small town. It had moments that made me laugh, moments where I was on the edge of my seat completely caught up in the mystery, and moments that brought tears to my eyes.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bailey Hett

    This felt very surface level. There was too much talking and not enough character building. It's something that I will forget fairly quickly after finishing. Lots of death but the topic of grief was almost nonexistent. This felt very surface level. There was too much talking and not enough character building. It's something that I will forget fairly quickly after finishing. Lots of death but the topic of grief was almost nonexistent.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lelia Taylor

    A teenager and her ghostly boyfriend solving crimes is an appealing premise and, with dollops of humor and a whodunnit atmosphere, Ms. Woods makes it work. Margo and Hank can’t help being a bit mired in sadness since Hank isn’t really alive and well but the two work well in tandem, perhaps even more efficiently than other detecting duos. After all, a ghost can go places and hear things that a living person can’t, right? It’s not Hank’s death that they need to investigate but there’s a lot going o A teenager and her ghostly boyfriend solving crimes is an appealing premise and, with dollops of humor and a whodunnit atmosphere, Ms. Woods makes it work. Margo and Hank can’t help being a bit mired in sadness since Hank isn’t really alive and well but the two work well in tandem, perhaps even more efficiently than other detecting duos. After all, a ghost can go places and hear things that a living person can’t, right? It’s not Hank’s death that they need to investigate but there’s a lot going on in Lazarus including a very unexpected murder and perhaps another one in the planning stage. Also, Margo has dealt with death before, seven years ago when her mother was murdered and her killer was never caught. Hank and Margo have their work cut out for them to discover some hard truths while trying to find their way back to a semblance of normalcy even if that means another loss. Lazarus is a fun, quick read and is a nice way to while away a few hours; there’s nothing like a good ghost story when Halloween is just around the corner :-)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emily (Infinite Lives, Infinite Stories)

    I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher to review as part of the blog tour. This book took my mind on several paths before stumbling upon the correct one. As an analytical person, I read into the character’s actions and body language. I had my suspicions towards certain characters, but there were a few surprises that I was not expecting. Lazarus is the perfect book to read as the seasons shift from summer to fall. With October right around the corner, this book had the perfect a I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher to review as part of the blog tour. This book took my mind on several paths before stumbling upon the correct one. As an analytical person, I read into the character’s actions and body language. I had my suspicions towards certain characters, but there were a few surprises that I was not expecting. Lazarus is the perfect book to read as the seasons shift from summer to fall. With October right around the corner, this book had the perfect amount of paranormal activity and mystery to get you in the mood for the spooky season. I have a great appreciation for the character development revealed throughout the story. This is another great example of how the narrator can be unreliable. Considering that the majority of the book revolves around a murder mystery, it is easy for Margo or Hank’s point of view to veer the readers from the right path. I can recall Hank mentioning his suspicions for a specific character a few times, but I refused to allow his thought to throw my suspicions off. As a reader, you want to trust the narrator. But you also want to be one step ahead. While I was not surprised as to who the murderer was, I did enjoy picking apart their character at the beginning of the story. I liked how Hank is included in the story by being able to collect perspective on the characters that would have otherwise been inaccessible to the readers. Lance was my favorite character by far. Without a doubt, he had the biggest growth in character. I wish we could’ve seen this growth a little bit more. But I do understand that his absence adds to the mystery. Lazarus is an easy read, especially if you enjoy murder mysteries in small towns. I highly recommend reading this book in the fall because the chill in the air made me feel as if I were working alongside Margo and Hank.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Isabella

