Review originally posted on The Write Reads
Title: Adventures in Funeral Crashing
Author: Milda Harris
Publisher: Milda Harris, via Smashwords
Pub. Date: June 16th, 2011
Rating: 4.5 Crazy Hearts
Adventures in Funeral Crashing is the story of Kait Lennox, who enjoys crashing funerals in her spare time. It is at one of these funerals, that Kait runs into her long-time crush (and the most popular guy in school), Ethan Ripley. Not believing the (really, kind of lame, given the circumstances – got to forgive her for that one, though. The girl was kind of in shock.) excuse Kait supplied as her reason for attending, Ethan hunts her down for the truth. But he doesn't use it against her, like Kait thought he would. Instead, he needs her help. He's not so certain his sister's death is all that it seems...
I surprisingly really liked this book. I wasn't so certain that I would. The concept was intriguing, it's what drew me in in the first place, which is why I requested the title trough Read to Review (R2R), but upon reading it, it took me a little while to get a feel for this book. Once I did, though, I simply couldn't put the book down.
Adventures in Funeral Crashing is a nice, short read. It's fun, it's creepy, it's cute. and I just couldn't help falling for all the characters (even the potentially murderous). Even the deceased had presence in this book. I'm not kidding. Liz (the girl who was the guest of honor, so to speak, at the aforementioned funeral) was such a vibrant character in this story. She practically jumped off the page, and we hadn't even met her until she was sleeping in her casket, and even then only through the bits and pieces pieced together through clues.
I think what I liked most about this book was living Kait's crush. It was just so adorable, and she was completely oblivious to the fact that he was crushing right back (which I felt was glaringly obvious to the reader). I couldn't stop smiling whenever they were in a scene together, which was most of the book. Even when they were fighting it was kind of cute, because the fights were mostly about Kait's rash behavior, which could put her in danger, and thus make for a very unhappy Ethan and she STILL didn't catch on.
The use of excessive pop culture references, on the other hand, made me wary. There are a number of ways pop culture can go wrong in a novel, but they all stem from the same problem: The reader can't relate to the reference. I didn't have a problem with the ones mentioned in this book. I actually enjoyed seeing familiar names and favorites pop up. BUT I can relate to these familiar names and favorites. I recognize them. The problem is some of them are not as mainstream and easily recognized as others, and might throw other readers off, if only because there are so many of them.
Adventures in Funeral Crashing a very enjoyable book. It wasn't quite what I was expecting (whatever that was) but it was a fun read. I can't say the mystery stumped me (I made my final accusations a little more than halfway through the book. I was right.), but I definitely loved watching Kait and Ethan sort it out (even if it was a little frustrating at times).
In short, If you like your mysteries fun with a healthy helping of adorable mutual crushing on the side, definitely check out this book. As I said before, it's nice and short, which makes for a fast read. I would give this book 4.5 Crazy Hearts.