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Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Thursday, August 18, 2011

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.

Goodreads Summary

This book starts out with immediate action, the main characters is in the grips of a nightmare.  The main character, Amelia, is fun to read about...she is in a fog for the first, short part of the novel; however, saving Joshua from drowning allows her to pull herself from the fog.  She begins to remember some scents, sensations, and memories of her past life. 

Joshua is a fun character.  He almost drowns in the very lake Amelia drowned in...he is only saved by intervention of Amelia.  He persists in trying to get to know Amelia and appears to have developed an almost instant crush on her.  She slowly gets to know him and herself.  The reader will enjoy watching their relationship grow complicated by the fact that Joshua's seer of  grandmother hates Amelia and believes her to be evil.

Eli is the antagonist of the novel.  Amelia isn't quite sure who or what he is; she only knows that he knows what happened leading up to her untimely demise.  He shows her a glimpse of the Hereafter, the spirit world, and terrifies her.  He wants to claim her for his own twisted desires forever.  Amelia learns the hard way that he doesn't appreciate Joshua's presence.

This book was a great, romantic ghost story.  Amelia and Joshua are great main characters, the events are fast-paced and exciting, the ending is both unexpected and happy, etc... This book is recommended to young adults/teens who enjoy ghost stories with fun characters.

5 Stars