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Monday, April 22, 2013

Review: Life After Theft

Author: Aprilynn Pike
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 352
Source: Edelweiss
Special thanks to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.  
Summary: 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.

Clash meets sass in this uproarious modern-day retelling of Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel.  
Why I Loved It:  The book was definitely a plus for having a very functional male POV *don't let the cover fool you*.  I'm not a boy, and I still have no idea how they think, but I felt Jeff was very boy-esque.  So that definitely made me happy.  There are not enough boy POV's in YA as of yet.  *Though they could have made the book cover appeal to boys, just saying.*   

I decided to go into the reading with little or no expectations.  I got this book sort of accidentally.  I was choosing a WoW pick, saw the book, went to check it out more on Edelweiss, and saw that I could download it.  I have since learned it was because I had gotten auto-approval for HarperTeen *YAY* but at the time I was like "well that's cool" and continued on with my day.  So I had a copy, and my rule is if I download it, I read and review.  So that's just what happened.  And the book was actually quite good.  

Jeff is the new kid at school.  With his family's new-found money, Jeff and his family moved to California so that his mom would have a shot at an acting career *she's apparently good* which left Jeff as the nerdy kid... who just so happens to see ghosts.  Well ghost *singular* a.k.a. Kimberlee, a pain-in-the-butt ghost that is dead set on making sure that Jeff helps her make peace and "moves on" by returning the stuff she stole in life.  And by stuff, I mean like a cave full of boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff.  Jeff had no way of knowing that it was trying to help the former-kleptomaniac.  So he agrees to help.  During the story, he also falls for Sera, a popular "hot" girl who is a lot more than she appears.  The problem is Sera and Kimberlee have a lot of animosity between them.  Well technically it would be more of a past tense kind of thing, but the anger is still there on both sides.  

High Points:  Snarky humor is definitely there.  I love when books talk snarky.  Just gives me all types of happy feels.  Sera has an older brother that is one awesome guy.  He really helps Jeff, and he and Sera are there for each other 100%.  It was a nice side.  The character development in the book is actually pretty awesome.  I felt like I really knew the characters I was reading about.  In the midst of the "light" read, the book brings up some pretty serious issues and handles them in a very appropriate way.  I admired that part of the book.   

Low Points: Insta-love.  Well I thought it counted as insta-love.  Jeff sees Sera.  Jeff loves Sera.  Well the l-word popped up pretty quick.  *Let me have it.  I'm old-fashioned.*  Also, at first I thought that Kimberlee was tied to the school.  But then she left.  If she wasn't tied to the school, why was she even there at all??  The ending was also a bit abrupt.  I was left a bit going "HUH?"  

Who Should Read It?  The book leans a lot more towards contemporary rather than paranormal, so I would recommend it to those contemporary fans that are looking to dip their figurative toes into the pool of paranormal.  It's a good "let's-ease-into-this" kind of novel.  Oh and I would recommend it to the other contemporary fans that are just fine staying in contemporary.
Second Opinions:
YA Bibliophile

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