by Tara Hudson
Pub: June 7th 2011 by Harpercollins
Review Copy E-book (personal Kobo Vox)
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.
There were parts of Hereafter that I really liked, but there were things that just didn't work for me.
I think Tara Hudson did an amazing job at writing Amelia's ghost. The sense, especially in the early parts of the book, of otherness she gives Amelia worked perfectly and fully made Amelia something different.
Amelia has been dead for awhile (she doesn't remember anything so she has no idea how long) and the sense of her being trapped in an unending cycle of repeating her death was creepy and terrible and really well done.
This is what worked in this book and saved it for me.
The plot keeps you reading because it is so well told at the beginning and you want to know what happens. There is a mystery to Amelia's death and Amelia's attempts to figure out what happened to her as she gains awareness keeps the story interesting as it moved along.
I don't want to give away too much plot, since you need to be engaged in the mystery to enjoy this book. However, The problem I has with Hereafter was towards the ending and the end itself. I felt like it could have been so much more and was left feeling let down. Amelia and Josh's relationship didn't work. It was too easy and I think Josh took things too easily for such a strange and terrible situation.
The beginning of Hereafter promised a much deeper story then I feel like I actually got to read in the end. If you love ghost stories I think Hereafter is still worth reading just for the wonderful way Amelia is created and portrayed. I really did love the ghost story part of this book and can't say enough good things about that side of Hereafter. My problems with this book are Amelia and Josh's relationship and how the book ends.
There is set up for a sequel and I think I'd read it but I'm not sure. The good is so good, but a let down at the end can be a tough thing to get over.
Overall, I'm on the fence on Hereafter. I can't say "Read it!" but I can't so "don't" either.