Life After Theft

Life After Theft - Aprilynne Pike This review appeared first on Oh, Chrys!Lacking depth, [b:Life After Theft|16065465|Life After Theft|Aprilynne Pike||19071699], did not have any qualities that really struck out to me. With an active plot accelerating at a moderate pace, not only was it a quick read, but a very forgettable one too. Though it left no impression on me, it was certainly one of those reads that had me smiling at some instances, and crossing my fingers at others. It surely entertained as a stereotypical, sappy high school drama show would. Then there were those grueling times that I slunk in disappointment.Jeff is the new kid in town at a private high school who has just made the sudden transition to a wealthy lifestyle in California. He still rocks his casual Chucks, and is proud of his BMW Z4 convertible. Things take a turn, when he is confronted by Kimberlee, a snarky ghost with a lot of baggage who is only visible and audible to Jeff. This twist will probably amuse readers as Jeff reaches the fringes of his sanity while helping Kimberlee with her "unfinished business" - a project to rid herself of kleptomaniac guilt that may be obstructing her from crossing over. Despite its remedial and moral implications, Kimberlee's "unfinished business" is extremely risky, and Jeff often ends up putting his education - even his freedom - in danger.Picking up where [b:One Day More|10929|For One More Day|Mitch Albom||3125926] left off, [b:Life After Theft|16065465|Life After Theft|Aprilynne Pike||19071699] offers a new perspective with Jeff as the narrator, rather than Kimberlee. He is obviously caring for taking up Kimberlee's project, and he is does not let his new status of wealth transform him into a snob like most of his schoolmates. His pairing with the controlling Kimberlee is what made [b:Life After Theft|16065465|Life After Theft|Aprilynne Pike||19071699] a fun read. Their constant bickering is entertaining, especially when realizing that one of the two is not even human.It was refreshing to find a YA in a male's voice, especially since my initial interpretation of the cover implied that Kimberlee would be the narrator. However, Pike provided a stereotypical male point of view, immediately reducing the exclusivity of having a male narrator. Though he has a humorous personality, Jeff's character is marred by the common cliche that his gender is occupied by sex-driven monkeys. There are so many instances where Jeff cannot perceive his romantic interest, Sera beyond her physique. His irresistible urges to stare at Sera's bottom and long legs are frustrating, if not degrading. It is not wrong to be attracted to the opposite sex, but objectifying them as though they are commodity is.Though Jeff provides the male narrator voice not so often conveyed in YA, I just could not find myself becoming immersed in his characterization. All I know about Jeff is that he is the offspring of teenage pregnancy, newly-rich, and has the serious hots for Sera. He does have moments where he questions the existence of a deity and the morality of good and bad. Hearing such philosophical discourse from a person who dubbed his black and beautiful car, Halle after the famous actress was very unexpected. It made me feel that I was cheated of what could have been a slightly thought-provoking readThe dull characterization forced this novel to be unfulfilling, and it did not stop at Jeff. I was most frustrated by Kimberlee’s development. I learnt nothing exclusive about her in book: Life After Theft]. New tidbits were hinted at, but left too much for me to interpret. Throughout [b:Life After Theft|16065465|Life After Theft|Aprilynne Pike||19071699], readers are given vague hints about the life she lived before. I guess this should have been an eponymous expectation? It is obvious that she was a snob, but why was it so? Why did she hate so many people? Why is it that only Jeff could see her? [b:Life After Theft|16065465|Life After Theft|Aprilynne Pike||19071699] did not sufficiently answer these questions, though it certainly attempted to. It only accentuated Kimberlee's meanness with a dash of nemesis grudges. Nonetheless, her kleptomania is very intriguing, and it was great to see how remorseful she was for her mistakes.Like its characters, [b:Life After Theft|16065465|Life After Theft|Aprilynne Pike||19071699]'s romance was depthless. It is just plain ol' lust. The kind that deludes many teenagers that they are in sweet love. I sincerely appreciate that Pike did not loosely portray love often in [b:Life After Theft|16065465|Life After Theft|Aprilynne Pike||19071699]. It was obvious that the Jeff-Sera relationship was primarily physical. . There are not many emotional scenes between the two that show that they actually had a deeper, mature understanding of each other. Perhaps Pike's intention was for them to be in love, but I never saw anything beyond that.It was also nice to see the presence of parents in this novel. Being the result of teenage pregnancy, Jeff is well-aware that his parents do not want him to make the same mistake. His mother is always concerned about his life without overwhelming him. This is an ideal parental presence, as Jeff was given leverage to make his own decisions, but with caution, not suppression For instance, there is a scene where his parents give him the "condom lesson", emphasizing that they are not 100% effective. I sighed at its unoriginality, but it is one of those important tidbits to know.As for Pike's writing, it is juvenile. The novel is dialogue-driven and narrated by a "cool" kid. It would have been lovely if there were passages of eloquence to leave a lingering impression, but sadly there was none. I find that younger readers will very much to relate to the book easier because of its rudimentary language. Most of the time I felt like I was reading a story someone wrote in high school. This will prove good or bad depending on the reader's palette.All in all, [b:Life After Theft|16065465|Life After Theft|Aprilynne Pike||19071699] was simply a superficial read. Yes, it entertained me most of the time, but I was left with no sort of impression. Everything was superficial. The plot. The characters. The romance. Though I was stunned to see ponderous discussions, I cannot deny how bland it was. It is an okay read, and that is about it.