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.
I really enjoyed this book which surprised me because I borrowed it on a whim from the library. There have been a lot of YA books coming out lately that are centered around suicide. I find that intriguing and sad. Please read no further if suicide is a trigger for you.
This book...this book was surprising. It is exactly what they tell you it is - part mystery, love story and coming of age. All mixed up with a whole bunch of sadness. I found it to be quite real in the way everyone is described and how feelings are explained. There is this utter sadness that is laced throughout the whole book because of Hayden's death. What could cause someone to kill themselves? Why leave a playlist for your friend to listen to? So many questions and yet, not everything is answered. The book doesn't tidy things up for the reader. I read in some reviews that some readers didn't like not knowing certain things, but the truth and reality is that in real life, you don't always know why people do what they do.
Sam was a believable character and, although I usually gravitate to female protagonists, I can honestly say that I enjoyed living inside Sam's head - even if he was sad. There was an innocence in his sadness, but an understanding too. My feelings about this book are hard to explain. I found myself pulled in from the very first page and was sad to let go of the characters. It reminded me of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but at the same time it is an entity all its own. I loved it and am looking forward to more from this author (this is her first book).
Also, each chapter has a different song connected to it. I collected all the songs and made a playlist on Spotify. If you would like to listen to it, just click here.
Read it and feel sad. Then, feel thankful (hopefully).