Life After Theft

Life After Theft

4.0 12
by Aprilynne Pike

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"Listen, Jeff. " She said my name like it was a bad word. "You don't get it. I'm dead. Ask anyone. I've been stuck here and no one has been able to see or hear me but you."

Kimberlee Schaffer may be drop-dead gorgeous . . . but she also dropped dead last year. Now she needs Jeff 's help with her unfi nished business, and

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"Listen, Jeff. " She said my name like it was a bad word. "You don't get it. I'm dead. Ask anyone. I've been stuck here and no one has been able to see or hear me but you."

Kimberlee Schaffer may be drop-dead gorgeous . . . but she also dropped dead last year. Now she needs Jeff 's help with her unfi nished business, and she's not taking no for an answer. When she was alive, Kimberlee wasn't just a mean girl; she was also a complete kleptomaniac. So if Jeff wants to avoid being haunted until graduation, he'll have to help her return everything she stole. But Jeff soon discovers it's much easier to steal something than it is to bring it back.

Paying for your mistakes takes on a whole new meaning in this clever twist on The Scarlet Pimpernel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike.

Editorial Reviews

Mixing a little bit of Harry Potter and a lot of Twilight, Pike has hit on a winning combination. Yet it is her own graceful take on life inside Avalon that adds a shimmering patina sure to enthrall readers."
Children's Literature - Kristi Bernard
Jeff Clayson has been uprooted from Phoenix to live and thrive in an upscale part of California. He is not happy that he has to start over at a new high school which requires him to wear a uniform and adapt to the rich, spoiled kids that go there. His parent's hard work has paid off and they are now well to do and want the best education for him. Of course, it helps that they bought him a new BMW. Jeff's first day at school is by no means ordinary. When he spots a crazy hot chick lying on the floor it catches his attention. Unfortunately for him it is Kimberlee Schaffer, who is a ghost that only he can see. With a little convincing she has Jeff help her clear up some unfinished business in her past, with the hopes that she can move on from the limbo she has been in. Jeff learns how to dress and be noticed with the popular kids with extensive coaching from Kimberlee. He also learns that Kimberlee was a rich, spoiled mean girl who was also a kleptomaniac. As their odd friendship grows, Jeff makes new friends and relationships at school while returning the things that were stolen by Kimberlee and hoping he does not get caught. The problem for Jeff is that he wants to be done with Kimberlee and he hopes that she will finally go away so that he can go on with his own life. Pike has done a great job of creating a story that young adults can relate to. Vivid imagery along with detailed setting makes for a fast paced and fun read. Readers will recognize their own regrets and desire for change from the characters in the story. Being able to accept yourself and others are also great takeaways from this ghostly tale. Reviewer: Kristi Bernard
VOYA - Margaret Capobianco
Fans of gothic teenage romance will delight in this new novel by the author of the New York Times bestselling series, Wings. When we first meet Jeff, he has just moved from Phoenix, Arizona, to Santa Monica, California. His parents have decided it is time for his mother to pursue her acting dream after his father makes it big as a computer wizard. The move includes enrolling Jeff in a private school, something to which he is not accustomed. Starting a new high school is challenging for anyone, but the transition becomes even more daunting when Jeff's first friend is the ghost of a popular teenager who drowned the previous year. Kimberlee Schaffer appears to Jeff to ask for his assistance in making amends for some of the terrible deeds she committed while a teen at Jeff's new high school. It seems that Kimberlee had a big shoplifting problem and she needs Jeff's help to return some of the items she stole. Jeff falls in loves with Kimberlee's nemesis leading to some conflict between the teen and Kimberlee, as well as some potential trouble for Jeff when he tries to help her with her antics. This novel is very well written and immediately draws the reader into Jeff's world as he tries to adjust to a new high school and pursue the girl of his dreams all the while trying to help Kimberlee come to terms with her past mistakes and move on to spiritual peace. The dialogue is realistic and the character development is wonderful. Readers get a good look into Kimberlee's past motivations to steal and how Jeff helps her come to terms with her past mistakes. He does this while developing his own comfortable niche and love interest. This novel will appeal to teens of both genders. Reviewer: Margaret Capobianco
