Review: A Beautiful Funeral by Jamie McGuire

I feel like I have been reading this series forever, so my completion of the series is bitter-sweet. A Beautiful Funeral is… an adult romance? an adult drama? I’m not actually sure. I don’t think it can be classified as a romance book, really, or new adult like the others in the series. I guess, technically, many of the Maddox Brothers books would be classified as an adult read, but I’ve kept with the NA classification up until now.

Anyway, this review will be a bit different. First, I have to include spoilers. Second, I’m going to divide things by what I liked vs what I didn’t, just to simplify things. I have all the opinions.

The book is told from the POV of – wait for it – Thomas, Taylor, Tyler, Travis, Shepley, Liis, Falyn, Ellie, Abby, America, and even Jim. Yeah. It’s a bit much for a book less than 250 pages. Each character got two chapters, save for Jim, who only got one.

The whole premise of the book is that…. SOMEONE DIES. DUN DUN. Sort of obvious, right? A Beautiful Funeral. The story picks up after Travis and Thomas’ epilogues. Benny the Mobster is dead (thanks, Trav!) and now his family is hunting the Maddoxes. So, naturally, Thomas has to fake his death to save them all. OBVIOUSLY.

Let’s start with what I didn’t like, you know, because I like to pick books apart.

  • I hate McGuire and her inability to plan her books. This woman has no idea what she’s writing. One second Travis is standing next to Abby. The next, he was never there at all, because he’s picking Liis up at the airport. Wow, he’s so skilled! That’s just one example of how McGuire changes her mind mid-sentence, AND THEN DOESN’T GO BACK AND CORRECT THE PREVIOUS PARAGRAPH. I actually can’t handle it. Her characters are great. Please, girl, just let me edit your books for you. Okay? Please? Team work? Sigh.
  • I hate Cami and Trent. Like, I want to stab them both in the face. I can’t believe I ever liked them. Cami is self-centred, but pretends like she’s a saint. Trent cares about others, but he thinks he’s the only one who does. They both guilt others just to pump themselves up. Hate them. Also, can Cami just back the hell up from Thomas? GO AWAY. When Abby told her off, I legit cheered at the book.

  • Tyler and Ellie’s kid wasn’t even mentioned until Ellie’s chapter. Like… did McGuire just randomly decide to give them a kid? Ugh. Don’t answer that.
  • Why did Ellie give up her job?? She loved her job. I just don’t buy it.
  • The final chapter was weird and tried too hard.
  • Every story was rushed. Problems were explained, and then they were solved LIKE MAGIC. POOF. Or, more accurately, not solved at all. McGuire should have picked one or two stories and actually told them. It was just a giant, shitty epilogue.

Now, for what I actually liked.

  • Characterization was still (mostly) on point.
  • America was fabulous. God, I love her. I liked how she was sort of like Diane. Everything came full circle, sort of. Really, she probably should have died.
  • The actual deaths at end were touching. I cried real, human tears. That family is 100% ruined, which is sad, but sort of fitting.
  • I’m glad Taylor and Falyn were having problems (I’m ignoring their make-up).
  • Jim’s final moments… so perfect. I’m glad he wasn’t babied at the end.

Overall, I’m going to give the book a 7/10. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t actually hate it. As much as I wish it had been edited properly, I like that I got a bit of closure for the characters. Granted, the closure was shitty, but still. I also have to give some credit to the fact that the book made me cry. I’m an emotional disaster, but when a book makes me cry, I clap. I do sort of want to re-evaluate my taste in romance, though. I think I have a problem. These books are actual garbage from a literary standpoint. Except for the original, of course. Beautiful Disaster really was a winner.




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