Title: You Killed Wesley Payne
Author: Sean Beaudoin
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Age Group: Young Adult
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.
This book was so crazy. It left me feeling exactly as Fade to Blue did. Bewildered. All I can think is "What did I just read?" Fortunately that doesn't mean that the book was bad or that I didn't like it. I've recently discovered that this new type of language, dialogue, and setting for books is becoming a genre of its own.
So far I've read mixed reviews for this book and I'm not sure why they are mixed. Really, I enjoyed it. The most common negative I see basically revolves around people having trouble grasping that this is supposed to be a reality. This IS how people act in this world. Teachers turning a blind eye to violence for fifty bucks? Nothing new. Principal harassing students? Happens everyday. Knowing you're coming in a book that's going to be so strange is important. Now knowing will leave you confused.
The popularity chart was very confusing and overwhelming initially but once I was actually introduced to the cliques, their leaders and what "rackets" even were, the chart was very helpful in piecing everything together.
I really loved Dalton. That's an understatement. I wanted to eternally snuggle with him. He was that "good guy" character that we all hate to love but love anyway. The best part was that he acknowledged that and made fun of it on several occasions.
You Killed Wesley Payne was full of so many twists and turns it was like a roller coaster. Props to Beaudoin for dishing it out in a way that answered all my questions and didn't leave me confused. Anytime this book got anywhere near dull, something would happen to sky rocket it all the way back up on the interesting meter.
Overall I really enjoyed You Killed Wesley Payne even if my mind is still yelling "BUT IT'S SO DARN UNREALISTIC!"