Kirkus Reviews
"There's something about having a fight with a ghost that makes you paranoid in the morning." On his first day at an exclusive private high school in Santa Monica, freshman Jeff Clayson discovers that he is being stalked by the ghost of a former student who drowned two years earlier. Jeff can see and hear Kimberlee Schaffer loud and clear, but to everyone else she is invisible. Apart from disappearing through walls when it suits her, she behaves like any other kleptomaniac teenage brat. Kimberlee has a mission for Jeff. She wants him to help her atone for her past sins so that she can move on to the place with bright lights where she believes the peaceful dead end up. It takes Jeff a while to realize what a bizarre drama he has let himself get involved in. Finding the love of his dreams, who, it turns out, has played a significant role in Kimberlee's criminal past, only complicates matters further. In a refreshing departure from her plant-based paranormal-romance series (Destined, 2012, etc.), Pike develops the pleasantly fractious relationship between Jeff and Kimberlee in Jeff's earthy, humorous first-person as he only initially reluctantly takes the high road to help her. Aside from its heavenly premise, this brisk, down-to-earth thriller should appeal equally to male and female readers. (Paranormal mystery. 12 & up)
ALA Booklist
“Jeff’s journey to real empathy takes on issues crucial and relevant to teens: the price of popularity, the importance of being true to one’s beliefs, and the need to stand up for others.”
Stephenie Meyer
PRAISE FOR THE WINGS SERIES:“WINGS is a remarkable debut; the ingenuity of the mythology is matched only by the startling loveliness with which the story unfolds.”
Carrie Jones
“SPELLS is brilliant and lovely. Aprilynne Pike’s talent just continues to bloom and I am almost afraid to see how awesome her next book will be.”
Lisa McMann
Who knew faeries could be this cool? ILLUSIONS has it all. It’s fascinating, rich, and romantic, and weaves a great new tapestry of thrilling fantasy.”
Claudia Gray
“The greatest part: the Wings series reaches the perfect ending. The worst part: it has to end!”
Booklist (starred review)
Mixing a little bit of Harry Potter and a lot of Twilight, Pike has hit on a winning combination. Yet it is her own graceful take on life inside Avalon that adds a shimmering patina sure to enthrall readers.”
Romantic Times (Top Pick)
“Pike’s clever and innovative way of reinventing fairy tales and myths to make them her own is wonderful...[The] story is rich in vivid details, action, adventure, and romance.”
Romantic Times
“Pike’s clever and innovative way of reinventing fairy tales and myths to make them her own is wonderful...[The] story is rich in vivid details, action, adventure, and romance.”
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review)
“The series is action-packed, and the final chapters of the story are no exception. A thrilling page-turner, many readers will read the book cover-to-cover, barely daring to breath.”
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Jeff Clayson's life has been turned upside down in more ways than one. Uprooted from his middle-class world by his parents so that his mother can pursue an acting career, he now lives with them in an upscale section of California, drives a BMW, and attends a prep school. Being the odd man out intensifies when on Jeff's first day he encounters none other than Kimberlee Schaffer. Unfortunately for him, she is dead and he is the only one who can see or hear her. His agreeing to help Kimberlee with her "unfinished business" begins a whirlwind adventure full of secrets, lies, unlikely friendships, romance, and important lessons about the price of redemption. Pike delivers an insightfully written, fast-paced, and witty plot told from a teenage boy's point of view. Full of well-developed characters, this ghostly tale tackles complicated themes such as acceptance, bullying, and atonement that readers will relate to. A clever and engaging read that will satisfy more than just fans of the paranormal.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

Claudia Gray

“The greatest part: the WINGS series reaches the perfect ending. The worst part: it has to end!”

Carrie Jones

“SPELLS is brilliant and lovely. Aprilynne Pike’s talent just continues to bloom and I am almost afraid to see how awesome her next book will be.”

Lisa McMann

Who knew faeries could be this cool? ILLUSIONS has it all. It’s fascinating, rich, and romantic, and weaves a great new tapestry of thrilling fantasy.”

