Written by: Tara Hudson
Released: June 7, 2011 by HarperTeen
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.
Maybe it was because I had just watched Just Like Heaven starring Reese Witherspoon, but I thought that the big twist in this novel was that Amelia wasn’t really dead. But I was terribly wrong and then completely surprised at how events unfolded.
According to Goodreads, this is number one of... well I’m not too sure how many, but it will at least have a sequel. I can’t see, really, where else this could go. Having recently finished reading Queen of the Dead (The Ghost and the Goth sequel) the way that it wrapped up the story seems like it would be the only way that this one could go, too, with a second novel. I mean, how else can a story continue when the main character is dead and her love interest is alive and one of the only people who can see her? I can’t see this going past two novels total.
The characters in this novel were pretty well done. I liked how Amelia was introduced and how she evolved. It was interesting to see her grow as a character and how her entire love story emerged. Joshua was interesting too, but the real character who caught my eye was Eli. I hope that he’s in the second novel. He was so damaged and mean, but I want a happy ending for him anyway.
The story was interesting. It took me a little while to really get into it since the first chapter left me a little puzzled. But it also captured and kept my attention; I really enjoyed reading it. Plus, how can a person not enjoy a romantic ghost story with a little danger and action thrown in?
In all, this is a great debut and I can’t wait to read what Hudson comes out with next, especially if it’s a sequel to this novel. I’m giving this novel a 8/10 and a recommendation to not overlook this one for the 2011 YA debuts.
Thank you to netGalley and HarperTeen for allowing me to have a copy of this eARC for an honest review.