by Tara Hudson
Genre: YA Paranormal / Fantasy / Romance
Ages: 13 and up
I received an advance e-book of this from NetGalley for review.
Amazon Description: 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.
Hereafter is my first real ghost story and I loved it. I had read stories where there were minor characters who were ghosts or where the main character could see ghosts, but none where the main character was a ghost. The fact that Amelia is dead gives the whole book an ethereal and tragic feel. For a dead person, Amelia is perfectly delightful. Her story was so sad and yet she didn't sink into despair. She manages to keep a sense of humor and hope.
Joshua is quite swoonworthy, but in a normal, teenager-ish sort of way. He can be oblivious and insensitive at times, but he always tries his best. He is always very human in his mistakes which made me like him even more. The romance in Hereafter is beautiful. Both Amelia and Josh have that slightly awkward feel of innocents who aren't sure what they are doing but think it is wonderful. And it is.
The enemies in this book are rather vague, but with a great deal of promise. I am really, really looking forward to book 2. Hereafter could stand on its own, but it has an unfinished air to it, that of a story half-told. Amelia and Joshua have many trials ahead and I can hardly wait to see how they make it through.
I recommend this book to those who enjoy reading sweet, impossible romances.
Quote from Hereafter:
"You know, we have a lot to talk about." His eyes, serious and urgent, met mine. My little ache curled out even farther in my chest as he continued. "I would have come and found you sooner, but they wouldn't let me out of the hospital. Apparently my heart may have...Well, I may have...died, a little. In the water."