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Life After Theft 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read it and loved it! Just started the sencond one, dont firget to read it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
zissa122 More than 1 year ago
Life After Theft is the definition of HILARIOUS. This book had me laughing like CRAZY. I had plenty of people stare at me wondering what was so funny. I enjoyed this book although I'm not a fan of ghost books. Life After Theft is filled with surprises. The secrets just kept coming and coming! I finished this book pretty fast, but wished I took the time to enjoy every line of wise-cracking dialogue. I cannot wait to read more by Aprilynne Pike and hope her other books are just as funny. Overall, I would recommend this book to people who like mysteries, ghost stories, or someone who needs a good laugh.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed in this book to be honest. I thought the whole ghost premise would be interesting and it was to an extent. I thought that advertising the book as a clever twist on The Scarlet Pimpernel was a huge stretch. There were a few plot points that could coincide with The Scarlet Pimpernel, but I had to stretch to make the connection. There was too much cussing. I was expecting better from her. I get that teenage boys are driven by hormones, but it was pointless to bring it up so many times and didn't really add to the all. It seemed to be just a ploy to get more people to read it if it had some sex in it. I was very disappointed the author seemed to be advocating premarital teenage sex as long as you really loved each other and were willing to deal with the consequences. Come on Aprilynne! What happened to your morals? I will NOT be recommending this book to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LarkPaula More than 1 year ago
I knew there was a reason I loved Aprilynne Pike, and after having read her latest lovely, I think I've finally pinned it down- she writes paranormal and fantasy characters that are exceptionally realistically human. Hence my genre heading above; Life After Theft is a contemporary, and a good one at that, masquerading as a paranormal. The combination is engaging and satisfying. These characters are all spoiled rich kids, yet they all still have achingly familiar problems. The prime example is Kimberlee, who takes things because she can't fill the hole inside. Took things, that is- she can't anymore, because she's dead. Jeff is trying to navigate the social waters as the new kid in school, Sera struggles to erase her past, Khail works to be what his parents expect him to be. . . they're all a bit of a mess, and I love them all, in the end.  I really enjoyed the tasks Jeff has to perform in his quest to help Kimberlee with her situation. These are the fun spots in the plot that make this book unique in the pool of current YA. I also appreciate that this is a well-done stand-alone; I got a great story that wrapped up in just a few hours of reading, and I don't have to wait forever for a resolution to a cliffhanger. Because of some of the content and language, I'd consider this upper-range YA- though there isn't anything here that is more objectionable than most teens see and hear on a typical day. I appreciate that Pike included these elements just enough to enhance the realism, and doesn't go for the shock value. Because she's able to walk the line, this book feels very honest, and just flirts with enough campiness to  boost reader interest in the early pages. If you're looking for a fun, quick read that won't leave you pining for months for a sequel, this is an excellent choice.
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
The day I wanted to start this book, I have to admit that I was very hesitant. After hearing that it was a male POV, I started having doubts. Male POV's are very tricky with me, because sometimes they work, and sometimes they just don't. Fortunately, that worry brushed off after just reading the first ten pages. I was immediately in love with this book! Aprilynne Pike gave us humor, sarcasm, love, mystery, and sad in one go! The main protagonist, Jeff, just moved to California. In his new rich, preppy high school, he sees a girl lying on the floor in the middle of the hallway. The shock was that people WALKED OVER her! That's when we meet the awesome Kimberlee, AKA the ghost. Kimberlee is extremely excited that someone can actually see her, and starts following him everywhere. It was funny how Jeff didn't believe it at first, and thought the whole school was playing a joke on him.  Speaking of Jeff, I think he was a perfect protagonist for this book. He had the right amount of sarcasm and seriousness in him, and I loved him to bits! Jeff also starts crushing on hot girl Sera, and tries to charm her in countless ways. That aside, Kimberlee thinks she's stuck in Earth because she's stolen some things in her life, and that the only way she can be in peace is if she returned every thing she stole to their rightful owner. When Jeff hears that, he agrees to do anything to get rid of her. Here's the catch, Kimberlee didn't just steal some "stuff", but a FULL cave worth of stuff.  I think the most thing I enjoyed in this book were the characters. There were so many characters, and I was able to connect with all of them. They all felt real, and it was great seeing each and every one of them grow. There was never a boring page, and I just loved every second reading it. I'm definitely glad that I was able to get a copy of this one. I was also SO sad to see it end, but I'm hoping to read another great book by Aprilynne Pike! If you're in the mood for a funny, chill book with a twist and mystery to it, Life After Theft is the book for you!
