Format: E-Book, 325 pages
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Publisher: EverAfter Romance
Genre: Young Adult / Romance
The first exciting novel in a brand-new series from New York Times bestselling author C. C. Hunter!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.
Her dad’s job is with the dead . . . and he’s bringing his work home with him.
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?
One Foot in the Grave, by author C.C. Hunter, is the first installment in The Mortician's Daughter trilogy. 17-year old Riley Smith is the new girl in Catwalk, Texas. She's also a senior at her High School where everyone believes she is a freak because of what her father does for a living. But, if they really understood Riley and what she can do, they would probably run away screaming. No seriously. You see, Riley can see and talk to the departed. She has also been helping the departed with certain requests before they move on for the past year or so.
It seems that most of the ghosts she encounters have had a connection with her father Brent Smith, the towns mortician.
In fact, as the story begins, we find Riley helping a ghost named Bessie assist her family. Riley is in a pickle, however. Her father is acting strange, and by the time she understands what is really happening, she's up to her ears with a murder mystery. Abby Howard's story is a sad and terrifying one. She finds Riley through another ghost who Riley had just recently helped.
Abby wants Riley to find her ring and give it to her sister. Abby won't take no for an answer, which leads to Riley to getting help from a second ghost named Hayden. Riley can also feel the emotions of ghosts like Abby which make her feel what really happened to Abby. Hayden is unlike any other ghost that Riley has encountered. There is something very curious about him that just doesn't add up. She also falls for said ghost who helps Riley investigate what happened to Abby. I will say that I was almost right in my guess as to who Hayden is and what really happened to him.
I will say that there is a great deal of drama in this story. Especially when it comes to Riley having to confront her adult father and explain that drinking as much as she believes he is drinking is not good for him. In fact, he's already lost several jobs because of his drinking issue. Thus why they moved to Catwalk in the first place. I think this particular aspect of the story is one that all young readers should pay attention to. It is okay to confront your parents if you believe they are drinking too heavily. It is absolutely okay to show concern for their well being.
I loved the mystery that held my attention right to the end. I do have to say that there is a hint of a love triangle for which I docked this story a rating. I loved Kelsey. I am a fan of characters who aren't afraid of expressing who they are, and backing it up with their actions. While the friendship between Riley and Kelsey gets off to a slow start, by the end, you can tell that these two young women were meant to be friends. Kelsey is unlike any other friend that Riley has met. She's also as curious about Riley which will make things interesting in the next book.
Would I recommend this book? Yes. Why? As I mentioned above, I really liked Riley. I think she's the genuine article who has her head on straight even with all her family issues of losing her mother and her father's alcoholism. She doesn't give herself enough credit, but she is willing to step out of her zone to take auto-tech class. Is she the perfect character who can do no wrong? Nope, and that's why I like her so much. I love that she finds friendship with Kelsey. I love that she stood up for Kelsey when the bullies try to make her feel 2 feet tall. My only twist is that there are two guys involved in what is apparently a triangle. I can't hate either boy. Not Jacob. Not Hayden. I can however, loathe Riley's father for what he's doing to himself which will one day affect Riley.
I am eager to read the next installment since the author left us with a bit of a mind blowing cliffhanger ending.