REVIEW: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera (+ Giveaway)

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Title: What If It’s Us
Author: Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera
Format: E-ARC
Publication: October 9th 2018 by Balzer + Bray and HarperTeen
Source: Publisher via blog tour (thank you HarperCollins and JM @ Book Freak Revelations!)
Genre: Fiction—Contemporary, Realistic, Romance
Other classifications: LGBTQIAYoung Adult

Goodreads | Amazon | IndieBound | National Book Store

Synopsis

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

Review

I received a review copy from the publisher which in no way swayed my opinion about the work.

Welcome to the last day of the #WhatIfItsUs International Blog Tour!

Funny, charming, and heartfelt, What If It’s Us captures the nuances of relationships—both romantic and platonic.

Sixteen-year-old Arthur, a “five-foot-six Jewish kid with ADHD and the rage of a tornado,” is living in New York City for the summer while interning at his mom’s law firm. Having recently come out to his best friends back home in Georgia, he is ready to find out whatever the universe has in store for him. Ben, Puerto Rican and a native New Yorker, is an aspiring fantasy writer stuck in summer school with his ex-boyfriend who cheated on him. He thinks “the universe is an asshole,” while Arthur believes “in love at first sight… [f]ate, the universe, all of it.” But what if they meet at the post office on a random Monday afternoon? What if they get separated anyway and then reunited? Long time fans of Becky and Adam are in for a treat as the duo’s writing both shine and complement each other in this gem of a summer romance.

“But Arthur? I barely know him. I guess that’s any relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.”

Ask someone in the book community who even remotely knows me what book they associate me with and chances are they would tell you Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. And for good reasons, too. I have read and loved Becky’s debut when it came out in 2015 and have never quite shut up about it. The same can be said of Adam and More Happy Than Not, which sucker punched me one too many times in the same year. And in What If It’s Us, the two team up to deliver a heartwarming tale of missed connections and cute boys believing in the universe. Of first dates and do-overs. Of missteps and grand gestures. Of families and friendships. This is a seamless collaboration, a thoughtful blend of each author’s signature style (Becky’s is often smile-inducing; Adam’s gravitate towards heartrending). And perhaps there was a lot of work behind the curtains to make that seem effortless, but it does seem effortless. You feel Arthur’s giddiness over New York and a budding romance, you feel for Ben and the sting of a recent break up, you share their hopes, and you root for them. Arthur is such a Becky Albertalli character—smart, eager, hilarious, and endearing. Ben, on the other hand, grounds the narrative. Adam Silvera’s imprint. Bit of a nerd, video game-playing, angsty, and all cynicism. At one point, he has a conversation with Arthur about being Puerto Rican but also “being so white and not speaking Spanish,” and I think it invites the reader to a bigger discussion about color and race.

“If I’m going to feel something, I want to feel it.”

As with the authors’s other titles, friendship is central to the story in this novel. And there is quite a cast of secondary characters, all as well written and diverse. Ben’s “bromance” with his best friend Dylan is probably my favorite. It is one of support and utter affection. And outside of Ben and Arthur, their scenes together are some of the ones I enjoyed the most. There is Jessie and Ethan, Arthur’s best friends back in Georgia, and I don’t know what this tells you about me, but there is this confrontation between the three, and it is one that has stuck with me and one that I bring up in conversations. Further exploration of friendship includes how people in one have to make room for romantic relationships and how people navigate shifting friendships because of break ups within a circle. There is of course the present parents, too, which we are increasingly seeing more of in YA. I appreciate how involved the Seusses and Alejos are in their children’s lives, of which the former provides a messier look at marriage.

“But maybe this isn’t how life works. Maybe it’s all about people coming into your life for a little while and you take what they give you and use it on your next friendship or relationship. And if you’re lucky, maybe some people pop back in after you thought they were gone for good.”

