ARC Book Review | Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

Posted on Monday, January 19, 2015 12:00 AM

Format: e-ARC
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

A teenage boy tries to understand his best friend's suicide by listening to the playlist of songs he left behind in this smart, voice-driven debut novel.

Here's what Sam knows: There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, his best friend, Hayden, was dead. And all he left Sam was a playlist of songs, and a suicide note: For Sam—listen and you'll understand.

As he listens to song after song, Sam tries to face up to what happened the night Hayden killed himself. But it's only by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to the people around him that he will finally be able to piece together his best friend’s story. And maybe have a chance to change his own.

Part mystery, part love story, and part coming-of-age tale in the vein of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Tim Tharp’s The Spectacular Now, Playlist for the Dead is an honest and gut-wrenching first novel about loss, rage, what it feels like to outgrow a friendship that's always defined you—and the struggle to redefine yourself. But above all, it's about finding hope when hope seems like the hardest thing to find.

My Thoughts:

Playlist for the Dead is one of those books that I knew that I would enjoy. I know it sounds kind of weird but I love the tough books, the ones that deal with hard issues. I don't know what it is but they just appeal to me for some reason. So, because of that when I saw this book, I didn't hesitate to request it and I'm so glad that I did.

When I picked this book up after reading the summary, I was expecting to get a lot of Sam going back through the times he spent with Hayden, searching for any clues of what his best friend was planning. And while we did get quite a bit of that, we also got so much more. There was mystery, there was romance, and there was a ton of self discovery and growth, all of which made this story that much more powerful.

The characters were so easy to relate to, which I feel is a must, especially with this type of book, Falkoff does it wonderfully though. I felt sympathy with what Sam was going through, and I wanted to figure out what was going on just as much as he did. I even felt a connection with Hayden, which is saying something about this author's writing abilities since we never actually 'meet' Hayden.

Falkoff writes an emotionally gripping and thought provoking story and I was completely absorbed in Sam and Hayden's story. I would definitely recommend this book to those who don't mind books with tougher subjects.

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Christy is a 27 year old wife, mother, nursing student and self proclaimed book addict. When she's not busy spending time with her family or learning to save lives, you can find her with a book in her hands, and a smile on her face.
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