    This book took me and shocked, suprised and wrapped me in a blanket of tears. A great story about the afterlife, letting go, lose and how to cope as the death and living. Each of the characters are so well written and the story doesn't let you go. The end is bittersweet and I expected it to end that way. I like that we don't know how Margo will continue living, that way the reader can give her their own story. This book took me and shocked, suprised and wrapped me in a blanket of tears. A great story about the afterlife, letting go, lose and how to cope as the death and living. Each of the characters are so well written and the story doesn't let you go. The end is bittersweet and I expected it to end that way. I like that we don't know how Margo will continue living, that way the reader can give her their own story.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Margo is the daughter of the police chief. She loves her dad. Hank is her boyfriend. Hank helps Margo to try to solve who killed June. June was her dad’s secretary and treated Margo like her own daughter when Margo’s mother died. Margo is determined to find out who killed June. When her dad has a heart attack that almost killed him, Hank was telling him not to die. Hank knows that Margo needs her dad. As Margo goes on trying to figure out who killed June, she discovers several secrets that makes Margo is the daughter of the police chief. She loves her dad. Hank is her boyfriend. Hank helps Margo to try to solve who killed June. June was her dad’s secretary and treated Margo like her own daughter when Margo’s mother died. Margo is determined to find out who killed June. When her dad has a heart attack that almost killed him, Hank was telling him not to die. Hank knows that Margo needs her dad. As Margo goes on trying to figure out who killed June, she discovers several secrets that makes her worry that she won’t be able to solve the mystery or perhaps get kill. Will she be able to survive? A mystery novel with secrets that are also surprises for the town of Lazarus. There is also some romance, ghosts, death and grief in this novel. It is at times a sad novel but also happy. I liked Margo’s spunk to keep going forward in solving June’s death. I also liked how Hank tried to help her even with his limitations. The ending is excellent. I think the author did a fantastic job of writing this novel. Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book from the author/publisher from Netgalley. I wasn’t obligated to write a favorable review or any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to the publisher for providing a digital ARC of Lazarus in exchange for an honest review. Though I absolutely adore the concept of Lazarus, I feel like the aspects the synopsis promised to highlight are where this actually fell flat. Lazarus's mystery is more about how it affects our dual protagonists than actually solving the mystery, which becomes a problem when both end up feeling fairly static. Could I tell you anything significant about their personalities? Not really. Do I know what Thanks to the publisher for providing a digital ARC of Lazarus in exchange for an honest review. Though I absolutely adore the concept of Lazarus, I feel like the aspects the synopsis promised to highlight are where this actually fell flat. Lazarus's mystery is more about how it affects our dual protagonists than actually solving the mystery, which becomes a problem when both end up feeling fairly static. Could I tell you anything significant about their personalities? Not really. Do I know what they love about each other that caused their "profoundly deep relationship"? Probably not. It's a really cool concept, but Lazarus never really trusts the reader enough for it to work as a mystery, or even a romance story. You can't have either without clues and subtext and Lazarus refuses to do anything without explicitly stating exactly what's going on, why it's going on, and exactly what each of our protagonists thinks about it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly V.

    "funky teendom plus murder investigation" My judgement of a good book is whittled down to two key questions; 1. Am I able to put this book down and walk away? 2. If I am forced to put the book down am I able to stop thinking about it? If I answer no to either question I know I have found myself entranced in a good read. Lazarus holds everything you could want from a YA novel and more; suspense, an unsolved mystery, young love, and some teenage drama. The story is told by two main characters (Mar "funky teendom plus murder investigation" My judgement of a good book is whittled down to two key questions; 1. Am I able to put this book down and walk away? 2. If I am forced to put the book down am I able to stop thinking about it? If I answer no to either question I know I have found myself entranced in a good read. Lazarus holds everything you could want from a YA novel and more; suspense, an unsolved mystery, young love, and some teenage drama. The story is told by two main characters (Margo and Hank) through alternating chapters. The suspense of solving a seven year old murder in a small town will keep you engaged as you interact with the various members of the town and delve into their deep dark secrets. As these secrets are brought to light the murderer has few places to continue to hide. Though you will be hard pressed to solve the mystery until it is revealed to you. Only through solving the mystery can Margo and Hank come to peace and move on.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Candice

    Oooh, I love a good small town mystery! LAZARUS is such a good mix of heart, grief, humor, and whodunnit. Do we really want to know the secrets our neighbors keep? Margo and Hank are both such strong characters. Their love for each other comes out of the pages as they each wrestle with what haunts them. In Margo's case, the cold case death of her mother along with the recent murder of her dad's secretary, who has become a grandmotherly figure to her, and in Hank's, his accidental murderers plottin Oooh, I love a good small town mystery! LAZARUS is such a good mix of heart, grief, humor, and whodunnit. Do we really want to know the secrets our neighbors keep? Margo and Hank are both such strong characters. Their love for each other comes out of the pages as they each wrestle with what haunts them. In Margo's case, the cold case death of her mother along with the recent murder of her dad's secretary, who has become a grandmotherly figure to her, and in Hank's, his accidental murderers plotting something and wondering what's best for Margo--to stay with her, or move on so she can too. While the plot seems dark, the humor and suspense urges readers to keep turning the pages. I had no idea who the killer could be. Every time I thought I figured it out, Hank or Margo brought someone else's secrets to light.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dana Jones