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
    So, the whole only one person can see the ghost book has been done, but I enjoyed the plot then and I enjoyed it this go round as well. This one does have the unique twist that the ghost is a rich girl. Who stole. A lot. And Jeff, our main character, the only one around who can see her, is guilted into helping her and makes a new, if at times annoying, but funny ghostly friend, Kimberlee.      I will be honest, I almost didn't read this one because I thought it would be soo much drama and I guess when I first got it, I just dismissed without fully reading the synopsis, but once I got a chapter in, I was hooked.      I liked being in Jeff's head. There just aren't as many male POV although they are becoming more popular as a dual narrative, but here it is all boy, all the time. I liked the way that he interacted with her, and that he was skeptical. At first he thought it was all some big joke. But I really appreciated his line of thought, and while he had his flaws, that he was just a good person, and had a desire to do the right thing.      I felt for Kimberlee and despised her, sometimes all at once. I understand that it was a compulsion, her stealing, and that she desperately wants to cross over. But just some of her attitudes turn me off. I know that she is covering up pain, but still. But she made such amazing character development and growth, and that left me smiling when the book was over. The inherent goodness of Jeff really changed her and how she looked at (after)life. And I like that it wasn't a romantic thing with them.      Khail and Sera are great secondary characters. I really enjoyed the in some instances unexpected roles they play in the book.      I liked how everything tied up and the ending was *just* open enough to picture them going on with their lives in a good way.  Bottom Line: Funny, cute and surprising character development. 
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike Publisher: HarperTeen Publication Date: April 30, 2013 Rating: 3 stars Source: eARC from Edelweiss Summary (from Goodreads): Moving to a new high school sucks. Especially a rich-kid private school. With uniforms. But nothing is worse than finding out the first girl you meet is dead. And a klepto.  No one can see or hear Kimberlee except Jeff, so--in hopes of bringing an end to the snarkiest haunting in history--he agrees to help her complete her "unfinished business." But when the enmity between Kimberlee and Jeff's new crush, Sera, manages to continue posthumously, Jeff wonders if he's made the right choice. What I Liked: When I first heard that Aprilynne Pike was writing a new book, I was thrilled! I love the Wings series (well, I haven't read the last book. Shhh, don't tell!), so I knew that I would be getting my hands on Life After Theft as soon as possible. Same goes for Earthbound! I can't wait to read it. Though I'm way of the concept, I'll definitely give it a try. So anyway. Life After Theft. One of the things that drew me to this book was the fact that it's in a male's point-of-view. I've definitely been liking this tiny trend of having parts of the book or the whole book in the male protagonist's point-of-view. This entire book is in Jeff's point-of-view, and I certainly enjoyed that. his voice was very authentic and male-sounding, in my opinion. So Jeff can see and hear and communicate with Kimberlee, a dead girl who had a wee bit of a problem when she was alive. She was a kleptomaniac - meaning she had the constant physical and mental urge to steal things. So, Kimberlee believes that the only way for her to disappear is for Jeff to give back all of the stole items that she hoarded when she was alive. And thus begins our story. It was weird and crazy to read about how Jeff was putting stolen goods in the open for the rightful owners to retrieve. Eventually, it got to the point where he need help, because more items needed to be given back, and in a larger place, like a store, or a school... Needless to say, the plot was interesting. I never really felt bored, especially during some of the trickier times when Jeff had to give stuff back to people, and there were problems! The romance is strange. I like it, and I don't. Jeff's love interest is tormented by a bad past, and yet, I know she cares about him. He definitely cares about her. I just don't think the author did a good enough job of convincing readers (or, just me) to like this girl. Maybe I'm just judging her, but I just don't like her.  Overall, not too bad! Definitely an interesting book. What I Did Not Like: Half of this book I just did not find believable. I understand that it's a paranormal-type book anyway, with Jeff being able to see Kimberlee (unless you believe in that sort of thing), but it seriously felt like a contemporary novel. A good thing, right? Well, not really. Not when I'm not convinced of some of the thing that happened. Like Jeff's first encounter with the police. Or the fact that Jeff agreed to help Kimberlee at all. And how about WHY Jeff can see Kimberlee? That was a huge problem for me. I wondered, throughout the entire book, why he could see her and no one else could. Can we get some insight, please? I understand if the author wants this book to be more of a contemporary-like novel, and if she did not want to get into the details of the paranormal aspect of this book, but you can't NOT explain why Jeff can say Kimberlee and no one else can. And I didn't like Jeff's