Jacket Art Copyright: The Heads of State
Inside jacket summary:
"Here's what Sam knows: There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, Sam's best friend is dead. All he left Sam was a playlist and a note, saying that he took his own life. But what Sam doesn't know is: why? To figure out what happened, Sam must rely on the playlist and his own memory. But the more he listens, the more he realizes that his memory isn't as reliable as he thought."
Based off the jacket, you really expect the story to center around the significance of this playlist Hayden leaves Sam before committing suicide. Very disappointingly, it really doesn't. The chapter names are songs on the playlist and while they are mentioned briefly at the beginning of the chapter, there is no real significance to the playlist in the story. So while some very cool songs are picked, there is no real meaning there and seems to be just a selling point for the book. Lame.
There is no answer to why Hayden killed himself, which I understand the author choice in not answering that for Sam or any of the other characters, because ultimately with suicide one can't really ever know for sure. That being said, the author never really explained why Hayden kept something a secret from Sam. We are told that Sam and Hayden are more like brothers. Despite Hayden's awful parents and brother, he is able to find escape by being at Sam's house where he liked it more. Nothing that Hayden was facing really gives you the sense that he lead the worst life, especially when he had Sam.
That wasn't the worst offense by the author. In the end, the author throws in the character of Astrid, who is a "friend" of Hayden, unbeknownst to Sam. After Hayden's death, Sam's search for answers really then just turn into a romance with Astrid. Which ultimately doesn't work out because Sam finds something out about Astrid that he simply can forgive. There was just way too many things and characters that just didn't do anything for the story which a shame. The premise of learning about your best friend through a playlist is interesting and is why I picked up this book, but don't be fool.
my rating: C-