Wednesday, June 5, 2013

2.5 stars: Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike

"Moving to a new high school sucks. Especially a rich-kid private school. With uniforms. But nothing is worse than finding out the first girl you meet is dead. And a klepto.

No one can see or hear Kimberlee except Jeff, so--in hopes of bringing an end to the snarkiest haunting in history--he agrees to help her complete her "unfinished business." But when the enmity between Kimberlee and Jeff's new crush, Sera, manages to continue posthumously, Jeff wonders if he's made the right choice."

Published April 30th 2013 by HarperTeen. I read an ARC of this book.

First off, Pike made an interesting choice by not making the ghost, Kimberlee, the main character. Instead, the story is told from the first-person point of view of a teenage boy, Jeff, who doesn't know her, but he can see her. It is an odd choice since the story is about the ghost. I think that by making him the observer, the story turned out to be predictable fluff. The main reason why, was because he didn't have an emotional connection to Kimberlee. He describes Kimberlee crying a lot, but it's hard to care since she's an unlikeable character and we can't see the hurt from her point of view. There is one other character with a very emotional connection to Kimberlee as well, but again, we don't see the story from her point of view either, so the reader feels very little. I honestly think this book, if written differently, could have evoked quite poignant emotions from the reader. All I can guess is that it just wasn't meant to do that. Perhaps it was just supposed to be a light-hearted story about being a good person while you're alive and forgiving others. When Kimberlee realizes these things, it's sudden, and again, we don't really know what she's thinking and what her process was.

Like most YA books, there is a love story, but it's not central to the story. It was a case of insta-love; we see Jeff and Sera casually dating, and then all of a sudden, they profess their love after just a few weeks. There was no build-up to get to that point. Even though the story is told through Jeff's eyes, we don't even see his emotions building when it comes to Sera. I think the more appropriate word here is lust and not love. All he wants to do is get in her pants anyway.

I think what it comes down to is that the reader won't feel an emotional connection to the story, nor will it be very relatable.

On the plus side, there are a couple scenes that are written with a good amount of tension, which keep you reading, so that you can find out what will happen next. The book is also an easy read.