Playlist For the Dead | Michelle Falkoff | Review

“People are going to say a lot of things. And some of it will be helpful, and some of it will be annoying, and lots of it will get on your nerves. But they’re saying it because they found it helpful when they lost someone. They mean well.”  ― Michelle Falkoff, Playlist for the Dead

Title: Playlist For the Dead
Author: Michelle Falkoff
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery Issue: Death, Music
More: Goodreads

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.

Linemy thoughts

I feel like Sam is a very closed character and if I was not reading in his point of view, I would have never guessed what he was thinking about. He was very defiant to the facts and the problems that were laid in front of him. He tended to shy away from some of the obvious problems in his life. Given all of these things, Sam is a very caring and understanding person. He tended to blame himself for the wrongs in his life and the wrongs that other people did. He practically lived off of music and that is something I can relate too (to all you music lovers too ;D).

I respect Astrid a lot. Change is not an easy thing to go through, but she did it her own way and managed to find herself along the way. Astrid; a name she chose for herself. She may not have felt closure from her past, but it’s okay, because it’s the truth. No ones perfect right? She would definitely be my best friend if she existed (rubbing a lamp and wishing…).

I could connect and really feel for Hayden, because he reminded me of someone that I knew. Insecure, unsure of himself, feeling uncared, an unloving family, and to top it all off, hopelessness. There were many possibilities for Hayden. It was the path that he chose that


I was immediately drawn to the synopsis. I mean okay, maybe it didn’t end the way I thought it would end, but I thought it was a great ending. I had a slight problem on closure, but that’s my problem.

I just felt that there could have been a deeper meaning to the playlist if only Sam opened him eyes a whole of a lot more.

Though, to me, this story was built off of fighting stereotypes. The reality that is behind it is real and the hurt and pain that is behind every move and every event brings a sense of hopefulness. To me, it was a script of truth that some people do not have a good side to them and that they are truly horrible. That there are some people who are lost and need guidance to get back on track. But there are some people who are too lost to find their path again.

It was fast paced and lovable in all the right places. Sure, I may have been disappointed on some parts and a little unsatisfied with the ending, but it doesn’t change how wonderfully written this book was!

All in all, I enjoyed the book and I highly recommend this to you guys!

-Music Companions-

**NOTE: In relation to this book, I am going to be adding my favorite songs from Hayden’s playlist.

1]  Mad World – Gary Jules/Tears For Fears
2]  Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People
3]  One Step Closer – Linkin Park
4] Adam’s Song – Blink 22
5]  Let it Go – The Neighborhood

LineHave you read this book before? Share and Comment below!




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