4 stars · fiction

More Than This by Patrick Ness

More Than This

author : patrick ness

pages : [hardcover] 480

memorable quote : A book… it’s a world all on its own too. A world made of words, where you live for a while.

favorite character : seth

summary :

From two-time Carnegie Medal winner Patrick Ness comes an enthralling and provocative new novel chronicling the life — or perhaps afterlife — of a teen trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.

A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this. . .

review :

I love Patrick Ness and his writing. I think what’s so wonderful about it is that it seems uniquely great in every book that he writes. I loved A Monster Calls, which is geared toward children and has a dreamlike quality. I read the Chaos Walking Trilogy, which is impossible to accurately describe because it is just so fantastically written and the emotions evoked are one that I, three years later, still feel and am able to reflect on. Now, of course, I was going to read More Than This as soon as it was released. I ended up waiting until I could get it from my local library and absolutely loved the voice used to tell this story though I’m left uncertain by the ending.

The entire plot of More Than This is both complicated and fascinating because Seth only knows as much about what is going on as we do, which is nothing. Is he dead? Is he living? Is this some kind of dream? Is he about to die? These questions and more pop up even in the first few chapters of the book and continue to accumulate throughout the story. I loved how the place where Seth woke up was built and the mystery surrounding it. I especially loved Seth’s trying to reason with it because he questioned and reflected on things almost all of the time when I was doing the same thing and this really made me think about how relatable Seth was. The other characters were built with their complications, flaws, and quirks as I’ve come to expect from Ness.

The ending was both what I expected and what I was hoping wouldn’t happen. I could understand the necessity of it and was almost happy with it, until I realized that I’d wanted something more. And than realized that there was really nothing more than this when the book concluded . . . Which, I suppose, ties in rather well to the entire thing, doesn’t it?

If you love a good mystery, this book is certainly for you. New complications and revelations come at every turn and leave you guessing and trying to figure out the puzzling truth! If you like great characters, world building, and an interesting story, you should also pick this up. And, last but not least, if you’re just looking for some great writing, More Than This has that for you.

4/5 stars

5 stars · fiction · young adult

Audacious by Gabrielle Prendergast

Audacious

author : gabrielle predergast

pages : [hardcover] 288

favorite character : raphaelle

what’s special about this book : it’s written completely in verse and told very beautifully

summary :

Sixteen year old Raphaelle is that girl who says the wrong thing, who crosses the wrong person, who has the wrong hair, the wrong body, the wrong attitude, the totally wrong clothes. She can’t do anything right, except draw, but she draws the wrong pictures. When her father moves the family to a small prairie city, Raphaelle wants to leave behind the misfit rebel, the outcast, the vengeful trouble-maker she was. Reborn as “Ella,” she plans fit in at her new school, while her perfect younger sister goes to the Catholic girls’ school and her emotionally fragile mother looks for a job.

But Ella might just be a different kind of misfit. She’s drawn to a brooding boy in her art class, Samir, and expresses her confused feelings in an explicit artwork. When a classmate texts a photo of Ella’s art to a younger friend, the horrendous fallout spreads though Ella’s life like an uncontrollable disease. Ella is expelled from school and faces pornography charges, her mother is hospitalized, her sister fails all her classes, and her distant father finally notices something is wrong.

review :

I love novels in verse and Audacious stands out in its own right because of Raphaelle, our wonderful leading lady. Every character in this book has his or her own flaws, including Raphaelle. She wants to fit in. She wants to get over the past. She wants to ignore everything that’s wrong with her family so that she can focus on fixing herself instead. Sometimes she makes the wrong choices. Sometimes things turn out horribly for her. But she’s real, and fun to read, and I couldn’t wait to read on and see what else was going to happen with her.

I do think that this book tried to take on a lot of issues all at once and maybe it got stretched a little too thin in places. That’s about the only complaint that I can think of because, otherwise, it was so beautifully written and captivating that I didn’t care much about how long it dwelt on a particular plot point or feature.

I read the summary a while ago, just before I got the book, and didn’t reread it beforehand. That gave Ella’s story a little more suspense because I genuinely couldn’t tell where the plot might have been going. Ella is trying to figure herself out and I liked how I as the reader was also trying to do the same thing, looking through her thoughts and actions and trying to determine what had happened to her in the past and why she acts and thinks rebelliously when at the same time some part of her just wants to blend into the background and be normal. I feel like everybody has these two warring sides within them, though in Ella it’s more obvious a problem than it is for most people.

