ARC Review – Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

23121946Title: Playlist for the Dead

Author: Michelle Falkoff

Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: A teenage boy tries to understand his best friend’s suicide by listening to the playlist of songs he left behind in this smart, voice-driven debut novel.

Here’s what Sam knows: There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, his 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.

As he listens to song after song, Sam tries 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 the people around him that he will finally be able to piece together his best friend’s story. And maybe have a chance to change his own.

Huge thank you to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for this ARC!

River’s Review: 

I went into this book with SUCH high expectations and it kinda just fell flat for me. Which sucks. It had all of the things that I love in a contemporary novel: suicide, male narrator, music & teen angst. There was all that but it didn’t really mesh well.

From the synopsis it seems that this is going to be the story of Sam trying to figure out why his best friend, Hayden, killed himself. There’s an allusion to a party, something happened at the party, and then a “suicide note” in the form of a playlist. I thought that Sam was going to spend the entire book trying to unravel the playlist and that we’d get this HUGE does of music and bands and lyrics and that he’d finally put the pieces together and that that playlist was going to be a REALLY big part of the novel…


The playlist is in there, but it’s SO not a focus. Sam listens to it, tries to figure some stuff out, but it was NOT the main part of the plot. And that disappointed me SO much.

Instead there’s a sudden romance (don’t get me wrong, I liked Astrid and what she did for Sam, but they hung out like three times and then she was like ‘put the moves on!) that didn’t really seem to happen the way I’d assume (and have experienced) a romance would go down post-losing someone you’re close to.

There was also these weird episodes where Sam thought he was talking to his dead best friend and I won’t say what it turns out to be, but it was incredibly weird and kinda tossed to the side at the end and idk, it just was like why is that happening?

I don’t know, it wasn’t an awful book, but it wasn’t what I was hoping for. The writing is nice, and the emotions are there. But it’s a bit lacking.


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