Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Review: You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316077429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316077422
  • Purchase Information

    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.
    You Killed Wesley Payne is a murder/mystery with 'private dick', Dalton Rev trying to find out who killed Wesley Payne. In doing so he has to navigate through the many (overly exaggerated) cliques. Each of who are battling for supremacy. There seems to be little in the way of rules and a governing body of teachers. They all seem to be after the same thing, and are constantly running 'rackets'. You have to pay for everything, even greasing the palm of the school nurse. 

    Dalton models himself on crime novel hero Lexington Cole. He's a likable character who manages to use his sharp wit and hard-boiled detective skills to solve the murder. Dalton has a certain charm, he's slick and suave, but he puts on a lot of that. I liked his reason for doing what he does, it gives his character another dimension, makes him easier to relate to. 

    Even though many parts of the story seem to be over the top, Dalton and friends never seem too unbelievable. They're all trying to survive the ups and downs of high school, albeit with a little more violence and anarchy than is healthy. You will need the 'clique index' in the front of the book to help you understand the many different one's, as you can get very lost. These are some of the funniest pages in the book. 

    The story is full of twists and turns that had me turning the pages trying to figure out how it all fit together. I never suspected who the perpetrator was, and it was a shock to find out in the end. The dialog is snappy, fast paced and very amusing. I was caught laughing out loud on several occasions. I was also caught unawares and asked myself a few times, WTH? I found You Killed Wesley Payne a little along the lines of Scott Pilgrim vs The World. ( as I was watching the movie at the same time)

    You Killed Wesley Pain is one great read. Even though it is YA and contains some violence, sexual references and inventive language, I recommend it to anyone who is after something different. It was a nice break from the usual. You Killed Wesley Pain is certainly in a league of its own.

    I give it 3.75 out of 5.
    I received this book from Angelo at Blog Reach Solutions.

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