March 1, 2013

REVIEW: Life After Theft

Life After Theft, by Aprilynne Pike
To Be Published April 30, 2013
Publisher:  Harper Teen
Format:  Paperback ARC - supplied by Around the World ARC Tours
Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance

Rating:  3 STARS

(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

Life After Theft came really close to being a good book. It was an easy read, but there was no real drama or angst. The characters never jumped off the page and came to life. At the end, I felt a little deflated and disappointed. Not a good feeling when you reach the end of a book.
One of the best things about Life After Theft is the fact that it's told from a male POV. Like, the whole book! I don't think I've read a male POV book since Harry Potter, so this was a really refreshing change. And, Jeff is my kind of guy. He's a cool nerd with cool parents and a cool car. He's a nice guy trying to do the right thing. 

Life After Theft fell in the insta-love pit. Insta-love is one of my personal pet peeves. It is only acceptable in Disney movies. The truly amazing love stories are the ones when love doesn't come easy. When the boy and the girl really have to work for it - hard. This doesn't happen in Life After Theft. Jeff sees Sera and instantly falls in love with her. Sera sees Jeff and is instantly drawn to him too. Other than a brief snafu toward the end, their relationship is peachy. No real work involved. 

Kimberlee, the ghost, was a difficult character to get behind. I can't put my finger on it, exactly, but she never quite felt fully developed. She was so blah. She whined a lot and bitched a lot but never once did I feel sorry for her or sad or anything like that. I think I was supposed to. But, I just didn't. 

The Cave of Stuff and how it came to be was pretty cool. But, how all the stuff came to be returned was a bit unbelievable, as were many of the characters. The teacher, Mr. Hennessy - I totally did buy him. No teach I know ever acted like that. And there was never a reason for why he was the way he was. As a reader, it was hard to accept.

I think Life After Theft could have been a really great book with a little more development and a bit more drama. It was close to being something special. But, in the end, it just wasn't.

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