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Milda Harris is a Chicago girl who is now living the dream in Hollywood. She loves watching movies and playing random sports like dodgeball and kickball. Between working in production on television shows like Austin & Ally, Hannah Montana, and That's So Raven and playing with her super cute dog Licorice, she writes young adult and chick lit novels.
on Jan. 01, 2013 :
I love the premise of this book - that Kait Lennox crashes funerals as a way of coping with grief after her own mother has died. I also love it that it brings her close to Ethan Ripley, and I think Milda brings out the comedy of this really well, and she could probably do more with this.
The book develops into an acceptable whodunnit with Kait and Ethan hot on the trail of a killer...
Milda has a nice style, throwing in a little comedy, mystery, intrigue and romance. A little less exposition at the start would make it more immediate, but on the whole a good story with a really quirky but likable protagonist. I think young teens will enjoy it.
(review of free book)
on Nov. 20, 2012 :
Sixteen year-old Kait Lenox has been coping with her mother's recent death in an unusual way -- by crashing funerals. While crashing a local funeral, she finds herself face to face with the most popular (read: cute) guy in school, Ethan Ripley, who calls her out on not knowing the deceased. Instead of making a scene, Ethan enlists Kait's help. The deceased, Ethan's half-sister, died from an apparent drug overdose, but Ethan is convinced his sister was never into drugs, and that her death was actually a murder.
What I liked about this book:
This was a fast-paced a fun whodunit, with plenty of twists and turns along the way to keep me guessing. Realistic characters and dialogue flesh out the story, and Harris' descriptions of teenagers and school ring true.
What I didn't like about this book:
I had a really hard time getting through the first chapter. The first few pages are Kait's internal monologue, introducing herself, and she reads more like a 12 year old than a 16 year old. There's about ten exclamations points in the first three pages, and it was hard for me to get past the 'OMG! I'm such a teen! Look, I talk really excitedly! Because that's what teens do!' bit. After the first chapter, though, the exclamation points and X-Treme Teen language simmer down a bit, and the fun plot takes center stage.
Guys, it's free! And it's short and entertaining. If you like mysteries, you'll dig this story of a teen detective. If you have a couple of hours to kill this week during holiday travels (or while dodging relatives), pick this one up. A solid 4-star read.
(review of free book)
on Sep. 23, 2012 :
The book's based on an intriguing topic and I loved that. It had everything a YA novel requires:
a not-so popular female lead who reads (shocking, I know) and has problems at home which make her weirder
the hottest guy in school
the estranged bitchy mean girl/ex bff
I just had one small issue with it and that was this book is yet another example of the current trend. The trend that divides kids into the popular and not-popular groups. I know that's how it is at school but shouldn't authors try to make girls see their uniqueness, instead of emphasizing that the female lead isn't popular, so she's weird?
Even then, I had a good time reading this book.
Oh and I liked Troy much better than Ethan hehe
(reviewed 10 months after purchase)
on Feb. 13, 2012 :
Adventures in Funeral Crashing is the first book in the Funeral Crashing trilogy by Milda Harris. Sixteen-year-old Kait Lenox has a weird hobby: funeral crashing. She is not obsessed with death but just likes to attend funerals. Until one day she is outed by the most popular guy in school, Ethan Ripley, when she crashes his half sister's funeral and is asked the question Kait tries to avoid. "How do you know (insert deceased's name here)?"
Ethan Ripley is convinced his sister didn't really die of a heroin overdose. He suspects it was a murder and enlists Kait's help to figure it out.
I am definitely going to read the next two books in the series. Milda Harris's writing is clear, sharp and just the right amount of pop culture. The idea of a young professional mourner using Facebook and cell phone history to solve a murder is so unique and interesting. If you're a fan of Meg Cabot and R.L. Stine, you will love Milda Harris. (The author also worked in production for television shows Hannah Montana and That's So Raven.) Visit this Indie young adult author at her website www.mildaharris.com
You can download this eBook, Adventures in Funeral Crashing, for just 99 cents! Just click the title below or the book cover above. It will make a great gift for the young adult in your life.
(reviewed 51 days after purchase)
on Jan. 26, 2012 :
Every now and then a YA book review is sent my way and I accept because with each read, I enjoy the YA genre more and more. This is another example of a highly entertaining YA read that us adults can also enjoy. From the beginning the reader is introduced to Kait, a high schooler who has lost her mom to cancer and finds a connection with her when she crashes funerals. This may sound crazy, but when she attends a funeral she ends up in the middle of a murder mystery that makes her confront all sorts of fears.