There were so many great characters in this book-Samir and his sister, Ella’s art teacher and her disabled daughter, Ella’s entire family-that I can still remember clearly and who all had an impact on Ella’s way of thinking. She changed because of or in spite of people and I think I learned something along with her.

This is a quick read even though it contains several issues within it. I’d recommend it to anyone, including people who love verse novels or who are looking for a quick, insightful read.

5/5 stars

If you like this book, you might also like Glimpse or Perfect

5 stars · dystopia · fiction · romance · science fiction · series · young adult

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me

Shatter Me #2
Book 1 : Shatter Me

author tahereh mafi

pages : [hardcover] 461

memorable quote “Books are easily destroyed. But words will live as long as people can remember them.”

favorite characters : adam & kenji

summary :

tick
tick
tick
tick
tick
it’s almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She’s finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam’s life.

review :

I have waited so long to read this book! I read Shatter Me last year and it gripped me immediately; I loved the colorful and embellished writing style and couldn’t wait to read more about Juliette and Adam. At the end of book one there are so many exciting revelations that set up the sequel to be much different from what I ever could have imagined it to be when I first started reading. There were so many new, interesting characters to learn about as well as a new villain and, of course, Warner returns.

I love how the writing style has evolved as Juliette changes and grows stronger. It’s less centrally focused as she comes out of her shell and less whimsical as she’s forced to face reality for maybe the first time in her life. She’s found people who might come to accept her if she gives them the chance. I think it’s really brilliant, how Tahereh Mafi manages to pull this off so smoothly and seamlessly and doesn’t interrupt the flow of the plot at all. Unravel Me is more fast-paced than the first book. Now that everything has been set up it’s time for action and I can’t wait to see how that climaxes in the next and final book in the trilogy.

I’ve always had a thing for characters with superpowers, even more so when they’re flawed and the reader really gets to see the changes the character has to make throughout the book. As a rather shy person myself, it’s awesome having a leading lady like Juliette who is often afraid to speak for herself or offer up information even if it’s being asked for or she feels ridiculous for not speaking up. I think that having a person like her as a role model is great; even if she isn’t perfect, it’s easy to see how she’s testing the surface and making her way now as her own person.

I’d recommend this series to anyone! I love the characters so much . . even if the only complaint I have is the whole thing between Warner and Juliette, that I didn’t warm up to until near the end of the book. Other than that this book was as great and gripping as I’d hoped it would be and now I can’t wait to read more!!

5/5 stars

If you love this book, try reading Paranormalcy or The Darkest Minds!

 

5 stars · fiction · romance · series · young adult

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder

author : marissa meyer

pages : [hardcover] 387

favorite characters :  cinder & peony

memorable quote I’m sure I’ll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on.

summary :

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

review :

I’ve book looking forward to reading this book for so long! I’ve always had a soft spot for retold fairy tales and I’ve heard nothing but good things about Cinder. As soon as I started reading it I was immediately hooked by the story and the wonderfully developed characters. So addicted that I read the entire thing in a day!

Cinder is definitely a strong character who I immediately came to love. She’s faced hardship throughout her entire life-well, the part that she can remember-not only because her stepmother dislikes her but because everyone has a prejudice against cyborgs. So much so that cyborgs are singled out to test the antidotes for the plague . . and none have survived. I love how Cinder continued to fight for herself and for what she wanted, even when it seemed like the entire world was against her.

There are so many things going on in this book! Handsome Prince Kai, cyborg problems, the plague rising, people on the moon threatening war with the entire Earth. It’s crazy, how many things are including and how wonderfully they all go together so that no part of it sounds absurd and the reader and is still left cheering Cinder on.

I really can’t wait to read Scarlet. I went into this book thinking that it would be fully concluded and that Scarlet was only a companion book but I was wrong; Cinder ends in a way that immediately leaves you clamoring for more. With an ending like that, I’m definitely picking up the next book as soon as I can.

I give Cinder 5/5 stars and recommend it to all fairy tale lovers and people looking for a great, quick read.

5 stars · dystopia · fiction · romance · series · young adult

The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

The Forsaken

The Forsaken #1

author : lisa m. stasse

pages : [hardcover] 375

favorite characters : rika & alenna

summary :

A thought-provoking and exciting start to a riveting new dystopian trilogy.

As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.

The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.

review :

With dystopian novels now all over my radar, I was so happy to see what The Forsaken had to offer. It’s definitely a novel  unlike any I’ve ever read before, combining conspiracies and corrupt governments, mysteries and romance.