What If It’s Us is also just ridiculously charming. There is a line in the book that goes, “I’m smiling so hard my jaw hurts.” And that is such an accurate image of my reading experience. The banters, as well as pop culture references, are aplenty and Arthur has no chill that his chapters are often laugh-out-loud funny. But if there is one thing about this that I’m not a fan of? It is the epilogue. It seems gratuitous, to me at least, and I would much rather we skipped it altogether.

In the Venn diagram of Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera fans, the overlap tends to encompass a larger area. And What If It’s Us will certainly delight those who find themselves in that area. But on the off chance that I’m wrong and it doesn’t quite live up to your expectations, remember that you’re not obligated to like it, though you would be wrong not to.

4.5 out of 5

Author

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Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta.

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Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx. He has worked in the publishing industry as a children’s bookseller, marketing assistant at a literary development company, and book reviewer of children’s and young adult novels. His debut novel, More Happy Than Not, received multiple starred reviews and is a New York Times bestseller, and Adam was selected as a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. He writes full-time in New York City and is tall for no reason.

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You can read What If It’s Us, too! Enter THIS giveaway for a chance to win one (1) finished copy. Entries are open worldwide (with the exception of the UK, South Africa, Australia, and India due to publishing/selling rights) and will be accepted until 11:59pm (PHT), October 19th.

BUT! What if you have two (2!) more ways to score a copy? Massive thanks to HarperCollins International and their generosity and incredible support, you have! Head over to JM’s Instagram and Twitter accounts, which you can find HERE and HERE, respectively, to find out how. And good luck! Maybe the universe wants you to meet Arthur and Ben. The universe definitely wants you to meet Arthur and Ben.

Check out the rest of the tour stops!

October 5
Reading Through Infinity
Aimee, Always

October 6
Struggling Bookaholic
Kath Reads

October 7
Drizzle and Hurricane
The Ultimate Fangirl

October 9
Book Freak Revelations
Chasing Faerytales

October 10
The Bibliophile Confessions

October 11
Bentch Creates
Hollie’s Blog

October 12
Read by Nicka

Have you read What If It’s Us? Is this the cutest or is this the cutest? And with whom did you relate the most: Arthur or Ben? If you haven’t read it yet, talk to me about your favorite Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera books instead! Sound off in the comments below!

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EXCERPT: All of This Is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor

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Hello and welcome to the second stop of the #AllofThisIsTruePH blog tour! Thanks to my dear friend JM @ Book Freak Revelations for letting me be a part of this!

I will never not find a single narrative told from multiple perspectives compelling. It is endlessly fascinating, to me at least, how the writer uses this device to examine the inherent power—and limitation—of story: that it is shaped by the person who tells it. And that is what I really enjoyed in Peñaflor’s sophomore novel, All of This Is True. That sense of not getting the whole account. That some things were being constantly and purposefully withheld from me. And that it was told through a series of interviews, online articles, and book excerpts was such an excellent narrative choice.

And today, I am sharing an excerpt from the novel itself! Here; you’re welcome:

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MIRI

So, tell me about Fatima Ro. There are a lot of people who are curious about her right now.

All right. But I’m just going to say this outright because it’s probably the one thing we still agree on—me, Soleil, and Penny. We were shallow before we met Fatima Ro. We were all about the scene. You know what I mean about the scene: the parties, the trinkets, the lifestyle. We hosted.

Hosted?

House parties at Penny’s place. It feels like forever ago. Ugh. [shakes head] All those people, the throbbing music . . . Handling all that money.

What money?

We collected a cover charge to fund subsequent parties. Very industrious.

That’s us. [sighs] We met on Orientation Day in seventh grade when we were grouped together for the Graham scavenger hunt. Winners become orientation leaders the following year. We won by splitting up and then finding the last clue together—the school seal on the roof.

You’re a good team.

We were, yes . . . before this. Anyway, our parties were epic. The last one we hosted was casino night. We had game tables and chocolate poker chips. It won’t be outdone for years.

That’s pretty impressive.