I absolutely love books that have twists and turns and the reader is kept in the loop throughout. Nothing like the killer being a character that shows up in the end - no good. Not the case with this one, this author had the ability to give out facts, but let the reader take their imagination to find out who our killer is in the end. This is worth reading to the very last page.
A book that is perfect for the high school reader who loves a little mystery, a little romance and may even be a reluctant reader. A warning to the the young readers, there is mention of heroin overdoses and through the reading, these are proved wrong. I in no way condone the use of any illegal substances, but I think that the topic is covered well in this book.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Jan. 09, 2012 :
This is the story of Kait Lenox who is a junior and a social outcast at her highschool. She works at a video store, reads, and crashes funerals. Her mother passed away and since then she has loved going to funerals of any person, mostly because she likes how friends and family come together to celebrate peoples lives. While crashing a funeral she runs into the hottest guy in school, Ethan, whom she has a crush on. Come to find out it is his half sister's funeral who died from an overdose of drugs. From there they start an investigation on their own to find out if his sister's death was indeed accidental or if there was some foul play involved.
I really liked this book. I liked that Kait was someone who I have things in common with and could relate to. Ethan sounds like a great guy. A guy that most people would want to be friends with. There are some interesting plot twists and good humor. Just a few things were a little predictable. It is a very well written, fun book. I would recommend it to all ages.
I would also like to say thanks to Milda Harris and Kay for the opportunity to read this through Read 2 Review.
(reviewed 25 days after purchase)
on Dec. 29, 2011 :
I really enjoyed this really cute and simple young adult mystery. It was a really easy going mystery book with a little romance for good measure.
I really liked Kait the main character. She is a social outcast who likes to read books watch movies and crash funerals. Not strange at all just a regular teenage girl with a kind of unusual hobby that leads Kait right in to a investigation of a murder. Kait is such a sweet person and she is determent to find out the truth and of course it does not hurt that the most popular guy in her high school is her partner in their quest for the truth.
I also really like Kait´s side kick Ethan. He is really down to earth and a really nice guy despite his status as the most popular guy in school, even though he thought Kait did drugs or was related to drugs in some ways but hey doesn´t everyone believe in gossip every once in a while?
This was such a cute and fun book and I really enjoyed it a lot. I would definitely recommend it to others especially if you like a good mystery!
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
on Dec. 28, 2011 :
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Dec. 28, 2011 :
I'm a high school English teacher, so I read a lot of young adult books to stay abreast on what's out there, find things to recommend to students, have books for my class library, and look for things to teach that will interest students. Having said that, I found this book completely enjoyable. It's a simple story, unpopular girl likes popular boy and they're flung together (much to her enjoyment)when she crashes his sister's funeral.
Most YA fiction tends to fall into the "tragedy of the week" area dealing with drugs, teen pregnancy, death, sexuality, etc. etc. and ends up being rather dreary. This was refreshing because although it does deal with drugs and death, it's light and funny and doesn't take itself to seriously.
I would recommend this to my students and all YA readers. The only issues I have with it are that it was too short, and the climax was a bit contrived and too soon. The main characters were finally on the right path to find the murderer and BAM! we're thrown into the middle of the climax, everything is revealed and the story is over. However as a light romance and mystery this was a well written and fun little book!
It's a definite read, and I'm glad I got to read and review a copy on R2R (for free) so thanks Goodreads and Milda Harris!
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
on Dec. 27, 2011 :
Thanks to the R2R program to give me an opportunity to read and review this book!
This is a fantastic, witty YA mystery with romantic, and almost Scooby-Doo-like elements. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
Kait is your average social pariah at school, even the "nerds" would be demoted by asking her out. Her mother passed away from cancer, and ever since then one of her coping mechanisms has been to continue to attend funerals.... for people that she has never met. It comes from a good, innocent place, but she is essentially a funeral crasher. Before her mother had gotten sick, she had the normal "average" teenage life. But once her mother became sick, and her best friend, Airel, suddenly fled to the popular crowd ... Kait had been given the short end of the stick in terms of death and friendship.
