He Been Left With a Playlist That He Need To Unfold The Secrets of It // Book Review: Playlist For The Dead by Michelle Falkoff

book review

Publisher: HarperCollins 
Publication Date: January 29th, 2015
Genre: YA Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Buy Links: Kinokuniya Malaysia | MPH Online
Source: Own/ Paperback


A moving, poignant, compelling YA debut, as a 15-year-old boy struggles to understand his best friend's suicide through the list of songs he leaves behind. 

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, 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. 

A gripping, poignant story revolves around the characters in the book, finding answers to why that person did what he does and how that has impacted them all.

Before you proceed to read my review, it may contain spoilers in here which I try not to put but kinda have to so, if you think you do not want to know and would like to read first then don't proceed but if you're okay, you are more than welcome to read my review.

If you have read and/or watch 13 Reasons Why you might find there are some similarities between these two stories but with different methods, sort of - bullies, peer pressure, pressure from the family, and mental health issues. Hayden has gone through a lot in his life with his older brother, Ryan bullied him a lot of times, parents that kind of off from his life, he has dyslexia and yet they did nothing to help him or give him support. Despite that, he has one best friend that he trust and enjoy being friends with - Sam. 

The plot is kinda okay though it confuses me somehow with every chapter come with a playlist that chooses by Hayden specifically for his friend, Sam to listen to and understand what he tries to tell Sam about it. Although, I don't see the connection of the songs and the stories, to begin with. It's like I don't get it and kinda off from the stories itself so, it simply invisible to me. Or maybe should I listen to the songs so that I could understand? I don't know, it might help to listen to it, I guess.

There's one part that I got excited that gives me goosebumps when Sam is alone in his room playing games on his computer, "someone" ping a chat to Sam and things got pretty spooky in there but that's that and I left with disappointment. You know what I mean when you get to the ending. I was annoyed.

The main protagonist here is Sam. He is too has been through a lot after what happened to his best friend and he is the one who found Hayden that affects him hard and he feels guilty, think that it is all his fault. His head is full of unanswered questions and trying hard to find out why and what are the secrets.

Then there is a girl named Astrid who is there with Sam and try to help him even though, she has a secret that Sam didn't realize happening. These two romance blossom in the middle of the stories, I kind of feeling weird when they suddenly become a thing when I didn't feel any sparks between the two of them.

However, Playlist For The Dead is quite an interesting story, a friend that has been left with this mysterious playlists song for him to be understood of, suddenly things happened to the bullies, he been disturbed by 'something' and that wizard figure was like what? I don't get it. But it did feel like a bit of hanging from the stories.

The ending wasn't satisfying enough. It's like wrapping the stories kinda a bit too rush. Overall, it was an okay read. It did grip my heart with what had happened. A mental health issue is a serious thing. 


Eyqa Zq said…
Based on your review I think the author kinda inserting how people make their own 'world' to heal from that kind of sadness/depression/truth I guess, like monster call or I kill Giant story plot. :3
Eyqa Zq said…
Eh I tot that you uninstalled your disqus before fatina. hehe.
starsnsky said…
The title of the books make it seems interesting. But the way you describe the plot, I think I will be so disappointed. I might try to read this tho.
Yeah, I did felt disappointed the plot tho. I'm hoping there are some secrets that will be unfold but nahh..

however, you might want to try reading it.. :)
Yup, based on Sam's POV. We can see that..I just watch I kill giant and I kinda like the story :D