[laughs] Oh, please. We thought taking selfies on the roulette table was the stuff of life. The reality was we were bored out of our skulls. You see, the basic human need for emotional intimacy can’t be satisfied by a sushi station or a celebrity DJ. Fatima made us realize that. She changed everything for us. Even that phrase, “the stuff of life,” that’s something I picked up from her. I wouldn’t have said that just now if it weren’t for her; I probably would’ve said something more like “We thought taking selfies was so Vogue-worthy.” But now, I’m saying “the stuff of life” because Fatima pretty much gave us a whole new language, a new way of thinking, of living. When she took us in, all of a sudden I realized . . . we all realized that we were starving to be part of something meaningful. Becoming friends with Fatima Ro—I mean, actually being part of her inner circle—was it.

Were you a fan of her novel Undertow?

Definitely. That’s how this whole thing started. Absolutely. All of us were fans. Well, we girls were, anyway. Jonah was along for the company. But still, even he was fascinated by her. I read Undertow when it first came out. When I found out how young Fatima was—barely out of college—it made sense that I felt close to her writing. She got me. I love Undertow as if it’s a living being, which is passion in its truest form. That’s what separates a casual interest from a passion. I credit Fatima for my understanding of that.

You see, you can be in love with a thing the way you can be in love with a person. A thing can physically trigger the same chemical responses as another human can: oxytocin and vasopressin. Fatima taught me this. Her book proved it. But I just cringe at how the media is comparing it to other novels. Because what you have to understand is that Undertow was never a Harry Potter phenomenon. I mean, nobody’s wearing Undertow Halloween costumes. There’s no Undertow Disney theme park. But that’s what’s so authentic about it. If you love Undertow it’s because you get it, not because there’s a Tom Hanks movie and a Happy Meal. This book has a much quieter, more thoughtful following. And to me, it feels more genuine to be part of something personal like that.

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Title: All of This Is True
Author: Lygia Day Peñaflor
Publication: May 15th 2018 by HarperTeen
Genre: Fiction—Contemporary, Mystery
Other classifications: Young Adult

Goodreads | Amazon | IndieBound

Synopsis

Four Long Island teens befriend a bestselling YA novelist, only to find their deepest, darkest secrets in the pages of her next book—with devastating consequences.

Miri Tan loved the book Undertow like it was a living being. So when she and her friends went to a book signing to meet the author, Fatima Ro, they concocted a plan to get close to her, even if her friends won’t admit it now. As for Jonah, well—Miri knows none of that was Fatima’s fault.

Soleil Johnston wanted to be a writer herself one day. When she and her friends started hanging out with her favorite author, Fatima Ro, she couldn’t believe their luck—especially when Jonah Nicholls started hanging out with them, too. Now, looking back, Soleil can’t believe she let Fatima manipulate her and Jonah like that. She can’t believe that she got used for a book.

Penny Panzarella was more than the materialistic party girl everyone at the Graham School thought she was. She desperately wanted Fatima Ro to see that, and she saw her chance when Fatima asked the girls to be transparent with her. If only she’d known what would happen when Fatima learned Jonah’s secret. If only she’d known that the line between fiction and truth was more complicated than any of them imagined…

Author

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Lygia became a writer by writing letters to a friend she met on a cruise ship when she was 14. She is the author of Unscripted Joss Byrd (Macmillan) and All of This Is True, which will be published by HarperTeen US, Bloomsbury UK, and translated in six countries in summer 2018.

Lygia also teaches child stars on television and movie sets. Her students have included cast members of Gossip Girl, Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order SVU, I Am Legend, and others. She lives with her husband on Long Island where she rides horses and watches reruns of everything.

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Check out the rest of the tour stops!

May 17Book Freak Revelations
May 19The Ultimate Fangirl
May 20Bibliophile Kid
May 21Stay Bookish

You can also stalk follow me elsewhere! On Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Bloglovin.

