Mar 11, 2011

Review + Giveaway | You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin (ARC) [CLOSED]

Title: You Killed Wesley Payne
Author: Sean Beaudoin
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: February 1, 2011 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher for review

Summary: He's come to do a job.
A job that involves a body.
A body wrapped in duct tape found hanging from the goal posts at the end of the football field.

You Killed Wesley Payne is a truly original and darkly hilarious update of classic pulp-noir, in which hard-boiled seventeen year-old Dalton Rev transfers to the mean hallways of Salt River High to take on the toughest case of his life. The question isn't whether Dalton's going to get paid. He always gets paid. Or whether he's gonna get the girl. He always sometimes gets the girl. The real question is whether Dalton Rev can outwit crooked cops and killer cliques in time to solve the mystery of "The Body" before it solves him.

Cover: A very simple cover, but I like it a lot. It adds a little mystery and looks cool :)

Thoughts: It took me a couple of pages to understand what was going on in the bizarre and dark world that Beaudoin created: Salt River. You're immediately thrown into a strange and corrupted Salt River High, where the students must learn to survive all while making a profit. Money is the only thing that really matters, the guy with the hockey mask on top of the roof shoots at the students to keep the order, and cliques are everything (even the faculty is a clique: the Fack Cult.)

The story follows Dalton Rev, a Private Dick (and sometimes just a dick) who has just transferred to Salt River High to solve the mystery of The Body and hopefully uncover...well, who killed Wesley Payne?

Wesley Payne's murder (or was it suicide?) brings Dalton plenty of trouble and as soon as he steps off his scooter on his first day of school, we know that things are not going to go smoothly. He faces a beating, gets shot at, has to pay to get a decent class schedule and proper care from the nurse, and is threatened by Inference (the principle)...all within a few hours of his first day at school. Dalton is a likeable character (most of the time) and although he was determined to be cool and aloof, he was actually a nice guy just trying to get paid...sort of. He's funny and smart mouthed, usually thinking of his favorite fictional character, Lex Cole, and what he would do in such strange situations that Dalton seems to always find himself in. His interactions with the other characters were interesting and always came with great dialogue.

It takes a little while to get used to the strangeness of this book, but once you get past the first few pages and realize that there isn't much we would call "normal" going on, it is too enjoyable to put down. You are quickly moving through a fast-paced, unstoppable adventure, full of dark humor, lots of slang, plenty of characters who connect and add quite a lot to the story, and the mystery of who killed The Body that will keep you guessing until the end. There are also a few extra additions: the glossary, clique chart, index and other interesting little bits that are fun to read. I recommend You Killed Wesley Payne to other young adult lovers who like detective stories and pulp noir.

The publishers have also been generous to provide a signed copy of Beaudoin's second book Fade to Blue to one lucky winner! Also make sure to check out for other free goodies and fun stuff :)

+ one signed copy of Fade to Blue is up for grabs for one winner
+ Just fill out the form
+ Winners will be chosen March 25th
(please allow three weeks for delivery)
+ U.S. only!

1 comment

  1. LMFAO the trailer is awesome! Book sounds pretty fab, thanks for the review :)