Life After Theft
By: Aprilynne Pike
Published by: HarperTeen
Release date: April 30, 2013
Genre: YA paranormal/contemporary
I knew there was a reason I loved Aprilynne Pike, and after having read her latest lovely, I think I've finally pinned it down- she writes paranormal and fantasy characters that are exceptionally realistically human. Hence my genre heading above; Life After Theft is a contemporary, and a good one at that, masquerading as a paranormal. The combination is engaging and satisfying.
These characters are all spoiled rich kids, yet they all still have achingly familiar problems. The prime example is Kimberlee, who takes things because she can't fill the hole inside. Took things, that is- she can't anymore, because she's dead. Jeff is trying to navigate the social waters as the new kid in school, Sera struggles to erase her past, Khail works to be what his parents expect him to be. . . they're all a bit of a mess, and I love them all, in the end.
I really enjoyed the tasks Jeff has to perform in his quest to help Kimberlee with her situation. These are the fun spots in the plot that make this book unique in the pool of current YA. I also appreciate that this is a well-done stand-alone; I got a great story that wrapped up in just a few hours of reading, and I don't have to wait forever for a resolution to a cliffhanger.
Because of some of the content and language, I'd consider this upper-range YA- though there isn't anything here that is more objectionable than most teens see and hear on a typical day. I appreciate that Pike included these elements just enough to enhance the realism, and doesn't go for the shock value. Because she's able to walk the line, this book feels very honest, and just flirts with enough campiness to boost reader interest in the early pages.
If you're looking for a fun, quick read that won't leave you pining for months for a sequel, this is an excellent choice.
Summary from Goodreads:
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.