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Playlist for the Dead

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  13,331 ratings  ·  1,628 reviews
Here’s what Sam knows: There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, Sam’s best friend, Hayden, was dead. All he left Sam was a playlist of songs—and a note, saying that he took his own life. But what Sam doesn’t know is: Why?

To figure out what happened, Sam has to rely on the playlist and his own memory. But the more he listens, the more he realizes that his mem
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 27th 2015 by HarperTeen
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Popular Answered Questions
cmtan cmtan I can give you a list of all the songs....
1. How to Disappear Completely- Radiohead
2. Crown of Love- Arcade Fire
3. Mad World- Tears For Fears/Gary Jul…more
I can give you a list of all the songs....
1. How to Disappear Completely- Radiohead
2. Crown of Love- Arcade Fire
3. Mad World- Tears For Fears/Gary Jules
4. Invisible- Skylar Gray
5. One- Metallica
6. Pumped up Kicks- Foster The People
7. I Don't want to Grow Up- The Ramones
8. Dianne Young- Vampire Weekend
9. Smells Like Teen Spirit- Nievana
10. One Step Closer- Linkin Park
11. The Mariner's Revenge Song- The Decemberists
12. Adam's Song- Blink 182
13. Alison- Elvis Costello
14. This is How It Goes- Aimee Mann
15. Despair- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
16. On Your Own- The Verve
17. Let It Go- The Neighborhood
18. Say Something- A Great Big World
19. Everybody Knows- Leonard Cohen
20. How to Fight Loneliness- Wilco
21. Conversation 16- The National
22. Last Goodbye- Jeff Buckley
23. Hurt- Nine Inch Nails
24. For Emma- Bon Iver
25. Cosmic Love- Florence And The Machine
26. The Mother We Share- Chvrches
27. It's Only Life- The Shins(less)
lixel The Fault In Our Stars and Playlist for the Dead are two very different books. I liked TFIOS a lot more than this one because the characters were so m…moreThe Fault In Our Stars and Playlist for the Dead are two very different books. I liked TFIOS a lot more than this one because the characters were so much more developed. PFTD just falls flat for me the author seems to be trying too hard. A lot of elements are very cliche also. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,331 ratings  ·  1,628 reviews

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Dec 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
I can't believe that I paid ten dollars for this shit. This will be riddled with spoilers because I care nothing about it.

Aj the Ravenous Reader

For a debut novel and for a very controversial theme, I thought the book isn’t bad. I generally avoid books on suicide because more often than not, it ends up really depressing but although Playlist for the Dead tackles the same subject, it does so in a way that doesn’t put so much weight on the reader’s emotions.

Unlike books on suicide that linger on the whys of the person’s decision to end his/her life, this book focuses on the loved ones, the ones who can’t help blame themselves for the deat
Nov 10, 2014 rated it liked it
This was just an okay book for me. I don't have any big complaints. It's not bad, I just didn't fall in love with it.
I connected with the main character, I enjoyed the different plot lines and the writing style. However, nothing really took me by surprise and this book did not leave a big impact on me.
Drcong O '

I can't bear the writing, sorry/
Review also appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7

I received a copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

First thing's first:

Dear Michelle Falkoff,

I would like to thank you for writing such an intensely honest novel about the after-effects of teen suicide. Thank you for giving us a character who dealt with his best friend's death in his own way and not in the way expected of him. Thank you for showing us how there are various ways of dealing with the unexpected and sudden death of some
James Francisco  Tan
"If there's one thing I learned from the playlist, it's how important listening to people can be."

Dec 27, 2014 rated it did not like it

Originally posted at Geeky Chiquitas

This book compares itself to Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Tim Tharp's The Spectacular Now. These are really big claims, and I was at first skeptical, naturally, but in the end I decided to give this a try. While I did not exactly like The Spectacular Now all that much, I did adore Perks a lot, and so I had great expectations for this book. Sadly, it was so different from what I expected and I'm really really
Kristina Lenarczyk
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was ok

This book started out so strong and I was so excited about it, but then it just started to drag and eventually fell flat for me.
Chuddchutney Buana
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book sucked me into it like a sand pit I finished it in only 2 days.

Reading this because I took some Buzzfeed quiz of which particular new book that should be my next read..and turns out that this one is right up my alley (How many psychologist and from which top ranking university Buzzfeed is hiring is a mystery though).

