Thursday, May 5, 2011

Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Hereafter by Tara Hudson
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen

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.com

I love books that jump right into the center of the action, and this one did just that.  Amelia is waking up to her nightmare of drowning, only she drowned long ago.  This time someone else is drowning and she is able to save him.  This starts a relationship between a ghost girl and the boy she was able to save from a similar fate.

Let me say that I really liked Joshua from the outset, and although I did like Amelia as well, Joshua captured my heart a little because he was so eager and open.  I don't typically see that in the books that I read.  Amelia was a mystery for a good portion of the story, only because the reader was left to discover Amelia's circumstances as Amelia discovered them.  I find myself liking that the author chose to do it that way.  She kept Amelia's origins and backstory a secret from even Amelia and then let her discover it a little at a time.  This definitely kept my interest, helped out by the fact that Joshua is there with her trying to help her find out who she truly is and to help keep her safe from...

Eli.  He was a good villain.  He was evil, but had human motives that made him real.  Although I felt sorry for him at times, I nevertheless rooted for his defeat so that Joshua and Amelia would be safe.

If I had any complaints at all about the story, I would say that the romance fell a little flat for me, only because I felt the author rushed things too much.  I would have liked to have seen the relationship develop a little more.  Joshua seemed to be smitten a little quick for me, and I wasn't sure if I liked that.

All in all, however, this was a really good and entertaining book that I really enjoyed reading.  Kudos to first time YA author Tara Hudson.  I look forward to seeing what's up next from this new talent!

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