6.30.2011

HEREAFTER Review -- Tara Hudson

Can there truly be love after death?
Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.
Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.
Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, Hereafter is a sensation you won't want to miss.




REVIEW

HEREAFTER was an extremely cute book. Josh(ua)'s relationship with Amelia was cuter than a baby kitten, and while Joshua was quick to accept many things about Amelia (the fact that she was dead, for one), I still fell hard for them. In the beginning of the book, Hudson's prose reminded me of my prose (and I'm a 14-year-old boy [ouch]), but as I read on the flaws in it became less noticeable as I became much more engaged in the story. The thing that broke my heart about this story is the unclear and unsuspected death of Amelia Elizabeth Ashley and how her recollections unfolded as she came out of the "fog" of being a ghost and having her memories of life clouded over. The story is poignant and heartbreaking, not to mention fascinating. Amelia is an instantly likable heroine, having been through so much, and you'll soon find yourself falling in love with Joshua and loathing Eli right next to her.

The only thing about HEREAFTER that really bugged me is how little attention is paid to the shrouded mystery of Amelia's death. More attention is paid to her relationship with Joshua and her seemingly lame and unimportant conflicts with Eli (I'm still kind of unsure what happened with him) than to the main focus of the book, which was supposedly her horrifying, fatal fall off the bridge. I also wish to here more about Jillian and other supporting characters in book two.

Overall, HEREAFTER is a great debut from Hudson, and I look forward to ARISE, book two in the HEREAFTER trilogy.

Four Owls

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