I am always a sucker for a story that use pop culture as a plot device, and this book, with each chapter introduced one song each that drive the narratives forward, are in
Mridu  aka Storypals
That ending ruined everything, it could have been a lot more, a lot deeper.
Review to come.
Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff is about a boy named Sam. His best and only, friend Hayden has just committed suicide, and all he has left, as a suicide note, is a playlist, with 27 songs on it. As he tries to decipher the playlist he learns more and more about Hayden's life and the people in it. He realises that even though Hayden was hi
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
You never really know someone until you listen

3.5 stars

A novel that is steady-paced and never tries too hard to pull on your heartstrings. While I didn't outright cry my eyes out, I did feel for Sam and everyone around him... and in turns angry for how certain people treated Hayden.

This book unveils the layers/secrets bit by bit, letting you get to know everyone involved and how some things aren't what they seemed. A couple times my perceptions of a character were flipped from what it was be
Irmak ☾
Jan 13, 2022 rated it liked it
“But loneliness is a thing that has weight, and it gets heavier over time.”

It was quite similar to 13 Reasons Why, but I liked this one better because the writing was actually good. But still, it was nothing spectacular.
Jan 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Sam Goldsmith finds his best friend’s, Hayden’s, body and a suicide note saying “Listen and you’ll understand…” I expected the story to be about the whole playlist and how it connected all the dots and everything… but it was a little disappointing. Yes, Sam listened to the playlist through the whole book, but it wasn’t incorporated in the whole story, which was a pity.

This brings me to the storyline of this book. It was enjoyable, but again, not very extraordinary like I expected. This book didn
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
I dont think I've ever felt so conflicted about a book. This book, to me, only.skimmed the surface on suicide, which is an issue that needs to be talked about more especially in YA books.

I read this book in one sitting, and its currently 2:30 am so the book did something right. I thought it was really fast paced - which I liked. However, the playlist seemed kind of pointless. I wasnt exactly sure why it was there, and it didnt add a lot to the experience. Also, I felt so disconnected from the ch
Neil (or bleed)
I probably liked this book because of the air of mystery it brings with a dash of some supernatural of sort that is almost completely implausible but wasn't. I really thought this was just a straight suicide book, with characters grieving and blaming themselves for what happened and the healing.

It's almost liked that, but the mystery of what happened that push Hayden's to the edge gets me curiouser and curiouser every page. It's good. It works. And there's the revenge plot that add some spice a
সালমান হক
Not recommended for everyone . If you are into depressed stuff like me and are into indie rock scene or love alternative music and like a book where you will have to deal with a person who is already dead and There is one person who has to suffer for that reason then this book is for you. Otherwise NO . Don't go for it. You will end up hating the author. ...more
3.5 stars

Hayden was never popular. He was a geek, he had one friend, and his parents were never supportive of him. Then there was an incident at a party and he decided to commit suicide...

The next morning Hayden's best friend Sam finds his dead body and a playlist of songs dedicated to him. As Sam tries to understand the life his best friend lived he must also reflect on the person he has become.

I liked this book although there were slow moments in the book. I liked Sam's character and the secre
Dark Faerie Tales
Jul 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed-by-zed
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A suicide playlist.

Opening Sentence: All my years of watching TV made me think it was possible you could find a dead body and not know it until you turned the person over and found the bullet hole or stab wound or whatever.

The Review:

Playlist for the Dead is told from Sam’s perspective; a teenager whose best friend has committed suicide and he’s the one who found him. This was a decent read, especially since May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
Dani St-Onge (Literary Lion)
I really wanted to like this book, and I didn't totally hate reading it but I cannot say it was good. The idea had a lot of potential but it absolutely fell flat.

It is exciting, the plot leaves you guessing but it feels very standard. I did enjoy reading it a bit, so I feel bad that my rating fell so low but I enjoyed it perhaps in part because of how bad it was.

The idea of using a playlist was unique but in the end none of the songs mean enough that they needed to be included at all, the entire
Brooke ♥booklife4life♥
Pre-reading thoughts: Hayden is my son's name, so of course that's 1 reason to read it. Also it reminds me of 13 Reasons Why and i loved that book :]

At A Glance
Young Adult; Contemporary
Love Triangle/Insta Love?: insta love a bit.
Cliff Hanger: nope.
Rating: 3.5 stars

Score Sheet
All out of ten

Cover: 8
Plot: 6
Characters: 7
World Building: 7
Flow: 7
Series Congruity: n/a
Ending: 6

Total: 7.5

In Dept
Best Part:
Linkin Park Song!
Worst Part: Shallow plot
Thoughts Had: Lovely songs!; Poor Hayden.

cutesyreader ツ
"Hurting him wouldn't do me any good. Even just blaming him didn't make me feel better. Who was I to say who was any more responsible than anyone else?"

