Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hereafter by Tara Hudson [Review]

Hereafter (Hereafter, #1)4.5 out of 5 Robots!

Hereafter by Tara Hudson
Series: Hereafter #1
Genre: Paranormal YA
Release: June 7, 2011
Hardcover: 404 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
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.

Shannon's Thoughts:
I enjoyed Hereafter much more than I expected to.  I was worried after reading some reviews, because paranormal YA can be such a gamble.  There are a few that are really good, a bunch that are terrible and then most are just ok.  I think part of the problem is if you read enough Paranormal YA, you will start to see some of the same troupes over and over.  And while Hereafter does not escape these troupes entirely, I still found that it had some "freshness" to it.  I loved Tara Hudson's writing style.  It was descriptive, without being overly flowery or too angsty.  I thought it to had a lovely ethereal quality to it, especially at the beginning when Amelia lacks her memories. 

I also though Joshua and Amelia's relationship was very sweet.  They have an immediate connection when Amelia awakens from the void enough to save his life when his car drives off a bridge.  The act of saving Joshua's life "wakes" up Amelia even further and she finds herself curious about Joshua.  Joshua, also remembering some of the details of his rescue, finds himself looking for his mystery girl.  Amelia is surprised to learn Joshua can actually see and hear her.  As Amelia and Joshua begin their relationship, Amelia begins to remember more about her past.  Of course, there are a lot of other complications - including Joshua's family heritage and the mysterious Eli.

There is some lack of plausibility (outside of the fact that a dead girl is dating an alive boy) such as if no one can see Amelia, how does no one notice Joshua talking to thin air?  They aren't that careful about it.  The book also starts out a little slow, but by the end things are full steam. Overall though, I thought it was a very well written and exciting book with a sweet romance at the center.

Other books in this series in the order that they should be read:
1. Hereafter
2. Arise
3. Elegy

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