PLAYLIST FOR THE DEAD Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


I am thrilled to be today’s stop on the PLAYLIST FOR THE DEAD Blog Tour. I knew that I would enjoy this book having read its description and I wasn’t wrong. I loved it. It was sad and sweet and thought-provoking and… well as my stop is a review stop I won’t go on and on here. My review is just a little bit further below if you’d like to know what I thought.

And if you’d like to know a bit more about the book and author, their information is also in this post. PLAYLIST FOR THE DEAD released last week, so if you’d like to read it, it’s available now. But if you’d like to try and see if you can win a copy, be sure to scroll down to the Rafflecopter for a chance to win.


PlaylistfortheDead official cover

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Author: Michelle Falkoff
Release date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 288
Formats: Hardcover, eBook


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 NowPlaylist 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.


Note: This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.

The Review

Michelle Falkoff’s PLAYLIST FOR THE DEAD is a moving, thought-provoking, and wonderfully told story about a boy who’s trying to come to grips with his best and only friend’s suicide and understand just what his friend was trying to say through the playlist he made for him.

It is a story that tackles a tough subject, but does so in a way that is not too heavy, yet still weighty enough for readers to make an emotional connection with the story and its characters and to give them a number of things to think about.

It introduces a boy who is completely lost, alone, riddled with guilt, and desperate to understand what part he played in his friend’s decision. It follows him in the days and year after the suicide as he tries to interpret the meaning behind each song in the playlist and build a new life for himself.

The author lets both readers and her main character, Sam, try and solve the puzzle together about just what led Hayden to choose to end his life. Through Sam’s memories, the memories of a few others who knew him, and the songs on Hayden’s playlist, readers will get to know Hayden, come to empathize with his struggles, and perhaps understand why he did what he did.

And while this is in part a story about Hayden, it’s very much a story about Sam and everyone that Hayden left behind. PLAYLIST FOR THE DEAD focuses on what happens to those whose lives Hayden impacted, how they cope with the loss, how they adapt, how they survive.

It is sad and sweet and heartfelt and heartbreaking. It asks the question “why,” and it reveals the answer in a way that feels a little bit like a mystery. It gives readers a peek into a friendship that was on the verge of changing, one with secrets, one that had its ups and downs, but one that still had a strong bond. And it invites readers to listen to the songs, which are announced at the beginning of each chapter, in order to feel even more connected.

Michelle Falkoff created a likable and thoughtful and interesting character in Sam to tell her story through. He was shy and awkward, like Hayden, but he was also much stronger than his friend, making for a compelling narrative. She wrote a story with a number of important messages, quietly delivered, that will keep readers thinking long after the story’s end. Ideas about forgiveness, and blame, and vengeance, and acceptance.

PLAYLIST FOR THE DEAD is a poignant and engaging and relatable story and one that is a must for readers who enjoy incredibly touching, coming-of-age stories and those who know just what it’s like to be in Sam’s shoes.

The Rating



About Michelle Falkoff


Michelle Falkoff’s fiction and reviews have been published in ZYZZYVA, DoubleTake, and the Harvard Review, among other places. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently serves as Director of Communication and Legal Reasoning at Northwestern University School of Law. This is her first novel.


The Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

  • 3 copies of PLAYLIST FOR THE DEAD (US/Canada ONLY)

***Giveaway ends on February 10th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific***

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Tour Schedule

Week One

Jan. 26 – Novel Novice – Guest Post

Jan. 27th – Me, My Shelf & I – Review + Excerpt

Jan. 28th – Such a Novel Idea – Review

Jan. 29th – Fictitious Delicious – Spotlight

Jan. 30th – Once Upon a Twilight – Interview

Week Two

Feb. 2nd – Bumbles and Fairy Tales – Guest Post

Feb. 3rd – Fiktshun – Review

Feb. 4th – Tales of a Ravenous Reader – Interview

Feb. 5th – Swoony Boys Podcast – Guest Post

Feb. 6th – Falling for YA – Review + Excerpt


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