Summary from Amazon:
Aprilynne Pike, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Wings series, shines in this stand-alone novel that offers a humorous twist on ghosts and is perfect for fans of Ally Carter, Rachel Hawkins, and Kiersten White.
Kimberlee Schaffer may be drop-dead gorgeous . . . but she also dropped dead last year. Now she needs Jeff’s help with her unfinished 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 all of the stolen items. But Jeff soon discovers that 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 hauntingly clever twist on The Scarlet Pimpernel.
Life After Theft is actually a hard book for me to review. I guess I should say right off the bat that I absolutely enjoyed Life After Theft. It was a fun book. However, I originally was interested in this particular book because of these sentence “Paying for your mistakes takes on a whole new meaning in this hauntingly clever twist on The Scarlet Pimpernel.” Those words right there – The Scarlet Pimpernel – got me so excited about this book.
The Scarlet Pimpernel is an okay book. I’ve read it, and it’s good. It does have some unfortunate stereotypes, which just shows that is’s a product of the time it was written. However, I LOVE the CHARACTER of The Scarlet Pimpernel.
I have to explain why I love the Pimpernel so much to adequately explain my feelings for Life After Theft. So, The Scarlet Pimpernel is this hero who lives during the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. Basically, the French government is chopping off the heads (via the Guilloutine) of all these aristocrats. The Pimpernel, however, through many different disguises, is able to save a lot of the nobles from decapation. But that’s isn’t why I love him so much. Well, of course saving people is totally admirable, but what I love so much about this character, is how he fools everyone.
So, (minor spoiler), The Scarlet Pimpernel is actually Sir Percival Blakeney, a noble from England. To avoid suscpicion (I mean, he is on and out of Paris all the time) he creates this persona for Percy. Basically he acts like a fool. Someone who is obsessed with fashion, and really doesn’t have a thought in his head. And that is what makes me love him so. He isn’t afraid of making himself look the fool (even though he is quite brilliant) so that he can save people’s lives. And the scenes where he’s acting like an idiot are so much fun.
My favorite movie adapation of The Scarlet Pimpernel is the one with Anthony Andrews, and oh my gosh, he’s perfect as Percy. The way his voice changes when he goes from being stupid Percy, to genuine Percy is amazing. And it’s quite funny, too.
Anyway, so you can see what I love the character of The Scarlet Pimpernel so much. So, I was sooo hoping to see a character similar to this in Life After Left . . . but there wasn’t. In fact, Life After Theft is really not much like The Scarlet Pimpernel at all. Since I am so familiar with the story, I could pick out the simmilarities, however Life After Theft isn’t a direct retelling. That’s not a bad, thing, though. I really like when author’s take the basic idea of a classic, but change it around to work for them.
But, what I was a little disappointed in, was that there wasn’t a Percy character. Jeff, who is the main character in Life After Theft, is a totally nice guy. I really liked him. But . . . he didn’t have to act one way infront of everyone as a disguise. And that’s what I really wanted; that’s what I love so much about The Scarlet Pimpernel (the story).
I liked the story of Life After Theft. I thought it was really interesting story, a mean girl’s ghost stuck on Earth until she returns all the stuff she stole. And Jeff being the only one who can help her. Again, it really didn’t have that Pimpernel feeling, and if I wasn’t so in love with TSP, I probably wouldn’t be disappointed at all.
I do have to say, that Jeff didn’t feel like the mastermind behind the whole “return all the stuff” project, which was sad. I wanted him to be the leader, like Percy was. This is a small gripe, though.
There are quite a few secondary characters in this one, and I thought they were all well-developed. Of course, there’s Kimberlee, the ghost that only Jeff can see. She’s not really all that nice, but there are some layers there. And then there is Serafina, the sort of love interest (this really isn’t a romance, though). I loved that Sera wasn’t a perfect angel, and that she had a past that she was dealing with. And that Jeff still liked her anyway. Jeff’s parents were cool, although my parents would never be that way (and I had very easy going parents).
So I definitely liked Life After Theft. It’s just that I didn’t get the Pimpernel feeling, which is what I was hoping for. Although I really liked this book, if I wasn’t a huge fangirl of TSP, I think I would have liked this book more. Who else is a huge Pimpernel fan? And have you seen the Anthony Andrews version?