Genre: YA, Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Automatic Publishing
Release Date: 19 Apr 2016
My Rating: 3 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):
When Curtis Brooks starts receiving phone calls from his older brother Wilt, who’s been dead a week, he’s sure it’s to help him find evidence that will lead to a murderer’s arrest. But Wilt claims he wasn’t murdered; his calling, meant to help him adjust, is standard protocol for newly deceased at the Aftermart—a kind of inescapable, ever-expanding Walmart filled with discontinued products.
Wilt’s death ruled a homicide, Curtis embarks on a dangerous plan to find the killer, which soon has him scheming against a billionaire and floundering toward love with his brother’s ex-girlfriend Suzy, all while struggling through high school and his single mom’s poor choices.
Why does Wilt help Curtis win over Suzy, even as he organizes a rebellion at the Aftermart? Who’d wanted him dead? Curtis risks his life to answer these questions, in the process forging a bond with his brother unlike any they’ve ever had.
*Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC of this book from Netgalley and Automatic Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my opinion or my rating of this book in any way.
As soon as I saw the description on Netgalley I was intrigued, because the theme of a dead person being able to call a loved one is one that I haven't read much about. I was also a bit confused by the genre, because surely a book that talks about receiving phone calls from the dead has a little bit of fantasy in it, right? Or horror, depends on how you look at it.
It was interesting to read an entire story from a boy's POV. I found it a bit strange at times, but I definitely found it an interesting and good change from what I normally read.
I thought Curtis was a fascinating character. He had moments when he frustrated me, but for the most part I rooted for him and hoped he'd succeed in what he was doing. The story reveals a lot of things about Curtis that made me question some of the things about the story. I feel like, in the end, he does the best he can with the cards he was dealt. His parents are far from perfect, his life in general sucks. The fact that his brother died is important, but I feel like the fact that he got these phone calls from Wilt helped him cope or at least ignore the fact that Wilt isn't physically there for him when he needs him the most.
Remember when I said that I was confused by the genre? Well, the story itself left me with a lot of doubts regarding these phone calls. I kept wondering, mostly because of some of the details that emerged about Curtis throughout the book, if those phone calls were real. Which in a way I thought was brilliant, because then, depending on what you want to believe, there's two ways in which you can see the book. Either Curtis was completely delusional, or he really was talking to his dead brother on the phone.
I felt like the pace was a little too slow for my taste, and the ending turned out to be completely not what I imagined. Not necessarily a bad thing, just not what I expected.
My only issue was with the parents in this book. I would've wanted at least one of the parents to be somewhat normal, or at least true, mature adults. Actually, now that I think about it, all of the adults in this book weren't exactly role models, or even adults per se.
Anyway, I thought the book was okay and if you're fans of YA mysteries, you should definitely check it out and let me know what you think.