Author: Tara Hudson
(Taken from Amazon.com)
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 new found 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.
I had high hopes for this book. Though about a quarter of the way into it, I curled my fingers around my iPad, looked up to the Heavens and exclaimed, “WHY OH WHY?!” Another great idea turned into a instant-love romance that makes me roll my eyes. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am a typical Pisces — I love me some sweet things and gestures. But, my God, love is not instant. (And yes, I totally found my true love when I was a teenager, 15 years old to be exact) so I am open to the idea of teenagers knowing love. But to lead kids on to believe that it happens in a blink of an eye is completely misleading. Plus Amelia was completely void of true character.
I feel a rant coming on but I will hold that rant for another day; another entry.
We are introduced to Amelia. Amelia is a ghost who doesn’t know much about her life before except her first name and where and how she died. She knows she drowned by falling off a high-bridge overpass but she, herself, doesn’t know why. Was she murdered? Was it suicide? She certainly doesn’t feel suicidal. But then again, Amelia doesn’t feel much of anything. Amelia is as empty as you can make a lead character. It’s like she died, lost her memories, and forgot how to be interesting.
Amelia is stuck wandering our world trying in vain to get someone alive to talk to her. We understand very quickly just how lonely life after death has made her (oh isn’t that so comforting?) So when Joshua comes along, a drowning boy who also happens to be her age, Amelia is drawn to him. When he awakens to her presence, he’s not scared. Oh no. Even when she tells him she’s a ghost. What does this “normal” 17-18 year old boy do? Why he invites her to go to school with him? Oh gag. Come on! I love the supernatural. I believe in the afterlife, but if my grandfather (who I know and love) were to appear before me, I sure as heck would scream (at least just a little.)
The story was interesting enough to continue reading and wonder what would happen. I wanted to find out who Amelia was and how she died. But as for the little love thing between Joshua and Amelia — eh, I could not have cared less. I didn’t believe it. This wasn’t a believable romance, even in the supernatural sense. Joshua was too perfect; much too perfect for a teenaged boy. I guess I can’t really complain too much about him, as he’s not stalking her in her sleep or giving her a black eye during lovemaking sessions, and he certainly doesn’t want her blood. But, still.
Will it be a popular book in the genre? Sure. It’s hard to go completely wrong in YA paranormal romance. You give the kiddos what they want and this is the kind of stuff they want whether or not it makes love unbelievable. Is it something that will win awards, absolutely not. But I am sure it’ll win the attention of thousands.