Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Our Teens Review Books: You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin

Author: Sean Beaudoin

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Synopsis from Goodreads
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 FasterFade 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 thrown in for good measure. It'll tease you, please you, and never ever leave you. Actually, that's not true. It's only a book. One that's going to suck you in, spit you out, and make you shake hands with the devil. Probably.

What I thought: 
You Killed Wesley Payne is an interesting, funny and somewhat parodish book about pulp mysteries, and honestly I found it pretty interesting. I'm planning on rereading YKWP again to understand a few misconceptions, but overall this is an entertaining book! 

I'm not too quick to read mystery (pulp, excessive) books, but maybe it's the cover that gotten me interested. 

The premise of the story is ideal: 17 year old Dalton Rev is an amateur wannabe-detective who solves crimes/mysteries on his detective website. Dalton decided to solve Wesley Payne's murder requested by Wesley's sister, Macy Payne. Police claims Wesley committed suicide, but is it so? Only one way to find out... at Salt River High. 

I really enjoyed the setup at the beginning, creating this direct, mysterish themed setting through sharp monologue and funny dialogue. I just going to be blunt with ya, Dalton Rev is certainly funny with his snarky comments, seriously. I believe that's what made this book stand out from the rest... 

Throughout the story we began to understand Dalton and his main purpose for being a detective, his personal 'whys' and explore Dalton's homelife when not in 'detective' mode. I like Dalton's reasoning based on Lex Cole(man?), main character of a detective series within this book and I gotta say... it's amusing. I'm sure I would base half of my logic/reasoning on my favorite character! Other characters besides Dalton are his family, 'friends' and cliques that runs predominantly in this mystery book. Salt River High is the main focus resolving Wesley's murder, but not only that, the crude adults and students serve a plot, too. The main cliques that are 'suspects' are Balls and Pinker Caskets (Football seniors verses Gothic emos). These two clique runs the school, but with two big kings urging to cut each others throats to be the only one remaining on top, it's up to Dalton and his quick thinking to resolve this brewing battle AND use the cliques to resolve Wesley's mystery. 

I liked the interaction, it's sharp and cut clean, 'to the point' I will say. The bonding is brief, but it gives up a taste of emotions from each character. Personally, I like Kurt Tarot, Newspaper, and Chuff... I don't know how to explain it, but I wanted to know more about those characters, unfortunately, we don't have much characterization for them :( but of course, this is about Dalton and not those three. 

I don't have any personal issues with this novel, to be honest. My gripe about this novel is too many nicknames and that makes it difficult for me to keep up. Using odd phrases that I have no clue what it means...- guess that's why we have a specific dictionary for them, eh? 

I sincerely enjoyed this book, and I recommend giving it a read! At least, for a 14+ audience. There are a few scenes that are a bit, 'touchy', so keep that in mind. Don't mind too much about the swear words, it's actually hilarious how it's alternated into something wacky. Anyway, it's a humorous book to read for the sake of entertainment. 

Want to check out You Killed Wesley Payne? Find it here on the CMRLS catalog and place a hold on it!