Monday, February 21, 2011

You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin

You Killed Wesley PayneFrom Goodreads:
 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. 
Sean Beaudoin (Going Nowhere Faster, Fade 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 throwin in for good measure. This smart, slick, and alluring detective novel that will tease you, thrill you, and suck you in.
 This is a humor, mystery, YA, and a bit of film noir thrown in for good measure. I will admit that when I first started reading the book the language took me a minute to get used to hearing in my head. It is a mixture of the film noir type of heavy language with a bit of made up YA slang. However, once you get past the heavy language, the mystery unfolds. It is a fun mystery even though it involves the death of someone so young. You don't get too involved with Wesley Payne until the end so you can see him as Dalton sees him, more independent from emotion so it becomes about the case.

The case unfolds slowly building up to a pinacle where not many things fall into place. Suddenly, you start learning more about Dalton and how he solves his cases. With those clues more parts fall into place and by the ends twists and turns you are left with one fun YA mystery. I won't tell you more than that because reading this book and finding those twists are part of the fun.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. It isn't for everyone and I can see that some people might have trouble with the heavy language, but if you can get used to it, you can see the humor within and a glimpse at the author's humorous homage to film noir.


  1. I don't know if this book is for me, mystery not my favourite genre and the heavy slang..:( But glad to hear that you enjoyed it. And I have to say that the cover is fun!

  2. I love pulp classic mysteries (Mike Hammer is one of my favs)--that being said I don't know if I could handle the YA! It does look cute though :)

  3. I'm really intrigued by this one, I've been reading his interviews on his blog tour and he is hilarious! I love an author with a good sense of humor, so I think I might have to pick this one up:) Glad to know about the language though before I pick it up, now I know to just give it a little time so I can get used to it. Nice review as always Melissa:)

  4. Nice review :)
    I am on the fence about this one, it's one big meh right now, one of those days

  5. Been a while since I've come across film noir in a novel. And the humor and the made up YA slang sound fun.

    The trailer is great. Glad you enjoyed it despite the heavy language!

  6. I've heard mixed reviews for this one, but it sounds funny and I like the cover:) Thanks for the review!

  7. I'm not really a fan of all feels a little cheesy to me, but glad you liked it. :-)

  8. @Nina... it's fun. Perhaps if you got it at the library? I think you might like the humor.
    @Felicia... It's well done for YA. If that helps. ;)
    @Alex... thx!
    @Jenny...I think he does have a good sense of humor. It didn't take me long to get used to the slang. Think BDB. ;D
    @Blodeuedd... *sends bouquet of books*
    @Missie... I thought it was interesting in the way it was done!
    @Danna... I do think it had to do with the slang rather than the story.
    @Mel... it was cheesy, but melty good cheesy. ;D

  9. I'm liking this review, I don't think I'd be bothered by the language so I may check it out :)

  10. Did someone say Mean Girls and Heathers because that presses all my buttons! Would you characterize the book that way?

  11. @Samita.. hope you enjoy it!

    @Stephanie.. I can see elements of Heathers, but since I never saw Mean Girls, I can't say... The elements of Heathers is more for the side characters and to set the scene. So, yea... I'd agree with the blurb... it's thrown in for good measure. :)

  12. Great review. :) I know the feeling of the language distracting you at first. :) But once you get over it you really enjoy the read. :) Glad you liked the book.

  13. I wasn't familiar with the film noir at all prior to this book and I must agree with you, while I liked it there would certainly be people who didn't (but isn't that gosh darn trailer awesome?!?)... ;)
    Thanks for the great review Melissa!

  14. I like that is's something you see a lot of in YA. I'm not sure it's for me but Jake loves this kind of stuff, and with the guy protagonist it makes it even better!


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