Sam and Hayden are best friends, they're not popular in school, girls are an enigma wrapped in a mystery to them, they share a love of indie pop music and online gaming. In short, they were destined to be pals.
One evening, Hayden decides he wants to attend a party, Sam is confused, he knows who's going to be there, people he and Hayden have no connection with. Plus, parties aren't really their thing, playing D&D and watching comic book films are more up their street.
Still, they go to the party together, and everything goes wrong.
The next morning, hungover and irritable, Sam visits Hayden, only to find him dead, a bottle of booze and little mountain of pills sits beside the bed.
In his shock, Sam's able to notice a thumb drive with a note attached to it. It's a playlist, the note says "For Sam. Listen, and you'll understand…"
Sam spends the next few weeks listening to the playlist and meticulously piecing together the fateful night that led to his friends' demise. Insomnia soon settles in, and we as readers become witness to Sam's steep decline into paranoia and confusion about who Hayden really was.
It doesn't help that a mysterious, beautiful girl reaches out to Sam immediately after Hayden's funeral, providing cryptic clues about Hayden's playlist and his online personality.
Part mystery, part exploration into teen angst, Playlist for the Dead will be very popular with a teen audience and I look forward to sharing it with my students.