Hereafter by Tara Hudson
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Summary provided by NetGalley
For Amelia, time has all but slowed to a stop as her spirit remains stranded alone in the dark waters of a mysterious river. She knows she’s died, but with no recollection of her past life--or her actual death--she’s trapped in one long continuous nightmare, in which she cannot feel anything or interact with anyone. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a teenage boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in a moment of connection, he looks in her eyes and becomes the first person in the world to see that she still exists.
When he touches her, Joshua sparks strange and wonderful sensory feelings in Amelia--at first just momentary flashes, then pulses that become ever stronger as he leads her out of the river and into his life. As Amelia and Joshua uncover who she was and the strange circumstances of her death, new problems arise: somehow, Joshua’s grandmother seems to know exactly what is going on between them, and Eli, a ghost enforcer, is hell-bent on destroying their happiness and dragging Amelia back into the spirit world.
With every touch and the growing feelings that come with them, Amelia and Joshua begin to wonder if there’s something special not only about Joshua but also the dark river that held her captive for so long. Can there truly be love after death?
The opening scene draws the reader in right away, as it begins with a drowning scene. It is definitely an interesting scene to open a novel with. I felt that it was meant to suck the reader in, and it definitely did so.
The book progresses at a decent rate, not too rushed, not too slow. I feel as though there could have been a little more "action" for a paranormal romance. Overall, however, it was well paced.
I have read numerous ghost strories, and I do love that Tara Hudson has twisted this one a bit to make it different than most. I definitely felt that it made the book less predictable.
The characters in the book are all very likeable, especially Amelia and Josh. However, I felt that their relationship could have been deeper. I didn't feel the "connection" that I feel in many other novels. Also, the interactions between Amelia and the main "villain" didn't seem very deep either.
The story is well written, the plot is original (thanks to the extra twist), and the read is enjoyable.
I definitely would say that I enjoyed this book. I just feel that the relationships need to be more developed. This did improve towards the end of the novel. Also, the sequel, Arise, is coming out June 5, and I definitely have high hopes for it. Tara is a talented writer, and I know that she will develop her skills more fully with each progressive novel.
For fans of "ghost stories" or paranormal romances, this definitely won't disappoint. I found it enjoyable, and I am anxiously awaiting Arise and all of Tara's future works!
So, overall, I would give this novel
4 out of 5 Wickedly Sweet cupcakes!
One inspiring heroine,
One adorable boyfriend,
attention-grabbing opening scene!
*I would like to thank HarperTeen and Netgalley for providing me with this amazing novel to review!*