Review: Life After Theft

Life After Theft
Aprilynne Pike
Series: None
Release Date: April 30th, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 352
Star Rating: 3.5 stars
Word Rating: Surprising

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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.
Life After Theft really surprised me. What I had originally expected to be an at least semi-fun read with little to no depth whatsoever soon turned out to be an entirely fun read with an appropriate undertone of depth, right up until the final chapter, which still makes me sad just thinking about it. Adding to what expectations I had in store for me prior to reading Life After Theft, I had anticipated a typical high school drama, poor writing, and poor character development, due to some reviews for the author's other young adult series from trusted friends of mine.

Those expectations, too, were not were not entirely met throughout the duration of Life After Theft, and with that I am able to say with complete and utter certainty that Life After Theft exceeded each and every one of my expectations. While a pretty large focus in Life After Theft is high school, and, inevitably, the drama going on inside it, that focus was met with an interesting and refreshing twist, although some if not most of the later revelations concerning high school drama were ones I saw miles away considering the fact that they've all been done before in most novels with high school drama. And as for my expectation of poor writing in Life After Theft, I'm thrilled to say that I absolutely enjoyed the fun, witty, and simple--yet not overly so--manner in which this novel was written, and it felt fitting to the plot.

But, with all of those positives, I have to say that my absolute favorite thing in Life After Theft was the character development. While not entirely unforeseen or original in concept, the character development was original in execution, and was incredibly well-written and believably paced. Of all the characters in the novel, I at the very least liked and at the very most loved the vast majority of them, the only character I can think of that I didn't like being the main character, Jeff, who, unfortunately, I found to be annoying, at times judgmental, with a mostly unbelievable male voice. However, despite that, I definitely grew to adore Kimberlee, whose relationship with Jeff is met with just as much development as her own character, and Sera, Jeff's girlfriend throughout the majority of the novel.

Thoroughly enjoyable, compulsively readable, and ultimately surprising in quality, Life After Theft, once again, exceeded each and every one of my expectations. And while I did find portions of it to be frustrating, mostly due to some of Jeff's actions and remarks, Life After Theft managed to impress me practically unremittingly, and I'm very glad I took a chance and chose to read it.


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