Monday, 6 May 2013

Review & Giveaway: Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike

Life After Theft
Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication date: April 30th 2013
My rating:  3.5 stars 


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.


What would you do if a ghost asked you for help to move on? I know what I would do (run and scream!) but this isn’t about me.

Jeff has moved from Phoenix to Los Angeles and is starting school at Whitestone, a private and exclusive school in Santa Monica.  He quickly runs into Kimberlee, a girl no one else can see.  Kimberlee is ecstatic that someone can finally see her after a year of wondering the school hallways.  You see, Kimberlee died a year ago and can’t move on.  She thinks she knows why but needs help to make amends.  After some convincing she gets Jeff to agree to help her return “a few things” to people she stole from while alive.  Jeff is shocked, to say the least, that he can see Kimberlee and doubts his sanity or the reality of the situation.  But if returning a few items will get Kimberlee, a conceited and abrasive ghost, out of his life, the sooner the better.  Two things he doesn’t count on are falling for Sera, who is basically the prime enemy of Kimberlee, and something in regards to the items stolen.  I won’t elaborate on that. 

Jeff was sweet, smart, and easy going, so it was no trouble being inside of his head for this story.  He provided humor with his inner commentary and his male perspective felt authentic.  He also provides a wake-up call and conscience to Kimberlee who was quite unlikeable as a ghost, but even more so in real life.  When her deeds come to life I couldn’t help but be disgusted with her.  Sera was a great contrast to Kimberlee.  She was imperfect, as we all are, with mistakes in her past but she’s strived to change for the better.  One of the chief reasons Kimberlee hates Sera so much is because her changes show just how deficient Kimberlee’s character was/is. 

It’s been hard for me to nail down my thoughts and emotions on this read, but I think I’ve finally figured out why.  This story is both light and dark.  Light in the parts with Jeff: his growing romance with Sera, his wonderful and open relationship with his parents, and in his sweet and steady personality.  The romance was a highlight for me (shocker!).  Here’s a swoony quote to sample:

Her mouth was so soft and warm I could hardly believe it was real.  But when I got nervous and pulled away, her fingers pressed tight against my back and she ran her other arm up around my neck, pulling my face back down to hers…Her hands gripped my shoulders, almost like she needed help balancing.*

By contrast there is the darker story of Kimberlee.  She’s trying to right her wrongs, but mostly for selfish reasons throughout much of the story.  I didn’t like her at all, especially when the full extent of her actions is revealed.  She really hurt so many people, but Sera and her brother Mikhail in particular, and horribly! 

Jeff was the perfect person to finally see Kimberlee because he was just such a good guy.  Kimberlee’s past actions and how wrong they were finally started registering to her, but sometimes this is too little, too late.  Anyways, my feelings we’re both happy and sad when I finished, and I’m still not sure what I feel exactly, but I did enjoy the story.  I was totally invested in seeing how things played out.  

This was between 3.5-4 Stars for me. I'm still going back and forth. 

*Quote taken from an uncorrected proof and may change in the final copy. 





If you want to read Life After Theft fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win my ARC copy. The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Good luck and thanks for stopping by! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

56 comments:

  1. Ugh Kimberlee sounds awful.I am getting mixed reviews on this one and I have it for review. I am guessing it will be a middle read for me, a three star or so.I am at least looking forward to meeting Jeff.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I guess it would depend on what kind of favor, but I feel part of me would be more freaked out that I could actually see ghosts...

    ReplyDelete
  3. My girl Glass is really interested in this book. I though it was a simple contemporary summer book. I mean I couldn't imagine that there will be ghost in this. This book sounds confusing so it's not strange that you don't know how to feel. It happens to me a lot lately.
    To answer your question - yes I'd run and hide.
    Great review Rachel :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    Definitely would help!! LOVE ghosts and creepy stuff:)

    Thank you:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great review, this one's on my wishlist! No idea what I'd do if I saw a ghost, it might well depend on who it was but I'd probably run away :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. If a ghost asked me for help, I think I would be the one needing the help.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm never one to not help but I think I would still be frightened!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This sounds like quite contrasting book and I think this is the most positive review I've read - it makes me so interested to know what I'd think of it and I need to know what Kimberlee did!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ha! I'd probably run and scream too. ;) After I have passed out, of course.

    I'm really unsure about this book! I'm glad to see you liked it overall, despite still having some mixed thoughts. I don't know if it's for me, mostly because I haven't been too impressed with this author's writing in the past, though I won't cross it off the list just yet. Great review, Rachel.

    By the way, I just bought Feral Sins for my kindle. I'm saving it for a dreary day now! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. LOL! I would run and scream too! Actually, no, I would probably just faint on the spot.
    I'm glad that you liked this one, Rachel. We actually had the opposite reactions to the characters. Despite the fact that she was shallow and selfish, I liked Kimberlee while Jeff wasn't a character I warmed up to. Anyways, lovely review, Rachel! :)
    And you're such a romance junkie!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm unsure of this book, I just keep going back and forth if I want to read it. I'm happy that you liked it overall, besides the few things that you didn't like. I think it sounds a lot like The Ghost and the Goth, except I know I won't like the ghost. You make me more interested though! Great review :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh and yes! Spooked, paranoid, feeling slightly crazy :)

      Delete
  12. I really enjoyed being in Jeff's head too, he was so sweet and good.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I believe I would relish in the fact that a ghost asked me for help!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Probably at first, but then I think I'd want to help. Plus, it'd be kinda cool having a ghost friend =)

    ReplyDelete
  15. thanks for the great post and giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yes, I would totally be spooked out and scream for my life. Yeah, you could say I don't like ghosts.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I completely understand going back and forth between ratings Rachel, sometimes I feel certain things for a book one day, and then the next my feelings change a bit and I just can't assign a single number to it:) I'm firmly in the "maybe" camp with this book, I of course love the sound of the romance, but I think I might have trouble with Kimberlee and these horrible things she does. I don't deal well with selfish characters, even if they are dead:) Fabulous review as usual though!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Depends on the ghost? ;) I would like to think not, though.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Yes, I would totally freak out. Big Time!!

