Review: Hereafter

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: HereafterHereafter by Tara Hudson
Series: Hereafter #1
Published by HarperTeen on June 7, 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 404
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

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 willhim 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.

Oh my god. This book. I just. Aaaaaaahhhh! To begin and explain simply, this book is definitely capitalizing off of the Twilight school of YA popularity. The writing and the plot are ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is the insta-love (just add water! – Get it?) between the main characters. In my last top ten list about the most obnoxious YA heroines, I mentioned Bianca from Evernight for the trait of immediate obsessive, ridiculously gooey love, but definitely would steal this crown from her without a contest.

Ghosts are tricky heroines. For one thing, they’re insubstantial, so what they can do is a bit limited. Of course, with any other paranormal thing, there are ways to play with the legend and make them a bit more interesting. Hudson has devised her own, rather inconsistent ghost lore. Amelia mostly can’t do anything. She can’t open doors or move things or go through them. Apparently though, she can cry and bleed and breathe and have a racing heartbeat. Well, I lied. She does get to touch one thing (well, a couple others too, but pretty much only in conjunction with this one): super smexy Joshua, whose life she saved. Yeah, they can touch all they want and he can see her because of his ghost-seeing and exorcism powers. Convenient that.

Joshua couldn’t actually see ghosts until he died just a lil bit in the water that night. He sees Amelia and thinks she’s the prettiest thing in the world and goes back to the scene of the accident to ask her to meet with him the next day. Amelia hesitates but “stunningly, impossibly” agrees to go (32). She worries he will not like her when she learns she’s a ghost, because, well, she’s dead and no one else can see her. Instead, when he learns, he’s like “Sweet! Let’s make out!” No one should react to this news so happily. Getting over it would be one thing, but thinking it’s the best? No freakin’ way.

Although I have to say that imagining Joshua out on a date with her was about the only thing I enjoyed in the book. I mean, even though she’s invisible to pretty much everyone else, he talks to her in public, he holds hands with her in public, kisses her in public. He must look so incredibly cray cray. Just picture it. Oh, also, the second and third things he does after she tells him about being a ghost: invite her to calculus class with him and to dinner with his family. Lol, whut? Oh, and apparently, ghosts smell like peaches, or nectarines.

The plot, with its number of villains, none of which I cared too much about, was not interesting whatsoever. However, what really makes this book so incredibly awful for any but Twilight fans is the writing, especially the writing about any scene that features Joshua and Amelia. Here’s a sampling of quotes to illustrate what reading Hereafter is like:

“The moment his skin brushed mine, a current shot through my entire body, from my scalp to the tips of my fingers. The current made the ache in my chest, and the tingles that races along my spine each time he looked at me, seem like low-burning cinders. My heart, my brain, my skin—all of it was momentarily engulfed in flame, a flame lit only by the spark on my cheek.” (51)

“The kiss sent a jolt through my entire body. The sensation was more intense than any I’d felt until now—a pure shock wave rushing along my spine and down each of my limbs. I gasped from the strength of it, dragging in a near-shriek of air.” (115)

“I simply nodded, too befuddled by his proximity to say anything even remotely clever.” (140)

“The heat of the little kiss spread across my lips, turning them into two smoldering coals.” (155)

So, if you like these quotes, you’ll love Hereafter. If not, leave it to that first set of folks. This a story for people who believe that love can overcome any obstacle, even death and the fact that one of the beings involved will never age.

2 responses to “Review: Hereafter”

  1. Nori says:

    I think I’m taking this off my to-read list. Thank you for the head’s up!

  2. Bleh, writing seems exactly the same to me these days. That blurb is a turn off. Why do pubs deem it necessary to always mention the SUPER HOT, SEXY STRANGER OR BEST FRIEND (With a promise of more) in their blurbs? To me, it ruins the aspect of romance, which I always feel should be a bit of a surprise. Sigh.

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