lady love. I just didn't. She rubbed me the wrong way from the start, and especially towards the end, when she started acting weird. And I seriously cannot believe that a school administrator could blackmail a student like that. I highly doubt that would happen. I mean, anything is possible in terms of corruption, but I didn't find that believable. Basically, there were a lot of inconsistencies that bothered me a lot. Would I Recommend It: Um, yes, but not really. If you have enjoyed Aprilynne's books before (the Wings series), then I think you should keep reading her books! This book is really interesting and engaging. But, if you have a ton of other books that are really calling to you, don't read this one. It's not a MUST READ. Rating: 3 stars. I don't regret reading this one at all! But I'm glad it's a standalone novel, because I probably wouldn't be reading any of the follow-ups.
RJGonzales More than 1 year ago
Life after Theft follows the story of a new student Jeff who is the only individual who can see Kimberlee, a previous student that had passed away some time before and now haunts the halls of his new school. Together they put together the pieces of why she is stuck there, and what they can do to help her cross over to the other side, that is, if she is ready to. Perhaps I may be a tad bit critical here, but I have to state that while reading, I couldn't really distinguish the main narrator as being a significantly different or unique person. He seemed to blend into a shade of grey that was flat and hard to sympathize with. It was refreshing to see a male character lean more toward the sensitive side than the typical "I'm a tough guy with a secret heart of gold" thing, however there was something that was still lacking that kept it from truly embodying a solid main character. This plot has existed many times over and in many incarnations. There wasn't anything too fresh here to help it stick out above the others, but it was still an entertaining read to pass the time with. It was fairly breezy being in that it is a light read that doesn't require much to follow what is going on throughout the book and has a satisfying ending, depending on the reader. All in all I'll say that Life After Theft was exactly what it's supposed to be: enjoyable. The ground is still intact, and far from being broken here, but if you're looking for a cute, light, breezy read, I suggest you read the first few sample pages on official sites to see if it is something you would be into reading. With a few noticeable blemishes here and there Life After Theft doesn't quite stand out above the others already in the world, but perhaps, offers a new setting and characters to indulge for the mean time. *An ARC of this novel was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
BookFanatic132 More than 1 year ago
We start out with typical teenager thoughts from a typical teenage boy. Jeff, the main character (though it could be argued that Kimberlee is the main character, but we’ll get to that later) has just moved from Phoenix, Arizona to California. His dad recently became pretty rich so he is now enrolled in a private school where hoodies and jeans are traded for uniforms. These are all pretty standard teenager problems. And then he meets Kimberlee. A ghost. A kleptomaniac ghost. Yep, those exist. I absolutely loved the way Jeff reacted to the fact that he could see Kimberlee. He’s agnostic, so he isn’t sure what to believe in and naturally thinks he’s just going crazy. His response was so realistic—I probably would have done the same thing. Jeff is more than just a decent human being. He tries to see the best in people and helps out even when he doesn’t have to. He definitely was my favorite character in this book. Kimberlee isn’t the best person in the world. She’s done a lot of bad things. And I’m not even talking about the kleptomania—that really can’t be helped. I’m talking about the bullying, the lying, the general being-a-jerk parts of her. But the way that Aprilynne portrayed her had me sympathizing for her and actually liking her. Now before, when I was saying that it could be argued that she’s the main character—that’s because she sort of is. This book is about her. But it’s also about Jeff. It’s told in Jeff’s point of view, but most of the plot surrounds Kimberlee. So it’s about both of them. And Khail? At first I thought he was just a jock and didn’t think he’d be important to the story, but I was wrong. I actually really liked what he did and thought he was a pretty decent human being. I loved how protective he was of his sister and the lengths he’d go to to help her out. And then there’s Sera. Her, I couldn’t connect with as much as the other characters. Though Jeff really likes her, I actually felt like she was pushed into the background for most of the book. There were more important things going on—like returning everything Kimberlee stole (and it’s a LOT). I didn’t have a chance to really know her, so I was a bit shocked when Jeff did something (yes, I’m being vague—no spoilers for you!) towards the end to redeem himself with her. I loved the plot, I loved the characters—I loved everything about this book. It had me laughing, crying, and everything in between. This story is not only about Kimberlee, but about Jeff as well. They both make a lot of mistakes, but in the end they learn from them and they understand themselves—and others—better. This book exceeded my expectations in more ways than one and I really, truly recommend this for everyone who likes stories that will touch your heart and make you laugh while doing it—with a dash of teen angst sprinkled in. ;)