*REVIEW* Playlist for the Dead

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.

I had high expectations about Playlist for the Dead. I work as a school counselor in a high school and am always drawn to books about topics that are relevant to my job. I was expecting to be as moved as I was by Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher but unfortunately, that just did not happen in this case.

Playlist for the Dead introduces us to Sam, a teenage boy who wakes to find his best friend, Hayden, dead. Hayden has committed suicide and leaves a playlist of songs for Sam, a playlist that is supposed to explain why Hayden chose the path that he did. Readers watch Sam try to unravel the events that led to Hayden's death. Sam learns shocking things about Hayden, secrets that were kept and gets glimpses into events that he only knew part of. Will Sam learn the truth and be able to stop blaming himself? Will he learn more about the blame and innocence of others? All is revealed in this sad tale of the loss of a young life by Michelle Falkoff.

Again, I had high expectations for this and really wish I connected more emotionally with the story. There's a lot of potential in this and a definite lesson to be learned, but I think there are better stories out there about teenage suicide.

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