Title/Author: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Narrated by: Lorelai King.
Genre: Paranormal Romance.
Publisher: MacMillan Audio.
Favorite character: U.B.
All in all: Light and fun.
Synopsis: Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. ~Goodreads.com.
My Thoughts: Although the events in this book put the main protagonist Charley in danger, the humor that comes through puts the reader in a receptive mood to the probability that that events will work out, at least for Charley. I also like how the opening of each chapter is a funny t-shirt, bumper sticker saying. Charley is vulnerable and uses humor and sassy quips when she feels threatened or defensive. Charley does reveal some sadness, fears and misgivings, but sometimes as she tries to brush things off with her humor, it comes off as someone who feels sorry for themself. This is not a horrible quality in a character, in fact it makes her more real and believable. The problem for me was that I didn't feel as connected to her as I would have liked.
The plot and sub plots were interesting and well done. They tied into each other because Charley has a paranormal protector who shows up when she is in imminent danger and that is part of the mystery she is trying to solve for herself personally. There were some definite surprises and revelations. What I really liked about Charley is that she is NOT a kick-ass fighter. She doesn't know Karate or use numchucks or even really how to fight. It was kind of a nice change of pace from a lot of UF/PNR books out there. She is a normal woman who just happens to have a paranormal calling.
The narration is done very well. Lorelai does humor and snarkiness perfectly. She captured Charley's character very well and had a smart ass innocence that was clear in her tone. She also did a lot of other voices very well including male voices. There were never any times that I felt taken out of the story because of the narration.
There is romance and some sex scenes but nothing over the top. So, I was good with with this aspect. The romance is also paranormal in scope so that was, umm, interesting to say the least. But it does not take away from the story.
I also really liked Charley's relationships with her father and her uncle. The one with her step-mother is a strained and I would actually like to have explored that more. I'm thinking that in the sequels the author may get more into this family dynamic.
The other small issue I had is that for the most of the book it is pretty light paranormal. Then, it goes into much deeper and darker stuff at the end. Although I like my books deep and dark, it just didn't seem to fit with the rest of the story to me.
Okay, the cover? At first glance it says "Summer beach read" to me. You have to look closer to see the skulls on her sandals and the scythe in the corner. I like that it's a bit different from a hot babe on the cover and kind of lighter, like the book itself.
If you like fun paranormal romance on the lighter side, I think you will like this book.