Cover image for Playlist for the dead
Title:
Playlist for the dead
Author:
Falkoff, Michelle, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2015]
Physical Description:
281 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
After his best friend, Hayden, commits, suicide, fifteen-year-old Sam is determined to find out why--using the clues in the playlist Hayden left for him.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062310507
Format :
Book

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Audubon Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
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On Order

Summary

Summary

"A page-turner that combines genuine intrigue with heartbreak and desire." --Holly Goldberg Sloan, New York Times bestselling author of Counting by 7s

Part mystery, part love story, and part coming-of-age tale in the vein of Thirteen Reasons Why, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and The Spectacular Now, Michelle Falkoff's debut is an honest and gut-wrenching novel about loss, rage, what if feels like to outgrow a friendship that's always defined you--and the struggle to redefine yourself.

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.

"An absorbing and sensitive read." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books



"Falkoff lightens the substantial topics of grief, bullying, and suicide with Sam's engaging investigation." --ALA Booklist



"Realistic and well-written. The strong characters, dialogue and the use of the playlist to structure the book make this a good pick for struggling readers." --School Library Journal

"Falkoff treats a difficult topic with delicacy and care." --Publishers Weekly



"Truly powerful moments." --Kirkus Reviews


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Sam is the one who discovers Hayden the morning after he committed suicide, along with a thumb drive containing a playlist and a note: For Sam . . . Listen and you'll understand. Hayden was his best and only friend, and now Sam obsessively listens to the songs on the playlist, hoping they will reveal anything about why Hayden took his life. When two older boys guilty of cruelly bullying Hayden fall victim to violent attacks, Sam, still very much a loner, is rumored to be behind them. Bewildered not only by his grief but also by fatigue-induced hallucinations, Sam starts to fear the rumors are true and, with the help of an enigmatic and beautiful girl, sets out to find the truth not only about the attacks but also and more important what really happened the night Hayden died. Centering each chapter on one of the playlist's songs, debut author Falkoff lightens the substantial topics of grief, bullying, and suicide with Sam's engaging investigation into the culprit behind the assaults.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Sam find his best friend Hayden dead of an apparent suicide the morning after a party-the two boys were both bullied at school, but Sam still feels responsible. Hayden left Sam a playlist of music as a suicide note (the songs correspond to the book's chapters), which Sam listens to, eager for answers. Then strange things start to happen. Sam receives messages from someone using Hayden's IM handle, a girl named Astrid with connections to Hayden appears in Sam's life, and someone starts getting revenge against the "bully trifecta" who made life hell for Hayden and Sam-all of which make Sam question everything he thought he knew about Hayden. Debut author Falkoff gives Sam a strong voice to narrate his grief over the loss of his best friend and his confusion about the events that follow. Her efforts to add mystery to the circumstances surrounding Hayden's death are forced, however, and as the novel progresses, the revelations test plausibility. This aside, Falkoff treats a difficult topic with delicacy and care. A Spilled Ink Productions property. Ages 13-up. Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Accustomed to operating outside of the major social scene, Sam is disappointed when a rare party he attends is ruined by a fight with his best friend, Hayden. Disappointment fades quickly when he discovers that Hayden killed himself afterward. Rocked by the tragedy, Sam is left puzzling over tracks that his friend left for a playlist and struggling to figure out who he is without Hayden around. Despite the heavy subject matter, the overall tone of the book is less somber than the title would indicate, and it is a quick, engaging read. Falkoff nails the war-zone mentality and painful symbiosis of high school friendships. The mixture of grief, anger, and guilt that Sam works through is realistic and well written, and his reactions to Hayden's music choices further illuminates not only his struggle but also how their friendship was beginning to change. The characters and concept work better than the plot-it gets an all-loose-ends-tied-up treatment at the end. This is especially frustrating as an entire eerie subplot is explained away in the course of a short paragraph. The strong characters, dialogue and the use of the playlist to structure the book make this a good pick for struggling readers. Hand this to fans of the movie Superbad and Spotify-obsessives.-Erinn Black Salge, Saint Peter's Prep, Jersey City, NJ (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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