Published by HarperTeen on January 27, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age
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Part mystery, part love story, and part coming-of-age tale in the vein of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Spectacular Now.
There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, Sam's 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. To figure out what happened, Sam has to rely on the playlist and his own memory. But the more he listens, the more he realizes that his memory isn't as reliable as he thought. And it might only be by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to the people around him that he'll finally be able to piece together his best friend's story. And maybe have a chance to change his own.
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.
Playlist for the Dead has a story that has already been out there, a lonely kid whose friend commits suicide and now is stuck trying to figure out why but it still has something new to say about the topic and in a different way. The things that I liked more about this book are:
• The mystery: Sam, our main instead of locking himself on his room and crying forever and ever decides to find out why Hayden killed himself. Also some *things* start to happen making it even more urgent for Sam's to figure out what the hell happened and how does it influences on Hayden's death and what happened next. I have to say that this part was my favorite thing in the book, I always loved detective novels and while this one isn't exactly that the mystery does pick up around 60% into the book and I couldn't put it down trying to find out everything.
• The overall positive tone: I usually love books that make me ugly sob and make my heart hurt but I also like when books can passe a positive message, especially books that are for teenages -- suicide & depression is now (unfortunately) a common thing, I think most teens know someone who tried to kill themselves or committed suicide or suffer through depression or event them passed through theses things, so it's important to have books like this one out there, saying that it's going to get better even when it doesn't look like it right now.
• Mr. Beaumont: Can I get an amen with the last chapter when Sam says Mr. Beaumont has been helping him get through the year? Mr. Beaumont is the school therapist and I just found SO important that books about depression/suicide acknowledge the fact that it's more than okay to have a professional help when getting through hard times. I get really pissed when books with characters that clearly need professional help doesn't even make that as an option (and unfortunately is the case with about 90% of the books about depression that I already read on the young adult gender).
• The songs: THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD SONGS IN HERE! So many that I didn't know and so many that I already loved, definitely read this book with your spotify/iTunes library near you.
The things that I wasn't as head-over-heels:
• The romance: I never got Sam and Astrid's romance! It isn't instalove but there is a lot of "You get me like no one else" and "I never felt a connection like this before" and I never saw this deep connection, idk maybe it was because it was Sam's first crush but still every time they talked I rolled my eyes.
• The characters: This was my biggest issue, despite that we learn a lot of the personal lives of most of the characters that are related to Hayden's death I still never felt like they are fleshed out enough, the only character that felt real was Sam and this was probably because it was on first person. This turned the story more distancing than it had to be and made my attachment to it be less emotional - still, I recommend it to all readers who like realistic fiction, and specially for the ones that love geeky references and a good song taste.