June 18, 2015

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

So as you guys know, I wasn't always part of The Book Babe's Reads. I had my own personal blog before - which now lies abandoned... alongside all my old reviews. But because I feel like some of them don't deserve such an awful treatment, I'm going to slowly move my favorite reviews here! (though some editing may occur, as I'm a little OCD about my reviews, and the older they originally are, the more likely I am to have things I want to rephrase). 

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #1
Source: Bought paperback copy
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Publication Date: November 3rd 2011
Age Genre: New Adult
Original Review: May 22, 2013
Private investigator Charlotte Davidson was born with three things: looks; a healthy respect for the male anatomy; and the rather odd job title of grim reaper. Since the age of five, she has been helping the departed solve the mysteries of their deaths so they can cross over. Thus, when three lawyers from the same law firm are murdered, they come to her to find their killer.
In the meantime, Charley's dealing with a being more powerful - and definitely sexier - than any spectre she's ever come across before. With the help of a pain-in-the-ass skip tracer, a dead pubescent gangbanger named Angel, and a lifetime supply of sarcasm, Charley sets out to solve the highest profile case of the year and discovers that dodging bullets isn't nearly as dangerous as falling in love.
When it comes to New Adult books (or really, any age genre), it's hard to come across unique, interesting voices. From the cluster of NA I've read since the label was invented, few have stood up amongst the rest. Charley Davidson's voice, however, shines like a bacon

Charley is a grim reaper, but there is nothing grim about her. In fact, how do the departed know to find her? she freakin' glows. Yes, folks - glows. Like looking at the sun full on. She's sarcastic, hilarious and has a big case of ADD, is easily distracted, kind of silly and is so quotable I can't even! 
"Maybe if I hovered over the pot, it would develop an inferiority complex and brew faster just to prove it could."
And even though she is possibly the funniest character I've ever read of, her story had some dark undertones. The way she views herself made me tear up, and was so shocking considering the positive person that she is, showing how human nature really is complex and layered.

But Charley is not the only shining star of this production. Oh no, we've got a huge, colorful and unique cast of characters, all who are important to the plot. From uncle Bob (or Ubie), to sexy Swoops, to mysterious Reyes, to Angel, Cookie, the Lawyers and more!
“Maybe I needed sensitivity training. I once signed up for an anger management class, but the instructor pissed me off.”
A small part of the book has to do with Charley's romance with Reyes. The two have been engaging in a physical relationship for a while... via dreams. Yes, I know... whaa? Don't expect me to explain that one. Let's just say it's... a unique relationship. It's also a bit of insta love ish, but the upside of paranormal series like these is that there are a lot of room for the romance to grow and base itself throughout the books, so I have faith!

As for Reyes himself... we don't get to see much of him, yet, but I liked what I saw. (And no, him being sexy had nothing to do with that. Humph!)
“My fore-parts, as you so eloquently put it, have names." I pointed to my right breast. "This is Danger." Then my left. "And this is Will Robinson. I would appreciate it if you addressed them accordingly.” 
The story had many angles and directions, all of which flowed together perfectly. The pace was perfect: not too fast, but with no dull moments either. The worldbuilding was subtle, happened throughout the story, and didn't overshadow or empower it. At the same time, you know Jones isn't done with showing you this world. There is a lot more hidden, for us to find out in the next books.

And I don't know about you, but I am ready for that ride!

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