10 January 2011
Book Banter -- You Killed Wesley Payne
Author: Sean Beaudoin
Length: 319 pages
Where Bethany's Copy Came From: ARC from Blog Reach Solutions
Release Date: Feb. 1, 2010 from Little Brown Books
Plot Basics: Salt River High is dominated by cliques (what high school isn't?) and it's up to newcomer Dalton Rev to figure out which clique killed Wesley Payne and made off with the Principal's rackteering money (ok, maybe that part doesn't happen in every high school.) Dalton's got the Balls on one-side and the Pinker Caskets on the other and his client, Macy Payne who is all the wrong kind of distraction for a PI on a case. And as if the murder wasn't enough, Salt River's being terrorized by a shadowy Lee Harvies clique making the high school on the verge of an all-out clique war.
Banter Points: Not all YA fiction is rich, snotty girls and vampires and "You Killed Wesley Payne" is a welcome addition to the YA world with its noir feel and crazy slang. Beaudoin rockets through his prose, keeping the action moving and the reader guessing right up to the end. The story is littered with slang terms (some of which I got right away... like when a group is chanting Bolsheviks... and others I had to go to the handy glossary in the back). The slang carves out Beaudoin's off-beat world and definitely sets him apart for smart YA fiction.
Bummer Points: Maybe it's because I read enough mysteries, but I was pretty sure I figured out who killed Wesley Payne. I was kind of right, but that's always a bummer to me in mysteries.
Word Nerd Recommendation: If you want YA that's smart and hip and not so mean girls, this is a book for you. It's a hip read for teens of any age (those still in high school or those of us that are still teens deep down inside) and adults will appreciate the send-up for the great crime noir writers of the past.
Bonus: Tune in next Wednesday, 1/12, for an interview with Sean Beaudoin and a giveaway!
Double Bonus: There's an awesome book trailer for Wesley Payne. Take a watch.