What happens when a ghost can’t move on until she redeems herself, but no one in town can hear her? She slowly goes crazy as she anticipates a very lonely eternity. Until the new kid arrives, that is. And, that is the scene that Aprilynne Pike has set in Life After Theft.
As if transferring to a fancy private school is an upscale California town from a poor private school in the Mid-West wasn’t enough of a culture shock for Jeff, he discovers on his first day of school that he has to deal with a ghost as well. As he enters the building on his first day, he sees Kimberlee on the floor and thinks that she is nuts. He quickly learns how crazy this mean girl/kelpto is when she realizes that he can see and hear her. They develop a friendship of sorts that is constantly tested by Kimberlee’s jealousy, mean-girl tendencies, and past. Jeff is constantly left wondering whether it is worth risking the possibility of dating Sera, the girls he’s crushing on, and the friends he’s made for a ghost that treats him like crap.
One of the greatest traits of Aprilynne Pike’s writing is her ability to develop characters. Take Kimberlee, for example. She had oodles of layers and as you learn more about her you see what a hot mess she really was. She had what many would consider “everything” but she was not a one-dimensional mean, rich, popular girl.
My only critique is that Sera’s past was built up to be this huge deal, but it seemed somewhat mild to me (or maybe it was just underplayed?). I just didn’t get the build up, especially because it seems as if she ha bounced back from what had happened.
I haven’t read anything of Aprilynne Pike’s outside of her Wings series, which I enjoyed. The story isn’t as straight-out fantasy like that series, so it was nice to see her writing something a little different and doing it well. There is a short story called One More Day that is a prequel to this novel and is told from Kimberlee’s point of view (read about it here). I can’t wait to get into Kimberlee’s head and see what she was really thinking and whether her death was really an accident.
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Release Date: April 30, 2013
About Life After Theft
Moving to a new high school sucks. Especially a rich-kid private school. With uniforms. But nothing is worse than finding out the first girl you meet is dead. And a klepto.
No one can see or hear Kimberlee except Jeff, so–in hopes of bringing an end to the snarkiest haunting in history–he agrees to help her complete her “unfinished business.” But when the enmity between Kimberlee and Jeff’s new crush, Sera, manages to continue posthumously, Jeff wonders if he’s made the right choice.
Clash meets sass in this uproarious modern-day retelling of Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel.
About the Author
Aprilynne Pike has been spinning faerie stories since she was a child with a hyper-active imagination. At the age of twenty she received her BA in Creative Writing from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. When not writing, Aprilynne can usually be found at the gym; she also enjoys singing, acting, reading, and working with pregnant moms as a childbirth educator and doula. Aprilynne currently lives with her husband and three kids in Utah, and dreams of warmer climates.
Aprilynne Pike’s #1 New York Times best-selling debut, WINGS, is the first of four books about a seemingly ordinary girl with a not-so-ordinary destiny. In this tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever…