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 Now, 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. But above all, it’s about finding hope when hope seems like the hardest thing to find.
I became interested with this book because of the title, the cover and the blurb. Aside from reading books, I also love listening to music, which means I’m quite attracted to books with music as part of the plot. However, the book did not appeal to me that much.
While reading the book, I scanned for the song titles featured on every chapter, some of them are familiar to me which made me very curious as to what it’s connection with the book was. I found connection for some, but for most I did not. I think if I had just listened to all of the songs, I would’ve found the connection. Or maybe, there really isn’t. Either way, I really enjoyed the fact that some of my favorite songs were included in this book.
“If there’s one thing I learned from the playlist, it’s how important listening to people can be.”
The characters in the story piqued my interest at first but I was a bit bored out in the middle of the book, but not too bored to not be able to finish it. The issue I had with the characters was that, they seemed too flat. There wasn’t any development to any of them. Luckily, I found myself relating to Sam and Hayden a bit, particularly to their music taste, to which I think was kind of a redemption.
The plot had me going through though. It’s actually pretty awesome. It’s very intriguing and mysterious.
Overall, amidst all the issues I had with the book, I think this was a good read and definitely has a potential.