She crashed the funeral of a college student found dead of an overdose. She always has certain rules she follows in an attempt to not get caught, but every explanation falls right out of her head when confronted by the hottest guy at school, Ethan. Turns out Liz, the college student, was his half sister. With no idea how to answer for her attendance, she flees, thinking that her status as a social pariah might mean he would forget about her. Instead he confronts her at work, and reveals that he thinks that Liz was murdered instead of an overdose...
An thus begins a social status defying partnership to investigate the circumstances of Liz's, and several other college girls all found dead of heroin overdoses.
What I thought:
This is so witty and refreshing. Parents will not have to worry about sex-crazed teenagers, but with the hottest guy in school and even a murder suspect being very easy on the eyes... there was still fodder for your imagination. It really develops the friendship between Kait and Ethan at a realistic pace. I found it believable- even with teenagers investigating a murder. Everything fell within the realm of believability and was true to their age. It was still enjoyable for me, as an adult reader. I would have no problems recommending this book to a teenager to read. Likely, because of the main character being a female, it would appeal most likely to girls, not boys. It really has some witty moments, and the youthful tenancy to obsess just a little about certain things (for Kait it was peanut butter banana drinks) really added special touches to make this an absolutely enjoyable read. Great YA book!
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Dec. 27, 2011 :
Adventures in Funeral Crashing by Milda Harris is an excellent read! Its a YA novel about a 16 (almost 17) year old high school outcast named Kait Lenox who likes to respectfully crash funerals. While at her latest funeral, she runs into a bit of a snag as she tries to quietly melt into the background, that leads to her becoming part of a murder mystery surrounding the small town she lives in. She, along with the most popular guy in school, Ethan Ripley, team up in an unlikely pair to solve the murders.
I really liked this book for many reasons. The writing was cleaver and at times funny, it flowed well and the plot was very believable. There was mystery, suspense, romance and heroic adventures. I felt like I could really relate the Kait and what she was going through. It realistically took me back to my own high school years and to that moment when you'd wish the coolest guy in school would look your way and see... you. Kait's character was well developed and very likable. She had a great personality and you could just feel yourself rooting for her.
There were really only two things I didn't like about the story. One, it was WAY to short, coming in at only 140 pages. Second, at times it seemed repetitive. Kait would internalize about the same things over and over. It was a little distracting, kind of like the point was trying to be hammered home.
Other then those two things, the story was really great. I would definitely suggest this to other readers that like stories geared towards young adults.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
Lissa Smith Reads Bookaholics Bookshelf Reviews
on Dec. 21, 2011 :
bookshelves: own-kindle, romance, single, young-adult
Recommended to Lissa by: Reads 2 Review Club
Recommended for: Audults and children ages 11 & up looking for a fun quick read.
Read from December 08 to 10, 2011, read count: 1
I was fortunate enough to make the cut for reviewing this book for R2R and in no way does this affects my review…
Adventures in Funeral Crashing… Mother verses Daughter, the skirmish for control of the book pursues… need I say much more.
It has certainly been a challenge keeping this book in my possession, as my 11- year old daughter Macy would snatch it away every time I turned my back.
We both were drawn to the book; by what you might ask. Why the cover art of course. No it not some out of this world work of art but, a basic child like sketch of a girl in a skirt wearing tennis shoes. Macy thought it was just cute and it reminded me of a girl stuck in the awkward stage of not a child and not a young woman who has discovered… lawd help us… b.o.y.s.
Not having first read a description of the book the title alone lead me to think it was a paranormal zombie story or a twisted retelling of The Dead Zone… Macy on the other hand thought it was going it was going book version to television’s The Ghost Whisper or Medium. As our guess would have it, we were wrong.
It was defiantly not a paranormal read yet it held not only my attention but that of Macy as well. It was packed full of creepy energetic mystery that was just so downright eatable. Which is why I found myself battling with 11-year old for the right to read.
Milda Harris did an excellent job at bring the teenage character to life. Kids today are just too jaded and are missing out just being kids and experiencing just what that means. Yes, some Macy included may think the kids are immature at time but in my humble opinion… kids need more time being kids and MH delivers that option in Adventures in Funeral Crashing.
Both Macy and I cannot wait to see if the story continues and we expect more from this talented author.
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)
on Dec. 19, 2011 :
I liked this book, it was very cute and a quick read. Definitively worth it.
