404 pages | published 7th July 2011 by HarperCollins Children’s Books
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 memories of her past life, she’s trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. But everything changes when she tries to rescue a boy from drowning in the river. Because even though she can’t do anything to help, Amelia somehow “wills” him to survive. And when he wakes up, Joshua can see her.
Together, Joshua and Amelia begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death, and the secrets of the dark river that has held her captive. But even as they grow ever closer, there are those in both worlds–the living and the dead–determined to tear them apart. . . .
Review: 4 stars
Tara Hudson has written a great paranormal young adult debut novel with Hereafter!!
The story starts out with our ghostly heroine, Amelia, in the grips of a nightmare as she relives her death in the river. When she awakes from her nightmare she notices a boy who is actually drowning in the river and extremely close to death. Since Amelia is only a ghost there’s really not much she can do but will him to live and miraculously he does. After Joshua’s near death experience he can see Amelia and Amelia is “awakened”, meaning she begins to feel and be aware of the living world again. I liked this beginning, it jumped straight into the action and drew you straight in. My favourite scene in the entire book is in the second chapter when Joshua and Amelia meet under the water.
In the first few chapters Amelia is lost in a fog where she can’t recall her life, however as the book goes on she begins to recall memories, smells, sensations and feelings. As she rediscovers her life you get to experience her memories as she does; you feel her frustration at her lack of memories, her wonder as she remembers and her sadness as she realises what she’s lost.
Joshua is also a great character; he’s sweet, understanding, brave and fun. He helps Amelia find out who she was and is the reason for her awakening to the living world. However I think his character could have been a lot stronger as I didn’t really develop the total book crush on him as I normally do in ya novels.
Now let’s get to the conflict. The description of the evil hereafter world that exists on High Bridge road is written really well! I love the imagery! I can imagine that dark river, the gnarly trees and the black hole perfectly. I also think the idea is a really great and original one. The evil character that rules this world is Eli, the dead rock star who is seriously messed up. When we first met Eli I was very worried that I would find myself reading about another love triangle but thankfully this is not the case. I think that Eli could have been a bit more sinister in the beginning rather than just the bad feelings Amelia got from him but his crazy delusions and wicked actions became pretty evident later on.
I really enjoyed this book! I’m intrigued to see what will happen next, like what will the series ending be like when the story is based around the romance of a ghost and a living boy??
Obviously there are some serious issues to that relationship that I’m interested to see how will resolve. The happy ending in this book is fairly unrealistic so I really want to see how their relationship will develop.