Sam has only ever had one friend, Hayden – they don’t need anyone else. Then Hayden kills himself and leaves Sam a playlist instead of a note. Sam cannot make sense of the playlist and its meaning and the strangeness escalates when he starts getting messages from his dead friend’s avatar on the gaming site they both played.
Gradually the story begins to unfold and Sam finds that he wasn’t enough for his friend and Hayden had secrets of his own. As he begins to take in the world around him he sees things differently. And challenges his perceptions of people and his relationships.
This is an engrossing story that peels back layers to reveal the complexity of Hayden’s life. It also reveals the different levels of guilt the people around him feel, including Sam. Everywhere there are secrets and lies that give people motives for their behaviour and guilt surrounding Hayden’s death.
The book neatly sidesteps cliché at many points, and the revelation of who is the voice from beyond is a surprise but I was a little disappointed at times that plot didn’t always hold together. Each chapter was headed by the title and artist of songs from the playlist. I guess the combination of my age and the American setting meant I didn’t get the relevance and that annoyed me a bit, but I still enjoyed most of the journey.