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REVIEW: Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa

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Title: Fans of the Impossible Life
Author: Kate Scelsa
Format: ARC, 356 pages
Publication: September 8th 2015 by Balzer + Bray/HarperTeen
Source: Gifted by the author (thank you so much Kate!)
Genre: Fiction—Coming of Age, Contemporary, Realistic
Other classifications: Depression and Mental Illness, LGBTQIA, Young Adult

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository | Fully Booked

Synopsis

MIRA is starting over at Saint Francis Prep. She promised her parents she would at least try to pretend that she could act like a functioning human this time, not a girl who can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby.

JEREMY is the painfully shy art nerd at Saint Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school. When he sees Sebby for the first time across the school lawn, it’s as if he’s been expecting him.

SEBBY, Mira’s gay best friend, seems to carry sunlight around him. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and impromptu road trips, designed to fix the broken parts of their lives.

As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.

Review

I received a review copy from the author which in no way swayed my opinion about the work.

As eloquent as it is heartfelt, Fans of the Impossible Life takes storytelling to a higher class and diversity higher still.

Let me be the first to say that this is a novel—if not the novel—champions of the We Need Diverse Books campaign should be talking about. Scelsa delivers a coming of age at once achingly moving and softly poetic told from the perspectives of her three MCs. Her play at different points of view is nothing short of adroit—Jeremy’s chapters are in first person, Sebby’s in second and Mira’s in third. And it totally works, both in function and aesthetic. It provides a window into the complexities of her characters, and boy are they complex.

“… you lay awake on that night’s floor thinking about what you could have said to them to make them understand. What it felt like to know that the two people who knew you best couldn’t ever really know what your life was like.”

The author also doesn’t shy away from the hard edges of her story. Fans of the Impossible Life covered many important issues without once feeling overwhelming nor romanticized. There’s drug abuse, identity crisis, depression, suicide, bullying, racism—you name it, it’s probably in here. And Scelsa approached these with insight and sensitivity. Just as much as she paid her secondary characters attention. I am particularly impressed by the fact that they have these stuff going on for them. Like, Talia is whatever, I’m incredibly furious at her for what she did in the end BUT she was the one who helped Jeremy through his catastrophic episode, who apologized to him for not speaking up. And there’s Julie, perfect Julie who doesn’t wanna deal with Mira’s drama BUT who shows up, not attending her lecture to be with her as soon as she comes home.

“I had been nothing before that moment and one day I would be nothing again. But there and then my life was real. With his lips, and his lovely mouth.”

Early this year, Malinda Lo wrote an essay on perceptions of diversity in book reviews—in fact it’s just one in a four-part series which you need to read if you care about diversity. In it, she cited a critique that blatantly pronounced ““perfectly ethnically and sexually diverse” cast as “scarcely plausible,”” a suggestion that “this diversity would not have existed naturally; it needed effort.” Okay. Not only do I call total BS on this problematic trade review, I have Fans of the Impossible Life to reinforce my claim. Scelsa’s debut has multiple POC characters and characters representing three (3!) different orientations from the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. But what’s really remarkable is the ease with which the author handled sexual and racial diversity. It doesn’t just look at individual experiences, it’s reflected in the family structures of her main players. One of the leads has two gay dads. Another has interracial parents. They get loads of crap for this and I’m thinking, that’s reality. It feels natural because this happens today, no matter how much we long for the contrary.

“At that point she was keeping the crying hidden. When it first started, she let people see it because she didn’t know what else to do. She thought if they could witness her in the middle of this thing, then they might be able to understand. But they couldn’t. It was exhausting for others to watch. For herself to experience. So she stopped showing them.”

I’m not you, but if I were, I’d be a fan of Fans of the Impossible Life too.

4.5 out of 5

Author

Kate Scelsa

Kate Scelsa has performed in New York and around the world with experimental theater company Elevator Repair Service in their trilogy of works based on great American literature, including an eight-hour-long performance that uses the entire text of The Great Gatsby. Kate lives in Brooklyn with her wife and two black cats.

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Blogger’s note: I buddy-read this book with Wesaun @ Oreo and Books and it is SO GOOD we both finished it in a 24-hour time frame.