    - Beckie

    ReplyDelete
  20. Aw, love the quote. <3 Sigh. Sounds like an awesome book :D Glad you mostly enjoyed it ;p Thank you for sharing sweetie :D

    ReplyDelete
  21. I would seriously worry about my sanity if a ghost asked me for help. I've been wondering about this book for some time now. I think the concept is interesting and the fact that it's a light/dark ghost story. It's nice to know that part works out -- I was wondering if it was possible for a ghost story to be both -- but to hear Kimberlee is such a ... difficult person, I'm not sure. I'll put it on my TBR list. Great review :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Rachel! It never held my interest and I doubt I'll pick it up myself, but it seems lie a solid read despite a few flaws. Wonderful review!(:

    ReplyDelete
  23. Kimberlee sounds awful from everything I've heard. I'm really curious about what items Kimberlee needs to return and what amends she needs to make to move on. Glad you enjoyed it overall, even if it wasn't perfect. Love the quote, I think it's safe to say the romance would be the highlight for me too (it usually is). Wonderful review!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I think maybe not. I would be too freaked out! Lol.

    Thanks for the giveaway! And very nice review!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am intrigued by this book, but also a little upset at how the cover doesn't seem to accurately convey the story here. Or, it at least implies that the main character is a female, which doesn't appear to be true. I do love how retellings of classic texts seem to be becoming more and more popular - perhaps the influence I need to read some classics first. I would like to read this, but in comparison to The Scarlet Pimpernel. Hopefully I'll be able to get to both of these at some point in the future!

    ReplyDelete
  26. This sounds interesting! Really, it captured me. :) So I joined the giveaway! ;D

    xoxo,
    Rae
    http://raellarina.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  27. Perhaps I would be really frightened if a ghost would ask me for help. But in contrary, I think I would be cool to befriend a ghost! As long as he/she would look very close to human (not the creepy one). or something like the ghosts in the Harry Potter movie series. haha! I'd really like it. :D

    ReplyDelete
  28. Definitely, i freaked out and run first!! LOL!!
    I scared with ghost, so even they came to asked for help, i can't do it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I got an ebook copy of Life After Theft, I had actually read the first chapter from the YA Scavenger Hunt and really wanted to get started on it. It seemed like it'd be a funny sorta book from the first chapter and I've enjoyed Aprilynne Pike's other books so hopefully I enjoy Life After Theft too, I love the title LOL

    ReplyDelete
  30. I bought this book this weekend because I'm going to a signing event for the author. It's definitely not something I would usually buy, but the concept definitely sounds interesting. I don't usually read books from male POV, but it doesn't sound like that will be much of an issue in this one.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Yeah, I would! I'm scared of them!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oooh... I like that Jeff is smart and easy-going. Not sure if I'd like Kimberlee though. Thanks for sharing, Rachel!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'd be scared at first just because a ghost is talking to me! But I'd probably help!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I haven't read a single thing by Aprilynne Pike, but I have a feeling I might actually like this one precisely because it combines light moments with darker ones. I don't know how I'd feel about Kimberlee, but I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy the book overall.
    Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  35. It is so hard to write a review when you have such conflicting feelings about the story. But you did a really great, balanced job!

    ReplyDelete
  36. First review I've seen this; I didn't realize it was about a ghost! I think the cover should feature the MC...I would have looked at this cover and thought it was narrated by a girl and boy narrations always stick out to me a bit more. Glad you liked him at least!

    ReplyDelete
  37. At first, but if I start getting comfortable around the ghost then no.

    ReplyDelete
  38. No, I wouldn't be afraid. I'd love to have a ghost ask for help...then I would know that ghosts are real...or that I'd lost my mind. Either way works for me. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'm glad to see you enjoyed this, Rachel! I didn't realize this had a ghost either, the cover gives no clue to that at all. No need to enter me in the giveaway since I have a copy. :)

    Sorry for being MIA, by the way--I usually read blogs once a week, and got seriously sidetracked because I was sick for two weeks and am still recovering! xo

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    ReplyDelete
  40. Yesh, I would be afraid! That's freaky, but would try!
    octoberbaby1990 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'd be terrified! Even if the ghost didn't talk to me, or even acknowledge me, I'd be scared out of my mind! Just a ghost presence freaks me out! Y'know, I never knew this book involved ghosts...

    ReplyDelete
  42. Yeah, I'd totally be freaked right out if a ghost asked me for help! Like I'd probably check myself in to the nearest psych ward!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  43. It wouldn't be the norm, that's for sure! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hahhaha definitely! I get terrified pretty easily :P hehe. Thanks for the amazing giveaway!

    Rabiah

    ReplyDelete
  45. I think I would be ok with the idea if the ghost was friendly and kind. Also it would depend on what they wanted me to do..........
    Mary G Loki

    ReplyDelete
  46. I am not afraid of ghosts.n_n

    ReplyDelete
  47. I'm not sure if I'd be scared if a ghost asked me for help. Most likely I'd be a mixture of scared and intrigued.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I'd be afraid but then maybe if I find out the purpose of the ghost asking me for help and if it was a good reason, I'd probably help

    ReplyDelete
  49. I'd be terrified! I don't want to EVER meet a ghost, nice or otherwise! Let's keep the afterlife a mystery please!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I would not be freaked out :)

    ReplyDelete
  51. I would probably be a little freaked out ;)

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...