Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Beautiful Funeral by Jamie McGuire | Book Review

A Beautiful Funeral by Jamie McGuire

Reading Group: Anyone whose read the rest of the series

Personal Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Given Summary: Losing has never been easy for a Maddox, but death always wins.

Eleven years to the day after eloping in Vegas with Abby, Special Agent Travis Maddox delivers his own brand of vigilante justice to mob boss Benny Carlisi. Vegas's oldest and most violent crime family is now preparing for vengeance, and the entire Maddox family is a target.

The secret Thomas and Travis have kept for a decade will be revealed to the rest of the family, and for the first time the Maddoxes will be at odds. While none of them are strangers to loss, the family has grown, and the risk is higher than ever. With brothers against brothers and wives taking sides, each member will make a choice—let the fear tear them apart, or make them stronger.

Cover: The cover of this book has a tree on it with bare branches and falling leaves.  That means that it must be towards the end of fall, which in a literary sense means the end of a life.  Also, Jim gives a speech to his sons about how life goes on the way branches grow off of other branches.  

My Review:  (Just a reminder now that I tend to ramble and give away spoilers)  Oh my gosh you guys this book did me in!  I read it all in one go and didn't go to bed until 4 in the morning last week.  My Predictions from last week was right, but wrong in some ways.  I was right that Jim was the one who died, but he didn't die in a way I imagined.  I also didn't originally think they were going to fake a death, but within about 10 pages of the book I was able to see that that's where it was headed.  Also, I am so upset that Olive died.  I wasn't even thinking of her as an option!  And she was only 18 and about to start college.  Plus, she had already held her brother while he died and now her parents had no kids, and Fayln lost her too.  I wish that she was seriously hurt and maybe it didn't look good, but she pulled through.  Her death hurt so bad.  her death also just seemed so unnecessary to me.  Everyone else I could understand for the most part, I did understand and wrote a blog post about it, but Olive was never on my radar.  She was a Maddox, because she was Falyn's biological daughter, but she was the one no one would know about, so I guess that added an element to the story.
Also, so much has changed!  Fayln and Taylor being in a weird place was a curveball I was not expecting.  And I know they decided to live together again, but I need to know how they work things out.  I also need to know how they handle the fact that the Mayor's son keeps texting her or how he even got her number.  Trenton and Cami not being able to get pregnant was also a surprise, but not as shocking as Falyn and Taylor.  However, I do need to know is Cami ever does get pregnant.  I felt bad to Trenton in this book too because even though he did have lied, his didn't seem as big as his family's and it was clear that he was hurt the most by finding out all of the different truths.  I think this is also what made Olive's death so hard, other than the fact that readers knew her as a little girl and then as an 18-year-old.  Olive was Trent's best friend so for him to be hurting so bad throughout the book and then have to go through that when it looked like it was over was hard.
That Jamie McGuire really knows how to simultaneously ruin and make my day.  Her books are some of my favorites, but then she does stuff like this and it makes me so sad.  However, I think that fact that this book made me feel so much proves how good it is.  If you were to read a book like this and just like "Eh, well it's over now," than the book didn't didn't do a very good job.  A novel should cause a reaction and this one definitely does. 
*Note: Did anyone else notice that at the beginning of the book (Chapter 5) Abby and Travis are at their house talking about baby names before Travis leaves to go t the airport for Liis, but when she does actually land (Chapter 18) Abby is at the hospital having just given birth to Carter?  And there's no way these things happened on the same day because Abby was at Jim's house with Travis when her water broke.  

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