This was just an okay book for me. I'm enjoying it at the beginning since it was like a mystery book where you don't know what had actually happened and you need to find the answer to everything. I don't have big complaints. It's not that bad or boring, it just did not leave a big impact on me.

Actual Rating:
3.2 stars
Along the lines of Gone Too Far and Thirteen Reasons Why, comes another book about death, self-discovery and of course, a shit ton of mystery. And just like these others, Playlist of The Dead is a very, very memorable book. Not only because of its unique concept, but because of a certain Sam Goldsmith.

Sam is the one who finds his best friend Hayden’s dead body and a playlist. And with it, a note: For Sam. Listen and you’ll understand… And there, right then, begins Sam’s journey to try to underst
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
You can find this review along with many others on my blog!

When I read the synopsis for this book, I immediately felt keen anticipation for it. It sounded like the kind of book that I would love. I was able to get my hands on it a few weeks ago and now I finally got the chance to read it. And I'm so happy I did.

As opposed to my other reviews, I won't be writing a small summary of the plot simply because I feel like it might spoil the story for you. And I don't want to do that! I do w
Melissa Chung
Dec 29, 2014 rated it liked it
How to rate this book..... I don't know. I didn't hate it. I didn't love it. So it gets the middle rating. The it was all right rating.

Sam Goldsmith is a sophomore in high school. He has one friend Hayden and Hayden just committed suicide.

I was hoping I would get a better understanding of suicide through the eyes of Hayden's playlist and Sam's discovery of the night Hayden died, but the book didn't fulfill anything I really wanted to know.

Hayden has a learning disorder. Parents that are over ba
My thanks to HarperTeen & Edelweiss

Point of View: Single (Sam)
Writing: First Person | Past Tense
Setting: Iowa
Genre: Young Adult | Realistic Fiction

This was an emotional and such a tough read for me. Suicide is just not right up my alley. Though, I have to admit the writing did make the whole thing more tolerable for me. Still, it was quite a sad story about bull
Erin Dunn
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
It seems to me there has been an influx of YA books on the subject of suicide. Recently I have read Thirteen Reasons Why, I Was Here, and now Playlist for the Dead. As far as Playlist for the Dead is concerned it wasn't as good as the others. Just being honest. It was very mediocre. Are you wondering why then did I rated it 4 Stars? The playlist. Every chapter is a song and in that chapter the song or band is mentioned in some way. What I did was make a playlist and listen to it as I read the bo ...more
Mar 02, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a very powerful contemporary that I really liked and it took me on a rollercoaster of feelings.
Anahita Solot
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
I wasn't sure whether to give two stars or three. But I cried for Hayden, so in honors of him, here goes three stars.
This book was ordinary. The author seemed to has never been a teenager. Or has never met a nerd in real life. The story was interesting, and it'd got lots of potentials, but sadly, it was all wasted. The whole process was so slow at some points I wished for Sam to be a little smarter and a little less dense.
Overall, it was a good read but not the most realistic.
Bianca Sy
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Lots of people want to be invisible. Maybe they even think they can pretend to be. But someone always sees."
— Hayden

Hayden died, and he left a playlist for his best friend to listen to. However, though what happened in the story seems impossible or probably even evil, it mainly focused on the concept of karma.

Revenge was also present, and I admit, I completely don't know what to feel about that no matter how much I read this book.

I loved how Sam and Hayden came from two different worlds, maki
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was ok

This book was painfully predictable. Mind you, it was cute and there were some good parts and I think I half smiled at a thing, but it still was a wanna be John Green that failed.

How dare I compare it to John Green?!
Well yes, if you go by the lost boy awesome girl formula John likes to often use in his books, you can tell this debut novel wanted to do the same thing. Except in this small piece of wasted money, the girl sucks. I believe the author googled what alternative
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“People are going to say a lot of things. And some of it will be helpful, and some of it will be annoying, and lots of it will get on your nerves. But they're saying it because they found it helpful when they lost someone. They mean well.” 55 likes
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