    The plot: Margo and Hank are teen detectives (and boyfriend/girlfriend) in tiny, god-forsaken Lazarus, Nebraska. They have a profoundly deep relationship; the only hitch is that Hank has been dead for two months. The pair team up to solve a local murder, with Margo doing the everyday gumshoe work and the late Hank spying on suspects unseen. At the same time, Margo attempts to solve the cold case of her mother’s murder seven years ago. As her quest becomes more perilous, Hank will try to protect h The plot: Margo and Hank are teen detectives (and boyfriend/girlfriend) in tiny, god-forsaken Lazarus, Nebraska. They have a profoundly deep relationship; the only hitch is that Hank has been dead for two months. The pair team up to solve a local murder, with Margo doing the everyday gumshoe work and the late Hank spying on suspects unseen. At the same time, Margo attempts to solve the cold case of her mother’s murder seven years ago. As her quest becomes more perilous, Hank will try to protect her, anguished that he cannot do more as she finally battles the sinister forces that killed her mother. Lazarus is a cute YA novel. I thought the teens were believable in a good way. The mystery was slightly unpredictable but also believable. It’s overall a good, easy read. Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced copy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Thank you NetGalley for an ARC Copy. This book really surprised me and wasn't like anything I thought it would be. I very much enjoyed the thriller with the sprinkle of supernatural in there as well. Though the characters aren't very flushed out they are still interesting. The plot kept me going throughout the whole book. I did not catch the twist at the end because of the different things thrown it. Overall I do feel like it a great first book for Maryanna Melloan Woods and a good mystery book f Thank you NetGalley for an ARC Copy. This book really surprised me and wasn't like anything I thought it would be. I very much enjoyed the thriller with the sprinkle of supernatural in there as well. Though the characters aren't very flushed out they are still interesting. The plot kept me going throughout the whole book. I did not catch the twist at the end because of the different things thrown it. Overall I do feel like it a great first book for Maryanna Melloan Woods and a good mystery book for someone who doesn't want something too scary.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    I enjoyed this book. The teenagers were believable and I liked the change of perspective in the chapters. The plot is fairly basic, but the story is well told, and it moves quickly. There were several suspects, so the book didn't give itself away. It's a easy read, and will appeal to teens who like mysteries, but is thoughtful enough to be enjoyed by adults. I enjoyed this book. The teenagers were believable and I liked the change of perspective in the chapters. The plot is fairly basic, but the story is well told, and it moves quickly. There were several suspects, so the book didn't give itself away. It's a easy read, and will appeal to teens who like mysteries, but is thoughtful enough to be enjoyed by adults.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Eileen Scanlan

    Loved this story. Liked the main character Margo, and all the musings in her head. I enjoyed her relationship with her boyfriend, her best friend and her father. The murder mystery and what the pair uncovered about the people in their town kept me on edge and turning the pages. Enjoyed the teen angst, high school drama and the unfolding murder mystery. I want more!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Paschal

    **3.5 Stars** This was a solid standalone YA paranormal mystery, it just was not super surprising or completely engaging for me. The premises was completely unique, with dual narration between a teen couple, one alive and one dead, as they try to overcome all the grief thrown their way as well as solve a murder mystery. The ending was very well wrapped up and left you with a feel good feeling.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Fantastic book! The book took so many twists and turns, I suspected many different characters at many different times

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    One of the best books I have ever read. It is a book that just had me on the edge of my seat. Loved it!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    This was a very enjoyable read. The ending was fantastic with all the right payoffs. I know it worked well because despite trying not to, I still cried.

  22. 4 out of 5

    TBHONEST

    Lazarus is a nice steady mystery that delves in to the toll solving it takes on the two protagonists. It's an easy read, a great escape for a few hours, Lazarus is a nice steady mystery that delves in to the toll solving it takes on the two protagonists. It's an easy read, a great escape for a few hours,

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jaclyn Schoknecht

    My 15 year old daughter and I both read this book and we both loved it! I couldn't put it down. It's a fast-paced whodunnit featuring a would-be teen detective and her recently departed apparition of a boyfriend. But it's also the story of a small town with richly drawn characters and plenty of dark secrets waiting to be discovered. And, most importantly, it's a story about love and loss and the lengths to which people will go to hold onto those they love, for better or worse. My 15 year old daughter and I both read this book and we both loved it! I couldn't put it down. It's a fast-paced whodunnit featuring a would-be teen detective and her recently departed apparition of a boyfriend. But it's also the story of a small town with richly drawn characters and plenty of dark secrets waiting to be discovered. And, most importantly, it's a story about love and loss and the lengths to which people will go to hold onto those they love, for better or worse.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Daugherty bonn

  25. 5 out of 5

    Beth

  26. 5 out of 5

    susen s

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karol Silverstein

  28. 5 out of 5

    Noa Sperber

  29. 5 out of 5

    Caro

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sheree

  31. 4 out of 5

    여리고

  32. 5 out of 5

    Megan Weiss

  33. 4 out of 5

    Calle

  34. 5 out of 5

    Anna 'Bookbuyer'

  35. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Bianchi

  36. 4 out of 5

    Owl Hollow Press

  37. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

  38. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Pfeifer

  39. 5 out of 5

    Ellz Bear

  40. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

  41. 5 out of 5

    Kaeli

  42. 4 out of 5

    Neha Thakkar

  43. 5 out of 5

    Savanna

  44. 4 out of 5

    Brianna

  45. 4 out of 5

    Lenissa

  46. 4 out of 5

    Amber (Books of Amber)

  47. 4 out of 5

    Nikki S

  48. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

  49. 5 out of 5

    *mk*

  50. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

  51. 4 out of 5

    LizC

  52. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen

  53. 4 out of 5

    amélie

  54. 5 out of 5

    Nixx

  55. 5 out of 5

    SUSPIRIA

  56. 4 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

  57. 5 out of 5

    Kara Lauren

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