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You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin
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's review
Jan 26, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: from-publisher, arc, for-review, young-adult
Read from January 07 to 09, 2011

Do you enjoy reading about hard boiled detectives or watching noir films? If so, you will definitely get a kick out of 'You Killed Wesley Payne'. This detective/mystery novel features a teenage sleuth who aims to be like his favourite fictional detective. The novel features many things typical to crime fiction, and it provides a good story while also satirizing the genre.

This isn't my typical type of read, and I never would have picked it up if I wasn't reviewing it, but I'm glad I did. I was hoping the book would be a bit like the TV show Veronica Mars, and it really wasn't, but it featured some similar themes. The book is quite humorous in a wry way, and I quite liked the protagonist, Dalton Rev. However, there are so many characters in the book, and keeping the rest of them and their cliques straight was a bit of a nightmare. The clique index and chart contained within the book almost made it worse, because it was information overload right from the beginning. There were more than a couple of times where I felt like I was missing something, like this was the 2nd book in a series and I just didn't know about it, but that wasn't the case.

For older teen readers who don't mind violence, sexual references, and creative swearing, this is quite the original novel, and I would definitely recommend it, especially to boys and people who are fans of hard boiled detective characters. The book is a throwback to crime fiction of the 1960s while also providing its own unique perspective. 'You Killed Wesley Payne' is not my style of book, but I still found the reading experience interesting, and I appreciate its originality, when most YA coming out right now is paranormal in nature.

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