My life is fueled by music. Has been as long as I can remember. I work to music. I write to music. I drive to music. I read to music. I sit in my rocker/recliner and daydream to music. Some songs will stop me in my tracks whatever I’m doing (Pushing Daisies Love Theme, anyone?) and I can do nothing until the last chord fades, releasing its hold on me. But as much as I love music, it doesn’t love me back. I’m an okay singer (alone in my car is the preferable stage). I attempted to play bass guitar in my last few years of high school, and though I still have it, I haven’t played in almost 15 years. I can’t read sheet music or write lyrics or create the perfect combination of sound and passion that would give someone chills.
It’s just not where my talents lie. And I’m okay with that. Especially when there are books like The Funeral Singer by Linda Budzinski that let me experience it through someone else. Mel gets her shot at fame after singing at the funeral of a local rockstar and becoming an instant YouTube sensation. And not only do millions of people now know her name, the bassist of her favorite band wants her—for the band and for himself. Seriously, who hasn’t had an I’m-so-fabulous-I’m-dating-a-rockstar daydream? I mean if Ben Burnley or Adam Gontier showed up and said “Hey, you’re cute, wanna be my girlfriend” I might have a hard time saying ‘no’. (You know, if I wasn’t already taken.)
While Zed’s busy giving Mel what she thinks she wants, there’s another boy—with his intense stares and unexpected tenderness—who could give her everything she didn’t know she needed. It’s these two I was rooting for even before Mel’s feelings were confirmed. It’s this boy who left me wishing I’d had more of him throughout the book, more of them bantering and laughing and kissing. Because to this boy, Mel wasn’t his ticket back into the limelight. Nor was she the weird girl who lived above the funeral home and was suddenly being begged for autographs and pictures. She was just a girl who got him and his music in a way no one else did.