Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book Review: "Playlist For the Dead" by Michelle Falkoff

11:39 AM
Title: "Playlist For the Dead"
Author: Michelle Falkoff
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 288
Publication Date: January 27th 2015


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 NowPlaylist 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. (taken from goodreads)


When I read the synopsis for this book, I immediately felt keen anticipation for it. It sounded like the kind of book that I would love. I was able to get my hands on it a few weeks ago and now I finally got the chance to read it. And I'm so happy I did.

As opposed to my other reviews, I won't be writing a small summary of the plot simply because I feel like it might spoil the story for you. And I don't want to do that! I do want to mention all the things I loved about this book. So keep on reading!

As you might be able to tell from the title, a big part of "Playlist For the Dead" is centered around music. As a music obsessed person, this really made the book even more special to me. I found it to be extremely unique the way that there was a song listed at the beginning of each chapter. It really added substance to the story. I recommend listening to the songs listed while reading the book. You'll thank me later. Also, kudos to the author on her taste in music!

The writing in this book was impeccable. I really liked how the story flowed perfectly. There wasn't a single dull moment. Everything about the story was gripping and I couldn't put this book down. Which is probably why I finished this in two days. The story is so engrossing, you'll get completely sucked in. It is also very easy to read so there's that! Plus the main character's voice was great and very enjoyable to read. He was awesome as character overall! All of the character's were great, actually. They had depth and really interesting traits that made them all different in their own way. They really influenced my emotions throughout the story which to me is an obvious sign of the books greatness. As well as the author's undeniable talent.

I am not related nor do I know of anyone close to me that has committed suicide. Hence i don't have concrete knowledge on the subject. However, I do think that the author portrayed the sensitive subject extremely well. It all felt truthful and honest. Including the romantic aspects.  Although, the book is centered more around those who are affected by another person's decision to take his/her own life. You see, It focuses more on how to deal with the loss and how to stop blaming yourself. How to get some sort of closure, eventually.

A real pleasant surprise were the LGBTQ+ aspects in this book! I wasn't aware of this previous to reading the book, but I was ecstatic once I started reading. I feel like this is really growing in the YA community and, personally, I'm all for it. Diversity is definitely needed in YA.

Everything in this book was well-written and articulated. It was a pleasant but haunting read that will appeal to a lot of people. A lot of it stays with you and arises a lot of thoughts. It's a memorable read; one that'll be circulating in your head even after you finish reading it.


5/ 5


  1. I've seen so many raving reviews for this book! I have yet to read it myself--the fact that there's a lot of music in this book makes me very giddy.

    Lovely review, Sophie! <33

    1. I'm seriously encouraging you to read it. It's such an amazing read. And omg the music aspect was simply perfect. Hope you love it as much as I did when you read it!

      Thanks, Melanie!

  2. This sounds really good! I've seen a lot of reviews saying it was amazing. I kind of regret not requesting it now :/ Great review!

    Amber @ The Book Bratz

  3. Thanks! And it really is amazing. I hope you get the chance to read it soon!

  4. Man, I really really need to read this soon. I cannot believe I have waited this long!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  5. Even thought the storyline surrounds a suicide, I tend to really enjoy the 'follow the clues' type contemporaries, and this one sounds incredible poignant, but lovely nonetheless. Thanks for sharing Sophie, I really need to grab a copy, and soon. Brilliant review <3

    1. Thank you so much! And I must say, when I read the synopsis I thought this was going to be a real sad book, with it being about suicide and all, but it really wasn't! At least not overwhelmingly sad.
      Hope you enjoy this when you decide to read it! :)

  6. I haven't heard of this book before and it sounds haunting.. I get so attached to a story it affects me lol I might have to save this for when I can handle it ... Lmao

  7. I haven't heard of this book before and it sounds haunting.. I get so attached to a story it affects me lol I might have to save this for when I can handle it ... Lmao

    1. While it is haunting to some degree, it isn't overly depressing. Trust me, I have a history of being affected by books in that way, but this one was different. Sure, it stuck with me for a few days after reading , but it wasn't hard to handle. Definitely give it a try, if you're up to it. You won't regret it; I promise! :)

  8. My favorite part of this book was the way it looked at guys' friendship, which isn't something that you often find in books. Great review!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. Thank you, Jen! I loved that about it, as well. It was great to have the story be told from a male pov. Very nice for a change. :)

  9. Hi there, I nominated you for the versatile blogger award. Check my post for more info

  10. This reminds me so much of Thirteen Reasons Why and I adored that book despite its dark subject. Fab review Sophie!

    1. Prior to reading the book I thought it was going to be very similar to Thirteen Reasons Why based on the synopsis and all. So I decided to pick this up since I loved TRW so much. While I can definitely see why people would associate this book with that one, I didn't really think they were that similar. It was an amazing read ,nonetheless!
      Thanks Sharmaine! :)


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