The Ms. Harris did a great job keeping the dialog modern and events current. This was not my typical Paranormal YA book, in fact there are no paranormal elements to it but I still enjoyed it. I think the characters seemed a bit immature for high School students but it would be a perfect book for junior high school kids and teens. They would enjoy reading something with the older kids in it but also would not me exposed to any situations suited for the older crowd.
It had a mystery surprise at the end and would recommend for anyone looking to share a book with their teen either to read with or give as a gift.
As always thank you to the author and Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy Fanatics! Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy Fanatics! read to review program!
Rating - 4 stars
Recommended for - Teens
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on Dec. 19, 2011 :
So first, as always thanks to R2R and the author for getting this copy to me! I think this is one of the first non paranormal/fantasy books I've read that I honestly liked and want to read more of! Normally I find these non paranormals boring, but this was a great little mystery with really interesting characters and a real life problem that's so believable. I can relate to that which makes it all the more awesome. I read this story in just a few hours, and no, it's not a short story, but it's a quick read, so I think everyone will love it. It's a 4.5 star for me only cuz no one used swords hahahaha or crazy magical powers :) go on now, pick up a copy and read it!
(reviewed 13 days after purchase)
on Dec. 19, 2011 :
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.
(reviewed 13 days after purchase)
on Dec. 16, 2011 :
Kait Lenox has accepted her lack of high school social position, doing her best to blend into the background and avoid her ex-best friend turned super popular girl, Ariel. Unfortunately, Ariel knows that Kait has a tendency to crash funerals of people that she doesn’t even know. She’s able to keep this strange habit mostly under wraps until she runs into Ethan, the most popular boy in school and is forced to admit what she’s doing at the funeral of a stranger. Rather than outing her to the school, he draws her into a murder mystery where no one is who they seem, and if she and Ethan aren’t careful, Kait may be the next one to die.
In a sea of young adult novels with sassy female characters graced by one word titles, Adventures in Funeral Crashing was a dynamite way to catch my attention. Unfortunately, even though the story was a fast-paced read, it just didn’t quite deliver. My biggest problem was the author’s use of so many very current pop references – while this may be very engaging for today’s teens, in five years when these music and movie references are a fad of the past, the story will be outdated. By relying so heavily on these current pop fads, the book doesn’t have the goods for true longevity in the young adult genre.
In my opinion, the key when writing a teen melodrama with a sticky sweet happy ending is to provide lots of twists and turns along the way so the reader is constantly questioning what will happen next. This story follows a very predictable plot line and the characters, while engaging, are also incredibly predictable. Another challenge is the second person point of view, with the narrator talking to the reader throughout the story. While second person can be an engaging and casual way to reveal information, in this case it comes across as trite and cliché.
Overall, lovers of teen love stories who aren’t put off by the pop references and cliché storyline will find this a fun and fast-paced story, but I’m afraid it doesn’t have the full package to really stick in the young adult genre.
For more of my reviews, visit www.inquisitivehippo.com
(reviewed 11 days after purchase)
on Aug. 13, 2011 :
A teen book, with enjoyable plot and characters. Well written and entertaining
(reviewed 28 days after purchase)
on Aug. 05, 2011 :
I thought Adventures in Funeral Crashing was a fun read. It has the right mix of suspense, humor, romance and pop culture references. The mystery kept me guessing until the very end and I enjoyed the development of the Kait Lenox character. I hope to read more about Kait Lenox and her sleuthing skills in the future!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on July 27, 2011 :
I was really looking forward to reading this book simply based on the title, and I'm glad that I wasn't disappointed. Harris' prose is energetic, fun, and fitting for the age group that Adventures in Funeral Crashing aims to please. The plotting and pace were perfect and the cleverness of the mystery kept me wanting to know what happens next. A great twist in the climax and a great resolution. It's a clean story with no sex but does contain a few instances of strong language, so I would recommend it for readers at least 12 and up. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
(reviewed 18 days after purchase)
on July 18, 2011 :
I found Milda Harris to read a lot like a young, fun John Grisham. I felt like I was riding a roller coaster, trying to anticipate but being kept just the tiniest bit off balance and then getting a very satisfying pay-off. Ms. Harris writes clean, clear prose, develops multi-layered characters you cannot help but root for and her book was great fun. I'm looking forward to reading more of her work.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)