I loved Alenna. She’s grown up believing in this government and never would have thought anything different if she hadn’t been sent to the island. I was right there with her, wondering what was happening and how she could have been sent to a place that was supposed to only house criminals. I could never tell who could be trusted and who might turn traitor later on in the book. I loved how unpredictable this was! Ever time I thought that I had something figured out, the island would spring a new set of problems on Alenna and the others.

The enemies she has the face are definitely unique (and terrifying). There’s the cult of children led by a mysterious figure who attack whoever strays into their territory. And the feelers, strange machines that snatch children from the ground, never to return again. That means that no one is safe, no matter where you might try to hide yourself.

The way that The Forsaken is written gives the reader just enough information to understand what is going on but leaves more questions to be answered. Yet it isn’t so much that it will frustrate anyone. I really loved how the ending was done because I can see how smooth a transition it will be from this book to the next. Actually, the way it was set up, I’m thinking the sequel could be even more captivating!

I really recommend The Forsaken. This is a book for everything who loves great, unexpected plot twists; a more natural development of romance (!!); great characters, great bad guys, and the action and adventure to back it all up. Go out and read it so that you can discover it all for yourself!

5/5 stars

Check out the book trailer! Isn’t it gorgeous?

5 stars · fiction · paranormal · romance · series · young adult

Arise by Tara Hudson

Arise

Hereafter #2
Book 1: Hereafter

author: tara hudson

pages [hardcover]: 404

favorite characters: gaby & joshua

summary:

Amelia—still caught between life and death—must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia accidentally dematerializing. Looking for answers, they go to visit some of Joshua’s Seer relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia ends up with more questions than answers…and becomes increasingly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together.Wandering through the French Quarter, Amelia meets other in-between ghosts, and begins to seriously consider joining them. And then she meets Gabrielle. Somehow, against impossible odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life…a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price. Torn between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the netherworld choose for her.

review:

Arise is every bit as captivating and exciting as Hereafter! I loved seeing Amelia and Joshua again, working through their differences, developing their relationship, and generally keeping me flipping through the pages. I breezed through this easy read in a few days, just like I did with the first book. And, once again, I’m left wanting a lot more!

Now that Amelia remembers who she is, has Joshua to help her out, and is getting situated in her new reality, things have the chance to turn even creepier and more action-packed. There are demons, weird ghosts, overprotective grandmothers, crazy humans, incompetent women who try to do Voodoo, and then there’s Amelia, still trying to figure out how to use her ghostly abilities after what happened the last time around.

So many things happened that I want to mention but can’t without spoiling. But they were awesome. So good.

Read this book. Not just for the love story. The supporting characters are great, even if they’re the sort that you love to hate, and then there are the fantastic bad guys and the horrible hallucinations and those twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. Practically shouting more more more! I was worried this might fall into the sequel slump, but I liked it just as much as the first. Now I’m going to go and recommend it to everyone that I know.

FRIGHTENINGLY FANTASTIC. 5/5 stars

5 stars · dystopia · fiction · romance · series · young adult

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

 

Fever

The Chemical Garden #2
Book 1: Wither

Author: Lauren DeStefano

pages [hardcover]: 341

memorable quote:
Because even if the lie is beautiful, the truth is what you face in the end.

favorite characters: gabriel & rhine

summary:

Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.
Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago – surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.
The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous – and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion…by any means necessary.
In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price – now that she has more to lose than ever.

review:

I read Wither not too long ago and enjoyed it but didn’t think that it was amazing. When I saw Fever in the library the other day, I knew that I had to get it, even though there was the chance that I would linger over it like I had its predecessor. I read it in two days. And I think this is possibly the first time, ever, that I’ve liked the second book in a series more than the original.

I really love Lauren DeStefano’s writing style. In the scenes filled with action, everything is to the point and yet wonderfully descriptive, and the more slower-paced points kept my attention with great comparisons, imagery, all of the good stuff. It’s not too flowery and not too blunt. Just right.

I actually liked Rhine more as a character in this book. In the first, I wasn’t entirely sure of what was happening with her. She flipped between despair and complete rebellion and she really seems to find herself in Fever. She lost part of who she was during the course of Wither, because she lost everything. But now she has a chance to be strong on her own and make her own decisions. She doesn’t have Rowan there to protect her, either. But there is Gabriel. Great as ever. He plays a greater role in this book, of course, and I liked getting to know him more.

