Author: Milda Harris
Genre: Young Adult Chick Lit
From the Author’s Website: 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 That’s So Raven and Hannah Montana and playing with her super cute dog Licorice, she writes young adult and chick lit novels.
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for today’s teens, in five years when these music and movie references are a fad of the past, the story will be outdated.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.