Is this on your TBR list? If not, have I convinced you to include it? (Because, really, you definitely should check this out.) Do you think there are such works with “too much issues” or “too diverse”? And what about you, what was the last awesome book you read that celebrates diversity? Or just any solid 5-star read. Let’s talk!

You can also stalk follow me elsewhere! On Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Bloglovin.

REVIEW: The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

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Title: The Night We Said Yes
Author: Lauren Gibaldi
Format: ARC, 304 pages
Publication: June 16th 2015 by HarperTeen
Source: Gifted by my fellow blogger/friend (thank you D!)
Genre: Fiction—Contemporary, Realistic, Romance
Other classifications: High School Romance, Young Adult

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository | Fully Booked

Synopsis

Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over her ex-boyfriend and graduate high school—simple as that. But Matt—the cute, shy bass player—was never part of that plan. And neither was spending an entire night saying “yes” to every crazy, fun thing they could think of. But then Matt leaves town, breaking Ella’s heart. And when he shows up a year later, wanting to relive the night that brought them together, Ella isn’t sure if re-creating the past can help them create a different future. Or maybe it can. . . .

Review

In his book Looking for Alaska, John Green had a handful of quotations that rang true with my own experiences in life. But one that easily comes to mind is “I wanted to like booze more than I actually do.” Sadly, this speaks too of my relation with The Night We Said Yes.

To be fair, I really like the premise of Gibaldi’s debut. The story takes place in two nights, exactly one year apart. It’s told from Ella’s perspective and it starts with her trying to move on from her ex-boyfriend Matt who bailed out with no more than a note and a lousy excuse. Except now he has returned. And while Ella is hesitant—for obvious reasons—she wants answers all the same. The novel then jumps back and forth in the timeline as Ella in the past falls for Matt while the Ella in the present figures out if she and her friends are ready to take Matt back into their group. This should have been a favorite. Friendship story. The titular night of saying yes to every(reasonable)thing. A non-linear narrative. Instead, it’s trite, which, again, would’ve been fine except the main character—also the narrator—is problematic.

“It was my favorite part of the night—when the evening’s events were still unknown and unpredictable. It was the sense of possibility that I loved, the idea that anything could happen next.”

I’d go right off the bat and tell you Ella is not for me. She wallows in sadness and is often overcome by the secondary characters. And I know that our high school selves are supposed to be subjects to heightened emotions but I can’t get past the fact that Ella (in the Now) was thinking about Matt and their failed relationship 95% of the time. Then we have Meg, the best friend, who clearly reads as a foil to the MC and Jake, her on-again-off-again boyfriend, who was almost fun—if only he had more layers. I must say, however, that Matt was enjoyable, especially pre-break up. But although the “Then” storyline entertained me, I was looking for something more, something to connect with, something to make me care about these characters. Alas, I was met by a two-dimensional plane.

“It’s as if my mind can’t process what would happen if he were to come back, so instead of reacting, it gives up, checks out, and leaves town.”

In addition, there are several scenes that are cloying if not downright groan-worthy and the stuff they said yes to were underwhelming. I was hoping (praying) the reveal might redeem the novel but when it was time for it—the reason why Matt had to leave—it was a bit of a letdown.

The Night We Said Yes is a light, summery read, but unlike many summers of my younger years, it’s bound to be in the dregs of forgettable made-up drinks.

2.0 out of 5

Author

Lauren Gibaldi

Lauren Gibaldi is a YA librarian at Orange County Public Library, where she hosts youth programs. She lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband and daughter. The Night We Said Yes is her debut novel.

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Do you plan to read this one? Or if you already did, what’s your take on it? Do you stick to a story without much plot going on but that has a character(s) you can connect with? And if you happen to DNF books, which I don’t, at least I haven’t had the strong urge to, how many pages do you go in before deciding to say yes to walking away (okay, that’s hyperbolized, but see what I did there?)? Sound off in the comments below; I’d love to hear from you!

