ARC Review : Playlist for the Dead

IPlaylist for the DeadTitle : Playlist for the Dead
Author : Michelle Falkoff
Rating : 3.5 Stars!!!

Hardcover, 288 pages
Expected publication: January 27th 2015 by HarperTeen 
Source copy: Publisher
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.

Part mystery, part love story, and part coming-of-age tale in the vein of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Tim Tharp’s The Spectacular Now, Playlist for the Dead is an honest and gut-wrenching first novel about loss, rage, what it feels like to outgrow a friendship that's always defined you—and the struggle to redefine yourself. But above all, it's about finding hope when hope seems like the hardest thing to find.

Source : Goodreads

What was I supposed to understand? He'd killed himself and left me here all alone, and left me to find him.
- Sam

I received this ARC from the Blogger's Winter Preview Night that we had last year. It was definitely one of the highlights of my 2014. It has a mixture of mystery, sadness, despair and loneliness.

Sam and Hayden were the picture of the two usual geek guys who likes to hang around playing games or analyzing some random facts. But even friendship has its blindspot to see what are the true state inside of one's emotion. That helpless state wherein Hayden wasn't able to deal with the mere fact of being alive and just to be reciprocated with insensitivity, misery, dissatisfaction and cowardice. It is simply devastating to read how this teenager decided to end his life and give up the fight.

Tackling about suicide always bring me a sort of uneasiness with the characters. It feels like they just decided to end it all without even solving things thoroughly. Hayden's emotion from the start is already depressing to me. Given that he was bullied by his own brother, there's still a remaining strike of event that made him decide to kill himself. But at one point I sa how Hayden tried to endure all the pain and pressures inside.

There are selected songs for every chapter that suits the situation of Hayden and Sam. I liked how the songs were able to view the emotions of the characters. From the flashback of their friendship up to the argument they had before Hayden committed suicide. It was indeed devastating. Also, what clearly leads into the plot is how it all went down to revenge and jealousy. I admit that I am so angry with Hayden's brother.

I am not good at reading mystery books actually, that's why I sometimes go back with the previous chapter to see if I missed any key facts in order to move on with the next chapter. It's just that I feel there must be a deeper reason as to why Hayden selected the songs just for Sam to hear it. So when I reached the end, I was surprised with a more detailed reason of a teenager ending his life.

If you have read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, I am pretty sure you'll love reading Playlist for the Dead. Because all I felt at the end were all pure loneliness to them.



  1. I liked Thirteen Reasons Why's dark subject and this book sounds like it, just like you said. I don't know why, but books with dark atmosphere always intrigued me.

    1. There's something that intrigues me everytime they leave clues to their friends or loved ones. I'm sure you'll like it. :D