Saturday, March 26, 2011

You Killed Wesley Payne review

Description: 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.

Sean Beaudoin (Going Nowhere Faster, Fade to Blue) evokes the distinctive voices of legendary crime/noir authors Dashiell Hammett and Jim Thompson with a little bit of Mean Girls and Heathers throwin in for good measure. This smart, slick, and alluring detective novel that will tease you, thrill you, and suck you in.

Description: This was NOT what I expected when I got this book. It was packed full of weird slang, a crazy school and weird yet partly stereotypical characters. The slang and story as a whole was something I had to get used to. The dialogue was strange, and the story (characters, settings, etc.) was unrealistic, but once I accepted that nothing about this book would be normal (somewhere in the 1st chapter), I was hooked in. It did help that although I didn’t understand all the references or remember all the cliques, the author had an impressive ability to create clever and unique dialogue, providing me with another way to understand the ongoing story. I know Beaudoin had to put a lot of work into this book to invent a world full with Elvis looking rockers, psychedelic foxes and mysterious hitmen. Like, why the hec would you have hit men at a school, or a principle that makes money off of her students illegally? It’s wonderfully crazy, especially the characters. I loved me some Cassiopeia Jones. She made me think of an oriental Foxy Brown. 

Even their school was unique. Salt Water High is a place I’d never want to end up at. It’s corrupt; with students carrying guns and charging money (illegally) for everything, like paying the teacher to give you a grade other than an F, or paying to have an easy (or at least bearable) class schedule. I’d be broke by the first day! 

Each aspect of this story was filled with mystery and action. There were constant twists and turns that kept me guessing. It wasn’t too hard for me to guess who killed Wesley Payne. But everything else, all the other questions were left in the air until the end, which is another reason I liked this book. This was a nice change from the norm and I’m all for future mysteries for Dalton to solve.

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