Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: April 30, 2013
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "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."It's Jeff's first day at an elite private school and his day couldn't be more bizarre. His family has relocated to Santa Monica, California and the school he attends is completely different than what he's used to. To make matters worse, he realizes that he is able to see a ghost and this isn't just any ghost. It's the ghost of a girl who used to attend his school and before her untimely drowning, she was the queen bee and quintessential mean girl. This ghost, Kimberlee, hasn't been seen by anyone until Jeff and once she realizes that he can see her, she decides that he can help her with her final mission. You see, Kimberlee was pretty much a kleptomaniac and she feels in order to move on, she must make good on all of her misdeeds, which include stealing a lot of people's personal belongings. Kimberlee hopes that Jeff will help her return it all and in turn, she'll move into "the light." Jeff really doesn't want anything to do with this, but slowly realizes he has no choice but to help her. Aprilynne Pike's Life After Theft is a paranormal mystery that is entertaining and despite the misleading cover, it should appeal to many male readers.
At first glance, you may think that Life After Theft will be a fluffy and romantic summer tale; however, I was surprised to find out that the story is from Jeff's point of view. I must say that Pike did a great job with this. I thought it was believable and I think many male readers will enjoy this fun story if they can get past the girly cover. So, needless to say, I really enjoyed that aspect of the novel. Jeff is a funny, smart and witty narrator whom I thoroughly enjoyed.
On the other hand, Kimberlee drove me nuts in Life After Theft and I think Pike did a good job portraying a bratty teenager turned ghost. Jeff decides to help her, otherwise she will pretty much make his life a living hell and in the process readers learn more about her past as well as Jeff's love interest, Sera. There's more to Sera than meets the eye, which Kimberlee hints at, but of course, Jeff dismisses. I really wish I liked Sera more, but I wasn't feeling her relationship with Jeff unfortunately.
Life After Theft is a modern day retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel, which I realized after reading. I can see some of the similarties and I love that more and more authors are writing modern takes on the classics. As an English teacher, I love fresh takes on timeless tales.
If you are looking for a fun paranormal read this summer with hilarious writing, witty dialogue and a memorable male point of view, check out Life After Theft.