Lady of Ashes, Christine Trent
Set in London, 1861, this is the story of a lady undertaker who has little domestic prowess but great skill in planning funerals. Along the way her husband gets involved in a very sketchy side business, she becomes a favorite undertaker by part of the royal family, and she attempts to solve a murder mystery. The book was long and had a lot of interesting information about undertaking during this time period. In the reviews of the book on Amazon, some people said they thought it was boring and tried to teach too much – I disagree. The parts I didn’t like as much had more to do with the fantasy aspects of the story, or perhaps the love story that was intertwined in the book. I enjoyed the book regardless of the perfect coincidences and happy ending (which, by the way, left the door wide open for a sequel… oh look, there are several). Nothing against sequels for this particular book, I just dislike them in general.
Life After Theft, Aprilynne Pike
Having finished Lady of Ashes late at night and needing something easy to slip into while reading before bed, I selected this book off of my kindle. Knowing it was YA fiction meant that it was probably going to pull me in quick and I wouldn’t have to do any hard brain work to get into the story. This book turned out to be pretty much what I expected. In life, Kimberlee was a kleptomaniac who lived in an affluent California town. She stole personal items from hundreds of people – friends, family, school mates, teachers, etc. After dying in a tragic accident and being stuck as a ghost for months with no one to talk to, she discovers one day that a new guy at her school can see her. He helps to return the stolen items in hopes that Kimberlee’s ghost will be able to cross over to the other side. The story line was somewhat cliche, I think, and I felt a little let down with some specific parts. However, overall, for a YA fiction novel that I got for free, I don’t have too many complaints about this book. It was a quick, easy read and it fit my needs perfectly at the time I read it.