“Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.
Quick & Dirty: A fun, witty YA contemporary read with a paranormal twist and a good message.
Opening Sentence: I HATE THIS SCHOOL.
Jeff has just recently moved to Santa Monica and has to start a new school. His family moved to Hollywood so his mom could pursue her dreams of being an actress. He is going to a private school full of rich kids, and horrible uniforms. On his first day things start to look up when he sees a very hot girl laying on the floor blowing a bubble. Then he finds out that the girl is dead and only he can see her, so much for things looking up.
Kimberlee drowned in an accident about a year and a half ago and she has been stuck as a ghost ever since. No one has ever been able to see or hear her until Jeff. Kimberlee had a pretty big stealing problem while she was alive, and if she ever wants to move on she needs Jeff to help her return everything she took. Jeff, being the nice guy he is, agrees to help her, but when he sees how much stuff she took the task becomes pretty daunting. Then Jeff starts to fall for a girl at his new school, but it turns out her and Kimberlee didn’t get along very well while she was alive. Death hasn’t changed their disdain for each other and Jeff is wondering if he made the right decision to help Kimberlee.
The book is all told from Jeff’s point of view, and I have to say that it was refreshing to read from a male POV. Jeff is funny and a little nerdy, but he is a really good person. He is pretty laid back and likes who he is. He really wants to help Kimberlee, but he also likes that he is helping all the people she stole from as well. Jeff tries to always see the best in people even when there aren’t a whole lot of good things to see. I really loved Jeff, he has a great personality and it was fun to get inside his head.
Kimberlee was your typical beautiful rich girl. She was mean and unhappy for most of her human life, and she hasn’t really changed much since becoming a ghost. She had a serious problem when it came to stealing, she tried to stop but it would make her physically ill when she did. That resulted in a cave full of things that belonged to other people, and she had no way to give it back until she meets Jeff. Kimberlee hates being a ghost, so she swallows her pride and asks Jeff for his help. Kimberlee is snarky and annoying at times, but she has a few redeeming moments throughout the book. She was a good contradiction to Jeff’s good boy persona, and I enjoyed learning her story.
This was a really fun read for me. There is witty banter, laugh out loud moments, memorable characters, and a good story. The plot was a little predictable, but there were a few fun surprises. This was a fast read and I enjoyed it the whole way through. The highlight of the book was the message Pike was trying to communicate to the readers. Everyone has made mistakes, but we always have a choice to become what type of person we want to be. I have been a fan of Pike’s work for a while now; her writing style is very entertaining and fun. I would highly recommend this to anyone that likes a good laugh, but also appreciates an underlining good message.
She tilted her head to the back of the cave. I turned and blinked, letting my eyes adjust to the darkness. When they finally did, my jaw dropped.
There must have been a hundred boxes stacked in the back of the cave, which was way deeper than I’d expected. “A few things? A few things! Are you insane?” My voice echoed through the cave, repeating my words back to me.
“Jeff. . .” Her voice was uncharacteristically quiet.
“This is ridiculous. You lied to me.”
“I did not.”
“No one in their right mind would ever classify this as ‘a few things. You lied to get me up here and hoped you could just flutter your eyes and it would be all better. Well, it’s not.” I backed away from the massive pile of boxes. “I’m not doing this.”
“Jeff. . .”
“I should call the cops,” I said as I backed away. No way could I return all this stuff on my own, not in any reasonable amount of time. “I’ll bet they could—”
“No!” Kimberlee shouted, running after me. “They’d just confiscate it all. Then I’d be stuck here forever! Jeff, please.”
“No. I’m leaving,” I said, as much to myself as to Kimberlee, “and I am not coming back.”
FTC Advisory: Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Life After Theft. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.”