Kindle Price: Free!
Official Rating: 3/5
“Kait Lenox has a reputation as the weird girl in her high school, mostly because of her ex-best friend turned mean popular girl, Ariel, but maybe it has a little to do with the fact that Kait has a hobby crashing funerals. At one of these, Kait is outted by the most popular guy in school, Ethan Ripley. Yet, instead of humiliating her for all the world to see, he asks for her help, and Kait finds herself entangled in a murder mystery. Not only is the thrill of the mystery exciting, but more importantly Ethan knows her name! A little sleuthing is well worth that!”
It started out so well…why couldn’t it have ended well too?
What a fascinating read..sort of. I had seen the cover in a few places on Amazon, but it didn’t really interest me. I thought: Funeral crashing? Can that be fun? Interrupting a group of people you don’t know who are trying to grieve? Eh. Then, a few days ago, I actually read the synopsis and I was intrigued. As I read farther and farther into the book, I realized that I hadn’t read the synopsis carefully enough because I was surprised to that this was a mystery novel! I remember my Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys days fairly well, but I haven’t read a mystery in quite some time. I’m somewhat happy that Adventures in Funeral Crashing was one of the first ones I picked up, although it wasn’t on Nancy Drew level.
Kait Lenox. Can I give one-third of a star for a creative name? Not to mention that Kait was a really fun character to read about. I’ve chatted about funeral crashing a few times, but I’ve never read about someone who actually does. Kait was respectful about her uncommon hobby, she was crashing funerals, sure, but it wasn’t done in a loud or boisterous way. She was genuinely there to pay her respects, not to disrupt the gathering. Although that wasn’t her main motive, I don’t want to say it since it may or may not be considered a spoiler. Kait wasn’t the most popular girl and she knew she was seen as a “freaky weird girl” and…that was kind of okay, she embraced it.
Kait didn’t whine about it every time she was in school, she didn’t trash-talk her ex-best friend, Ariel, to make sure the reader knew she was bad news, and she didn’t have to. Instead of Kait telling the reader that Ariel was mean and nasty with a few choices words, Ariel did that all on her own. Ariel tried to start issues, but Kait just didn’t allow it, which I felt was very mature about her. Kait simply acknowledged that yes, Ariel was gorgeous, yes, Ariel wasn’t a good friend, and yes, Kait didn’t want to be around her. I could legitimately make a list of all of Kait’s good qualities because she had many. She wasn’t insulting her looks, she had self-respect, she didn’t insult her hair color, she had hilarious thoughts, and she had her priorities organized correctly for the most part. Of course, what kind of character would she be without some flaws? Not a realistic character. I couldn’t really pick out very many flaws. It could be because the book was just too short for Kait to show the reader that she had any. The ones I did see was her tendency to repeat things she’s mentioned before, continuously. She mentions her favorite milkshake, peanut butter banana, eleven times. I get that she loves it but…yikes. I don’t like peanut butter and I don’t like bananas, I would’ve been content with her just mentioning it two times, three at the max. Kait also loved to ramble on about how gorgeous Ethan was. At some point, maybe around the seventh time she mentioned it, I felt like I had grasped how hot she felt Ethan was. Besides that, and a lack of actual flaws, Kait wasn’t so bad of a character.
On the other hand, Ethan was bleh. I didn’t like him as a love interest and as a person, he was mediocre. He assumed that Kait did drugs and there wasn’t a solid reason as to why besides a vague, “I had hoped you were because I need some information from you.” Kait just passed it off as the rumors Ariel had spread around school, but I would have felt very insulted for a lot longer that she had. His judging skills didn’t get any better since despite the seriousness of his investigation, as soon as he saw a pretty face, he was sure she wasn’t the killer. Meanwhile, Kait would point out facts about the same person, whom she suspected, but he would try to brush her off. Not to mention that Ethan seemed the least dedicated of the two in this sleuthing duo, despite this whole ordeal having to do with something important to him. After a few days, he’s just ready to give up, as if Kait hadn’t done her best to help him while he sat around and nodded approvingly. I understand that it’s easy to get discouraged, but it was just ridiculous. I also couldn’t stand his random jealous moments. He didn’t know Kait well, but he wanted to act protective and jealous when she would do something a bit dangerous to help them discover more about their case. It would have been cute if he had shown actual interest and not just jealousy over another male “moving in on his territory.” Ethan definitely could have been a better character and in turn, a better love interest.
I enjoyed the plot as a whole, but the ending fell flatter than mint strip and there was a plot-hole. There were a few errors with the writing, but I was still mildly engrossed. I loved the way the killer sent the messages out, completely anonymous and with great technique, so the ending just didn’t match. After all the time and effort the killer put into their plan, the ending was a cop out. The ending had the killer pulling a reckless stunt without very much of their usual care. For the killer (trying to not use gender pronouns so I don’t give it away!) to blame all of their actions on undeniable love for the one person was just sad. It was a cheap ending to a well-thought out plot. Also, does anyone know how expensive heroin is? I don’t, but I feel like it would be expensive. So how is the killer getting their hands on so much of it? I mean…most college students don’t have a ton of money, so where is the killer getting the funds? The solution to this mystery left some unanswered questions and that’s never something you want with a mystery book. In a mystery book, everything is supposed to be wrapped up by the time you reach the end, there should be no loose ends.