Flash back to 2011: I was a freshman in high school, shopping at Target, and the gorgeous, illustrated cover of Hereafter caught my eye in the book section. The back cover featured a gorgeous illustration of rippling water. I was hooked. Hereafter proved to be one of my favorite ghost stories of 2011.
Flash forward to now: Arise shows up on my doorstep, with a gorgeous photograph of a girl standing in a cemetery in a gorgeous white dress with flowing hair. The cover put me in a trance; as soon as I turned the first page, I was addicted.
As much as I loved Hereafter, it had some problems: the writing seemed a bit amateur, and I wasn't completely set on the love between Amelia and Joshua. Regardless of those two things, Hereafter was fantastic, but Arise took all of the things I loved about Hereafter to an entirely new level!
The first chapter introduced me to the ReVamped Tara Hudson 2.0, with much lovelier writing, and Amelia's relationship with Joshua leapt off the page and into my heart. I was completely sold! I couldn't believe how much more everything was flowing.
In the beginning of Arise, someone Amelia never thought she would see again has returned to warn her of newfound enemies. She is told she has to leave the town, leave Joshua, leave everyone and everything she has come to love if she wants to stay alive. Well, dead. Or, alive-dead. I'm not really sure how to explain it, but Tara makes sense of the situation.
Tara introduces some new and fresh mythology, and a few key complications that made the story slide through my heart like butter. I loved the new characters introduced, especially Gabrielle.
I don't want to spoil any more of the plot, because it seems like I've already told you too much about it!
You can feel everything Amelia feels. The book is written so gorgeously, I completely forgot about the writing problem in Hereafter. I became so engrossed in the nearly tangible love story of Joshua and Amelia that when the book ended, and I realized how far away the third and final installment is now, I felt defeated.
Tara, you did everything with Arise. I really hope I get an ARC of Elegy, because I have no idea how I'm going to be able to wait that long!