Title: One Foot in the Grave
Author: C. C. Hunter
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Page Length: 325
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Range: YA
Goodreads Synopsis: Her dad’s job is with the dead… and he’s bringing his work home with him.
Once again, seventeen-year-old Riley Smith is the new kid in school and her dad’s career has her back to being dubbed a freak. Truth is, she’s a much bigger freak than her classmates think. The only company she keeps these days is the dead who follow Dad home from work. She can see them. She can speak to them. And Fate seems to think she can help them solve their last problems so that they can move on to the other side. Which is odd, because with the loss of her mother and her father’s alcoholism, she’s got enough problems of her own.
But nothing could prepare her for the next tormented young spirit who darkens Riley’s door. The young woman’s death wasn’t the accident everyone believes. Soon Riley finds herself face-to-face with the killer and her only protection comes in the form of another spirit, Hayden, a boy her age with a heart-melting smile and understanding eyes that make her feel safe. If she can escape becoming the killer’s next victim, Riley knows she’ll have to help Hayden move on too, but what if she can’t let him go?
*Note: this ebook was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
This book was a fast read. C.C. Hunter manages to write in a way that flows easily and allows the reader to understand what’s going on without bogging you down with unnecessary information.
We follow Riley about two weeks after she moved to a small town where she knows no one. Her dad recently got a job as the town’s mortician and, of course, she is afraid people will find out and make fun of her – which is what happened in the last town. Riley is a smart, beautiful 17-year old that just happens to be able to see and talk to ghosts. It seems to come quite naturally to her, but she feels like she isn’t able to help everyone (that she’s bad at the job). I found Riley easy to read and I found her relatable – despite the seeing ghosts aspects. Her reaction to ghost and how they appear felt natural, like she’s been doing it for years (1.5 apparently). She is rarely scared by them in this book; however, there does come a point where the ghost reverts to the way they appeared at death and I’ll admit it was kind of creepy.
The mystery aspect of this book was interesting. However, I never felt like Riley was in harm’s way. The suspect in the mystery, although creepy, never felt like a real threat to Riley, at least in writing. If what was happening to Riley was happening to me – the most creepy thing possible, but I never felt like Riley was in any real danger. It takes more than half the book for Riley to start solving the girl’s murder, and then it felt like it was solved and resolved in an instant. I would have like to have had a little more time with the mystery – maybe a little more cat and mouse action.
Now to talk about the ‘Romance’ portion of this book. Riley has… well I guess two love interests in this book. One is the most popular guy in school (Jacob) that she instantly captivates and the other is a ghost. The ghost, Hayden, is funny and charming and very hot. Hayden seems to be different than other ghosts – he’s warm and Riley seems to be able to feel more from him. He is part-mystery because we aren’t entirely sure why Hayden is different from the others – this is learned at the end of the book. Unfortunately, I was able to guess this mystery at the beginning of the book, so that twist left me lacking.
Riley and Hayden as characters were interesting. I loved their connection and interaction. I was definitely teamed Riley and Hayden and not so much Riley and Jacob. Jacob was nice and all, but I found him rather bland. He didn’t stand out the way Hayden did, but then again Jacob didn’t get anywhere near as much page-time. For a romance, this was rather tame, even for a YA romance. There was a lot of pining, not a lot of action – so for those who aren’t interested in smexy times, this one would be fine (limited amount of makeout sessions)
Overall, this book was good. Although I found it predictable, I also found it enjoyable and quick. I just hope Book 2 (Two Feet Under) provides a little more mystery and twists that I’m not able to predict so quickly.
Thank you to C.C. Hunter for reaching out and providing me with a finished copy of One Foot in the Grave. I look forward to finishing off this series.