Thursday, September 5, 2013

Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike - ADVISABLE

Pike , Aprilynne Life After Theft, 352 pgs.  HarperCollins Publishers, 2013. $13.87 Language: PG-13 (25+ swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content – PG13; Violence: G;

 The story begins at a private school for privileged kids in Santa Monica California.  Jeff Clayson has left his middle-class life in Phoenix for a new life with his parents in California.  His mom wants to start an acting career and his dad has done well in business.  Jeff has a BMW he named Halle after Halle Berry because his car is hot like she is.  His first day at school is full of trepidation because he is unsure and wants to fit in.  Before school begins another student is running down the hall, bumps into him, and is headed for a girl lying flat on the floor in the middle of the hall.  He tries to stop the running kid from hurting the girl on the floor.  The girl, Kimberlee Schaffer, realizes that Jeff can see and hear her.  That is strange because Kimberlee is dead.  Drowned a year a go in the ocean.  While she was alive she was not the nicest person.  She was mean and manipulative.  She also stole for the thrill of stealing.  She can’t move on and thinks the answer is in her giving back all the things she stole.  She can’t do it on her own so she enlists Jeff’s help.  There is a lot of stuff.  It is going to take some time.  Jeff meets Serafina – Sera – and he learns Kimberlee and Sera are not friends.  There is bad blood between them.  Jeff hopes that by getting rid of all the stolen property he will be done with Kimberlee for good and be able to get on with his life.

The story is fast paced and I liked to watch the development of Jeff as he maneuvered through the challenges he faced.  I liked how you see growth in his character and in Kimberlee.  The realization of how your actions can hurt others and trying to redeem oneself came through.
 There was a considerable amount of swearing. It was typical high school language - no "F" words. There was one scene at a party where drinking was going on and Jeff got drunk.  There is also a scene where Jeff and Sera have sex. This scene was not graphic but there was no question what was going on.  Jeff talked to his parents about both the drinking and the sex.  I thought it was handled well.  It is definitely for a high school audience. It has a good ending that left me feeling good about doing good and about being good.  

HS – ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Warren Child, Library Media Specialist Cyprus HS

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