Monday, September 16, 2019

#Murderfunding (Murdertrending #2) by Gretchen McNeil


Becca is living a normal teenage life in suburban Michigan when her stay-at-home mom dies in a car accident.  After the funeral, a girl shows up accusing Becca's dead mom of being Molly the Mauler, serial killer from Alcatraz 2.0.  Becca can't believe her scrapbooking, soccer carpooling mom could ever be the sadistic woman on the app who killed people with a variety of vicious animals.

The only way she can see to clear her mom's name is to go with this girl to the Who Wants to Be a Painiac? auditions and try to see if she can find any info on the original killers.  But this game/reality show is WAY more than what it seems.  And now Becca is in a fight for her life....

I can't decide if I like the fact that this book was super similar to the first book, #Murdertrending, or if I wish it was more of an independent spin-off.  I wasn't expecting the original cast to be involved so heavily, which was a pleasant surprise, but the new Paniacs were complete off-brands.  I wanted Oreo and I got Hydrox.  I wanted Grey Goose and I got Vladimir.

I don't know how much I should say about the plot???  The synopsis doesn't tell what the book is REALLY about, so it makes it hard to talk in-depth about this book.  I think I can safely tell you that a girl that may or may not be Molly the Mauler (a serial killer from the first book)'s daughter, decides to enter a contest to become one of the new Paniacs.  She wants to prove to a Fed-Xer (someone that wants to out the OG Paniacs) that her mom wasn't a serial killer-- and the best way to do that is to pretend to be a serial killer??  Clearly, logic is not this girl's strong suit.  Anyway, she gets chosen to be on this new "game/reality" show, and everything goes haywire.

Meanwhile, Dee (the Cinderella Survivor) is determined to remember where her kidnapper AKA Kimmie? originally lived.  If she can find the house, she knows she can find out who the Postman was.

What I Liked:

  • More serial killer personas to get to know (although they weren't as awesome as the ones in the first book).
  • The new Death Row Breakfast Club was kind of awesome.  There's a dude from a Russian circus who is basically Gumby.
  • Found Family.  I love that trope.  This had 2 found families coming together.
  • Gretchen McNeil's talent at telling a story.  I love the way her books are easy to fall into-- it's always easy reading.


  • There was a national storyline playing out at the same time that this reality show was casting, and it never really went anywhere for me.  The ending tied it all together, so it wasn't there for NO reason-- it's just, I didn't feel like it was needed for the story to work.
  • The romance was just okay.  I really liked Stef and I thought the girls were cute together as Disco Dolly's, but something about the way it all developed felt off.  I mean, they went days being together without speaking and Becca would still be thinking that she liked Stef.  It just didn't develop great.
  • The whole flow was different than the first book.  In #Murdertrending there would be times of high intensity and then downtime.  This book had all the killing and tension in one short spot.  I didn't like that they only had one encounter with the Painiacs.

This series may fall into the reading category "just for fun".  If you're in the mood to be entertained, this will do that for you.  If you want something serious and literary and thought-provoking, this ain't your thang.

OVERALL: I liked it, but didn't love it.  The first book got some originality points from me, but this one sort of felt like a knock-off.  Good enough, but definitely not passing as the original.  I classify it as a "just for fun" read.  And I need those every now and again.

Date Published: 8/6/2019
How I got this book: Thanks to Freeform and ALA for providing me with an advanced copy to read and honestly review.
Publisher: Disney/Freeform

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 3.5/5

Character: Stef Ybarra
Book: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

  • Stef is a Yentl fan and dresses as Barbra Streisand's character for her Paniac audition.  I just feel like the pageboy outfit would fit so good in the Finishing School series and that Stef would love it.


  1. I haven’t read either of these - are they intended to be black comedy? Otherwise I ... am not sure. I have enjoyed her books - I think the Agatha Christie retelling was my favorite!

    1. Maybe?? I'm not 100% sure what it is?? I know it's horror & I it's definitely on the lighter side of horror, but I didn't think it was funny so..... maybe that part just went over my head? I liked TEN too-- it was definitely another guilty pleasure read for me. Her other duology GET EVEN and GET DIRTY is my fave of hers.

  2. Sometimes just for fun hits the spot, and these definitely look quirky and fun! I might try 'em.

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