Title: The Funeral Singer
Author: Linda Budzinski
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Publication Date: Sept 2013
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Book Summary (from Goodreads)
Being a funeral singer was a dead-end job until it led her to him … Seventeen-year-old Melanie Martin has witnessed her share of lame eulogies and uninspired epitaphs while singing part-time at her dad’s funeral home. She’s determined to be more than a funeral singer, more than just someone’s “beloved wife” or “loving mother.” When Mel’s impromptu rendition of “Amazing Grace” at a local rock star’s graveside service goes viral on YouTube, she becomes an Internet sensation, gains thousands of fans and followers, and snags a hot rock star boyfriend–Zed Logan, bass player for The Grime. But instant fame isn’t easy—and neither is love. Especially when Mel realizes she’s falling for another guy—one who may just want her heart more than her voice …
I had looked at the description for this book several times, but hadn’t decided on buying it because I am not usually a contemporary young adult genre reader. When Mrs. Budzinski contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing the novel, I took it as a sign and jumped in.
The premise itself is really intriguing. A teenage girl who sings at her father’s funeral parlor getting discovered? That has the potential to be a wild combination. And it was. I enjoyed Melanie’s character (though, I must admit, I kind of wanted her to be smacked by the time the ending came around) and the way that she changes over the course of the novel. She isn’t perfect. She’s a typical teenager who lets fame and notoriety go to her head. I work with teenagers, and I can totally see them acting like this.
She forgets who she is, and in the end she has to deal with what she has allowed herself to become. In the process she finally sees that it isn’t all about her all the time. Which I was thrilled about. By the time the end of the book rolled around, you want her to get that comeuppance. I like that the author puts the reader in a position that is much like what you would imagine her friends, Lana and especially Peter, are in. She’s their friend, but she damages her relationship with them and then has to fix it. I do wish there had been a little more of that in the end, with Peter in particular. That relationship needed fixed, and I didn’t feel like it was dealt with at the end of the book.
The romance portion of the novel is important and tied into Melanie’s behavior and eventual downfall. You see where it is headed from the halfway point on. It’s just a matter of waiting to see when Melanie is going to realize what happened. Without giving too much away, I enjoyed the twist that it took, though it was a little bit out of left field for me. That is probably a personal preference. Highlight between the astericks for a spoiler – skip if you don’t want to know!
Her attraction to Bruno is another case of the snarky, jerky boy getting the girl in the end and he suddenly becomes “softer.” In this case, I can overlook that characteristic which usually irritates me because his behavior makes sense after the loss of his band mate and friend.
Anyway – the book is a great read for anyone who enjoys contemporary YA romance and wants to read something fun. Definitely check it out! Looking forward to whatever Budzinski puts out next!
Where to Find the Book
Book was provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.