Reviewed by Marjolein Balm
But on his first day the trouble starts, as the first person he actually meets there is a girl. Well, he doesn’t meet her first, but he stumbles more or less upon her as she is lying in the school corridor. It is the ghost of a dead girl, Kimberlee, who was quite notorious at school because was a kleptomaniac and stole everything that she could get her hands on. Jeff is the only one who can see her, and can talk with her, which leads to some bizarre situations, of course. Not every teen in school understands it when he seems to be talking into the air. Kimberlee is convinced that the reason she’s a ghost and hasn’t moved on is because she needs to return all the stuff she’s ever stolen, and she asks Jeff to help her with this so she can move on to the afterlife. Jeff learns how to dress and be noticed with the popular kids with extensive coaching from Kimberlee. As their odd friendship grows, Jeff is making new friends and relationships at school while returning the things that were stolen by Kimberlee and hoping he doesn’t get caught. But then Jeff falls in love with a girl from his new school: Sera. Will Jeff help Kimberlee move on before she wrecks his life? Or has he gotten himself in too deep?
What surprised me about Life After Theft was that it was completely written from Jeff’s point of view, something I truly didn’t expect as, when I see the cover, this looks like a young adult book aimed at girls. I found this very refreshing and very original! The plot was fun and exciting although it didn’t have much depth, but then I didn’t really expect that. The main plot thread was that Kimberlee fulfilled her unfinished mission to give back the stolen goods, and that was kind of a message of making wrong things right again.
This book was also something completely new by Aprylinne Pike after her Wings series. It was completely different. The characters were good: Jeff thinks at first that he has gone completely crazy when he discovers that Kimberlee is actually a dead girl which he can communicate with. His character was very realistic, and he was really a good guy. Kimberlee was a little bit hard to follow sometimes. She was a bad girl who had regrets about what she did, but she still had a spunky streak as a ghost. It was overall a very entertaining read, with lots of hilarious moments and with an original plot that was quite different from every other YA novel I have read so far. I recommend it!!
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