When Jeff moves to California, he doesn’t expect everything to be perfect right away, but he does expect a fair degree of normalcy. Instead, he finds a young, female ghost lying on the floor of his new high school. Like any normal guy, Jeff doesn’t fully believe that he can see her, but Kimberlee soon enlists him in an unusual task: he must help her return boxes and boxes of…things.
As Jeff soon finds out, Kimberlee was a kleptomaniac despite her wealthy status. She takes the idea of kleptomania to a whole new level as Jeff must think of ways to pass on stolen belongings to students, teachers, and stores. There is another problem: Sera, a beautiful girl with a story behind her calm veneer. Can he manage to help Kimberlee in the after life while still maintaining a relationship with Sera, the girl Kimberlee despises?
Jeff is a great character to read about. At first, I thought I wouldn’t love Life After Theft as I tend to gravitate more towards female main characters. However, I found myself loving Pike’s realistic portrayal of a teen boy. Jeff is brave, sweet, and slightly dorky. Sera, the love interest, was aloof and stand-offish at first, but the reader will get to know her and possibly even approve of her (as I did). She has an interesting past, a murky one. Kimberlee was difficult to like, at first. Her character is shallow, snooty, and demanding. It’s hard to like someone who is so pushy and mean towards Jeff, a guy who is honestly trying to help her. Towards the end of the book, her character grew on me as well; I like to think that she learned a lesson or two. Ultimately, the reader will probably not be a fan of Kimberlee, but she does even out at the end. Khail, Kimberlee’s brother, was a great character to get to know. He seems like the rough-and-tumble sporty guy, but he has many dimensions to his character – some that tie in to Kimberlee’s thefts in surprising ways.
Overall, I really loved Life After Theft. Is it a book I will remember years from now? Maybe not. However, I do think that any teen/young adult female reader will enjoy a book that provides a good diversion from the monotony of school/work life. Aprilynne Pike has certainly delivered with a ghost story intertwined with romance and humor.
Krystal is a young college student who loves meeting new authors and finding great books! Her favorite place to read is the Botanic Gardens.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by HarperTeen. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.