Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Review: Life After Theft by Aprilynn Pike

Life After TheftTitle:  Life After Theft 
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Publishing Date: April 30th 2013
Pages: 352
Genre:  YA Contemporary Fantasy
Series: Life After Theft #1
Source: Audio


  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.

I don’t really know what I expected from this book. I really don’t know the original story so I came into this retelling blind. There were some things I liked about the story but it also lacked for me. I didn’t really feel the characters and part of the story was just odd for me. I enjoyed the read enough, just wasn’t as impressed as I could have been.

Jeff moved to a new city, actually a new state. From Arizona to California and its much different from what he expected. On the first day of his new school he meets a girl… a ghost… of a kleptomaniac student, Kimberlee. She continues to haunt him until he offers his help to right her wrongs. Mostly these wrongs were things stolen from stores, students, and others. Jeff agrees to help her but it turns out to be more difficult and very time consuming. Along the way he meets another girl, one he falls for. The only problem is that the ghost keeps getting in the way one way or another.

Things I liked about the story… the romance, the friendships, the returning items fiasco. Things I didn’t like about the story, the character building, the pace, and the ghost element.

I really enjoyed the romance between Jeff and Sera is sweet and I loved watching it develop slowly. I felt it was honest and still passionate. I prefer my romances to develop from beginning to end slowly or from friendship to more. It shows more reality for me. Even though it was slow and sweet the teenager first love feeling was still quite evident. I think this was the highlight of the story for me.

The story was interesting with the klepto wanting to amend things by returning items. The fun part was the way things were returned. No one knew who stole all the items so returning them was a bit tricky and sometimes came off more of a prank. It was fun. I loved this part of the story. To see what Kimberlee and Jeff came up with next to return the items. I didn’t fall in love with the idea of the klepto being a ghost. It fit well into the plot of Jeff trying to return the items in a very sneaky way but sometimes the relationship between Jeff and Kimberlee and other aspects of the story felt a little forced to me and felt out of place. It really was like reading two different stories instead of a very well written cross genre book.

The characters in the book were a love, hate, and indifferent for me. I didn’t like Kimberlee at all. I understood her role as the mean girl. I didn’t mind the mean girl act. What I didn’t like about her character was the fact she tried to play off the innocent victim throughout the entire book. This bother me and it really irked me that Jeff fell prey to this even though there was evidence to support otherwise. He came off kind of dumb, a pushover to me. Which brings me to Jeff. I didn’t like or dislike him. He had his moments where I was really impressed and was rooting for him, but they were far in between. Most of the time I wanted to slap some smarts into him. I could tell he had it in him, he just didn’t dig deep enough. Even in the end when he came around a bit, I felt he wasn’t letting out his full good guy potential.

The characters I loved were Sera. She was a nice breath of fresh air for the book. She was smart, sweet, and for the most part forgiving. Even though she was the sweetest in the beginning, I felt she grew the most. Another reason I didn’t like Kimberlee. She grew a bit, but not as much as she should have, and Jeff didn’t grow as much as he could have. Sera’s brother was also a winner for me. I thought he had it all from the get go. He was the bad boy on the outside to warn off any unwanted attention but he was really a good guy to his soul.

The pacing I had a hard time with. There were times I was very interested in the going ons and other times I was easily distracted and I would miss something and have to go back a bit. That drove me insane. I have a hard time with books not keeping my interest through every scene because I tend to feel lost later on. This may have been a book I was better off reading than listening.

I can say that the book did have a great balance of depth and fun, sometimes a little farfetched and corny, but still a good balance.

It was entertaining but lacked for me.

Aprilynne Pike has been spinning faerie stories since she was a child with a hyper-active imagination. At the age of twenty she received her BA in Creative Writing from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. When not writing, Aprilynne can usually be found at the gym; she also enjoys singing, acting, reading, and working with pregnant moms as a childbirth educator and doula. Aprilynne currently lives with her husband and three kids in Utah, and dreams of warmer climates.
Aprilynne Pike's #1 New York Times best-selling debut, WINGS, is the first of four books about a seemingly ordinary girl with a not-so-ordinary destiny. In this tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever...

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of this book, but not sure if I'm going to like it or not. I didn't know it was a retelling and definitely don't know the original story. I do like mean girls though, so maybe....

    Great Review!!


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