by Tara Hudson
Series: Hereafter #1
Published by HarperTeen Release date : June 7th 2011
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Source: Library | Format: Hardcover
Add to: Goodreads
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 new found happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.
I remember awhile ago I had added this to my Goodreads “to-read”. For months I had searched for this title at my library to no avail. So, in a way, I gave up and moved on to other titles. The other day I’m at the library when I stumble on this. And I thought, “Didn’t I want to read that?” Not even really remembering what this was about, I brought it home.
I wish I didn’t.
Ameila is a ghost that has been roaming around aimlessly for who knows how long, reliving her death, which she calls “nightmares”, when she sees another person (a boy! Joshua) drowning in the river that she is, in lack of a better term, tied to. She “recues” said boy from drowning by basically willing him to life. (Unless I missed something, this wasn’t explained very well.) This is where I started to get turned off by this book. Never mind the fact that it’s the first few damn chapters. Two days after Joshy-poo was saved, they meet up again and start a “relationship”.
*Stands up and applauds* CONGRATULATIONS! You are now a full time member of the insta-love club.
In a few (very few) ways, their relationship could have been realistic, had it been executed right. After saving Joshua, Ameila was able to feel again. Was able to remember things. So, OF COURSE you’re going to be drawn to him and love him right away, right? It’s not like he isn’t the first person to notice your existence… Since you’re dead. Not only that, we didn’t get to watch their relationship bloom. We knew they had a few conversations but the ones we witnessed, were vague. They were both just too BORING. Ameila basically went from no personality to having one. And I don’t really know much about Josh. Sorry to say, Ameila was more interesting when she was clueless and roamed around at random. At that’s sad, since it only happened for one chapter.
The plot thickens when we meet Eli. Evil, no good ghost stalker that basically rules the river where Amelia died. He wants her to be his little minion in escorting souls to the Hereafter. Sorry, but Eli was creepy. Interesting, but creepy. Maybe that was the idea, so kudos to you Hudson. I didn’t understand his attraction and obsession with Amelia. And when he explains to her WHY he’s done what he has, I laughed. He was bat shit crazy! And when Ameila turns him down, what does he do? He throws a damn tantrum.
Add insult to injury- Joshua’s family comes from a line of seers, people who basically rid the world of all things ghost. After Joshua’s “triggered event”, he’s able to see all ghosts and is suppose to live up to his family heritage. It was too much! Not only is Joshua alive and Amelia is dead, he is suppose to exorcise her. And his grandmother is the freaking RING LEADER. Why!? Why throw that in? We already understand that they shouldn’t be together, so lets make it even MORE difficult, hmm?
But, I pushed on, mainly because I wanted to know how Amelia died. Obviously, we knew she drowned but I wanted to know if she fell, jumped etc. Once that was revealed, I wanted to know about her powers. (Oh yes, she went there). And to be honest, that was just… hokey. Then things got interesting near the end, not for long-mind you, but enough to push me to finish. And that fell flat too. It was rushed, vague and too WIDE OPEN. Wide enough for the sequel, which I imagine was the idea.
Overall, I (obviously) didn’t like it. I will not be continuing on with this series.
Tonyalee is an avid reader, gym junkie, coffee addicted workaholic and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for random shenanigans.