Book Review: Hereafter
By: Tara Hudson
Published By: HarperCollins
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Buy it at Amazon
Source: Galley provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult
I am a sucker for ghost stories; they are timeless. Trends in run literature come and go in cycles, but ghosts will always have staying power and popularity. They have intrigued humanity for generations. Tara Hudson draws on this fascination to artfully craft the story of Amelia and Joshua.
I have to admit that even though I love ghost stories I was hesitant about this one because it felt very Twilighty to me. Supernatural being falls in love with a human, rinse, wash, repeat. Then I convinced myself I was being stupid. I mean it's not as if Stephenie Meyer truly owns that novel formula - she wasn't the first to use it - nor will she be the last. I am so glad that I didn't let my superficial judgements keep me from this book.
I love the ghostly world that Tara Hudson created. Her explanations for why ghosts exist and the conflict between good spirits and bad spirits was inventive and fresh. Hudson also delivers an endearing romance that still has me thinking about it hours after I have finished reading the novel. The love that springs up between Amelia and Joshua is so well written. This novel was like a rainstorm for me - it started out light and misty as Amelia walked lonely through death and then rose into a pounding crescendo that drenched my heart and mind as she and Joshua fought to be together. I also loved watching as Amelia pieced together information about her life and death. The story unfolds as Amelia learns these facts; I found it so interesting to learn everything as she did. The story felt more authentic for me as a result.
I was so excited to see that this one is going to be a series. There are so many loose ends that Tara Hudson can use to craft future books. Part of me keeps hoping that somehow she will tweak the lore she uses so Amelia can be human again. I want her and Joshua to get their happily ever after, but I don't have high hopes that ghosts can return to life.
One Last Gripe: There is a scene in Joshua's bedroom where he and Amelia are listening to music. I wanted to know what the songs were since they were supposed to be from the late 90's - my teenage years. I was irked that I never found out.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The Mayhew Family - love 'em all!
First Sentence: It was the same as always, but different from the first time.
Favorite Character: Amelia
Least Favorite Character: The Math Teacher
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.