You can also stalk follow me elsewhere! On Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Bloglovin.

REVIEW: Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

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Title: Playlist for the Dead
Author: Michelle Falkoff
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Publication: January 27th 2015 by HarperTeen
Source: Bought from National Book Store
Genre: Fiction—Coming of Age, Contemporary, Realistic
Other classifications: Bullying, Depression and Mental Illness, Young Adult

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository | Fully Booked

Synopsis

HERE’S WHAT SAM KNOWS:
There was a party.
There was a fight.
The next morning, Sam’s best friend, Hayden, was dead.
All he left Sam was a playlist—and a note, saying that he took his own life.
BUT WHAT SAM DOESN’T KNOW IS:

WHY?

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. Especially when someone claiming to be Hayden starts sending him cryptic messages, and a series of violent attacks begins on the bullies who made Hayden’s life hell.

Sam knows he has to face up to what happened the night Hayden killed himself. But it’s only by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to people around him—including an eccentric, unpredictable girl who’s got secrets, too—that Sam will finally be able to piece together his best friend’s story. And maybe have a chance to change his own.

Review

I would be lying if I say I couldn’t not read Playlist for the Dead fast enough. Falkoff made me want to swallow her debut novel whole. Like, in those times I had to stop to do something, I wanted so badly to ditch real life and go back to reading. That’s how I know Playlist for the Dead will be so, so good.

“Of course I was there; where else would I be? Hanging out with all my other friends? Oh, no, wait—I didn’t have any.”

At times intriguing, at times heartrending, and fundamentally arresting, this novel easily made its way to my instant favorites. The narrator, Sam, has an incredibly compelling voice that can be lined up with that of Charlie from Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and the pacing is perfect—gradual in its revelation but not too much of a drag so as to infuriate the reader. Plus, the playlist. For a set of songs made to explain a suicide, I rather like most of it.

“”Is that all you’ve got?” she asked. “Usually when someone initiates an introduction, you should ask her name.”

It wasn’t before long when I realized Sam Goldsmith will be a beloved character. Eight pages in and he already is. And it was to my comfort and delight to find out, in the end, I was not deluded. Sam is gawky and nerdy and witty, with a subtle undertone of snarky. If I ever see him in flesh, I’d bug him into signing a friendship contract. But, really, I love how he’s loyal to Hayden for the entirety of the book. Props to the action he took at the later part when faced with a conflict. It’s pretty evident, though, that he was omitting things. But that only served to tend the embers of my burning curiosity to know what actually happened. I also adore the family story arc. Mrs. Goldsmith isn’t just “the protagonist’s parent;” she is a character. And so is Rachel, Sam’s sister. The portrayal of sibling relationship in here is realistic, in that it captures how siblings don’t always dance to the same tune but crises pull them together. Intact and looking out for one another. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“”I’ll be okay,” I said, and I wanted it to be true.”

Falkoff has an arsenal of identifiable, complex secondary characters. Playlist for the Dead reads as an angsty YA, sure, but it is also a portrait of teenagers trying to balance on the precarious tightrope between wanting to find a place in the society and navigating the sea of expectations imposed upon by the various people surrounding them. Readers will definitely sympathize.

“Weren’t people supposed to wear black to funerals? She looked like she was off to a fucking garden party.”

Over the course of years, I became more and more perceptive of the opening paragraphs of the novels I read, and I think Playlist of the Dead‘s is very telling of the tone of the story. I laud the author for knitting together alienation and friendship and misconception and redemption adeptly. And, ultimately, the hopeful conclusion. In the end, it has as much to do with listening as it is about the songs. Go read Playlist for the Dead!

4.5 out of 5

Author

Michelle Falkoff

Michelle Falkoff’s fiction and reviews have been published in ZYZZYVADoubleTake, and the Harvard Review, among other places. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and currently serves as Director of Communication and Legal Reasoning at Northwestern University of Law. This is her first novel.

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