Monday, March 14, 2011

ARC Review: HEREAFTER

The Book: HEREAFTER
The Author: Tara Hudson
The Publisher: HarperTeen (an Imprint of HarperCollins)
Release Date: June 7, 2011

Summary:
Amelia's spirit is stranded, floundering in the dark waters of the sinister river that took her life.  For years, she's wandered among the living, lost and alone.  She knows nothing of herself, her life, or her death save her first name and how she died, drowned in the dark waters beneath High Bridge.  Her existence is one of restless numbness crammed between bouts of unconsciousness in which she relives her terrifying death over and over again before waking in a graveyard that she knows instinctively is her own.  This all changes when she awakens not in the graveyard but in the dark waters below High Bridge. 

And, she is not alone. 

Joshua's is dying, drowning in the river when Amelia awakens, and she is the only one who can save him.  In those spare moments below the river's surface, something strange...and wonderful happens.  Not only does Amelia save his life, but Joshua sees her, touches her--the first ever since she's been a ghost.

Like magnets, Joshua and Amelia are drawn to each other.  The ghost and the live boy who loves her.  And, with every touch they share, sparks fly, awakening in Amelia, not just feeling but flashes of memory from her life.  But, other, more sinister forces are at work.  The closer Amelia and Joshua get, the more Amelia remembers about her life...and her death, a death that was not an accident but also wasn't a suicide.  The truth of which can be more dangerous than either of them imagined.

My Take:
HEREAFTER is a bittersweet love story laced with a supernatural mystery.  Hudson's prose is unique and tantalizing, drawing the reader into Amelia's aimless wandering so fluidly that you just can't let go.  The imagery of the netherworld surrounding High Bridge, the wraiths and their inky black forms, Eli's oh-so-smooth (but uber creepy) offers, and Grandma Ruth's determination to exorcise Amelia all come together to create more than just a mere love story.  Although, to be honest, the love story between Amelia and Joshua is at once heartbreaking and enthralling, if I do say so myself.

I know that comes as a surprise all my minions who know me well enough to know that I'm not a huge fan of paranormal, but this book just grabbed me.  Think ROMEO & JULIET meets LOVE STORY...only with a ghost.  Yep, it's that good.  And, if you tell me you haven't read the book LOVE STORY, I might have to disown you all...at least tell me you saw the movie!!

Anywho...Two very enthusiastic thumbs for Tara Hudson's HEREAFTER. Put it on your TBR List. You will be so glad you did :)