There are so many unexpected plot twists! In the first I sort of expected a lot of conspiracy things to happen and in this I had no idea what was going to happen next. That was what kept me interested, wanting to read page after page to find out what was going to happen to these two. I love it when a book can surprise me again and again!

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book. I really want to read the third one now. That’s a step up from me almost passing on the rest of this series entirely. I want to know what will happen, I’m hoping that everything gets even greater, and I want more plot twists!

MESMERIZING 5/5 stars

5 stars · Fantasy · fiction · romance · series · young adult

Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck

Tiger’s Curse

author: collen houck

the tiger saga #1
book 2: tiger’s quest
book 3: tiger’s voyage
book 4: tiger’s destiny

pages : [paperback] 406

memorable quote: What is real and what is not is for your heart to decide and for your heart to know.

favorite characters: ren & kishan

summary:

Passion. Fate. Loyalty.
Would you risk it all to change your destiny?
The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and  mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.
Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

review:

Oh, have I waited too long to read this book!

I’ve been stalking it ever since it was first released, wanting for my prey to come out in paperback. And that will be my only reference to tigers. I promise.

When I had the opportunity to get and read this book, there was no way that I was turning it down. If there is any genre (or sub-genre) that I’m always interested in, it’s retold or modernized fairy tales. Tiger’s Curse is different from anything I’ve ever read because it blends Indian culture and legend with the modern age, an American girl, and a plot reminiscant of Beauty and the Beast.

I loved the characters of this book! From the minor ones, gracing only a few pages, to people like Kelsey, Ren, and Mr. Kadam. Truthfully, at first, I didn’t think that I was going to like Kelsey. Her decisions seemed to come from nowhere and often frustrated me when I couldn’t see the sense behind any of it. But as her character began to come together and more of her past was revealed to tie in with her emotions, it was all perfect to me.

The one negative aspect that stuck with me for the entirety of the book was the stiffness of some of the dialogue. The descriptive scenes were beautiful and captivating. I could picture the landscapes and imagine that I was adventuring along with Kelsey and her tiger. But some of the things the characters said sounded too much like what another person would give them to say rather than having them speak in their own words. It reminded me that I was reading a book, while in other sections I was able to lose myself among the pages. I’m hoping that in the next books this won’t be so apparent to me.

Which leads to me saying that I need to get my hands on Tiger’s Quest, the second book in the saga, immediately. I need to know what’s going to happen, with a wonderfully orchestrated ending like that! Tiger’s Curse left me wanting so much more! I loved the challenges that Kelsey has to face, both the supernatural and the things that every teenage girl goes up against, the love interest, the banter, the antagonist . . . All in all, this book is an amazing mesh of different elements that I’m sure many, many other people will love as much as I do! I recommend this for YA fans, people who like mythology and fairy tales, Indian culture, and a great, great read.

POUNCE ON ANY OPPORTUNITY TO READ THIS. 5/5 stars

Want to learn more about the author?
Read this interview about her characters, the world of Tiger’s Curse, and its new paperback release!

What makes the paperback release different from the hardcover? The paperback release will bring in a whole other group of readers. I have several friends who prefer reading paperbacks over carrying around the heavier hardcovers and they’re very excited to get their hands on this new version. There is also the chance to update the book and add bonus material which all my fans know I love to write.

What are you most excited about with the paperback? I’m very excited to share Kelsey’s recipes! I’m a foodie as most of you can tell from my books and I can say from experience that there’s nothing better than sitting down with a new paperback and a hot batch of Ren’s cookies. Light a sandalwood candle too and it’s like you’re in the story.

 Is there something you can tell us about Tiger’s Curse that no one else knows? Yes! Pay close attention to Kelsey’s dreams because they are foreshadows of things to come later on in the series.

 Ren or Kishan? I honestly love both brothers and want both of them to get their happy endings. I didn’t think I’d love Kishan as much as I do but he has solidly wedged himself into my heart.

Kelsey can be sassy! Why did you choose to make her character so empowered? I wanted a heroine who could do all the cool things I’d like to do. I was a big fan of Wonder Woman. She was beautiful and could do amazing things. That’s what I wanted for Kelsey. My hope is that my female readers will see that ordinary girls can do extraordinary things.

Has your day-to-day changed since becoming a NYT bestselling author?!? What does your husband think about it? My day to day just gets busier and more hectic every week that passes. My favorite time is when I can just sit down at my computer and get lost in my story. My husband is proud and amazed. He likes to brag about his author wife to perfect strangers and hands out book marks to everyone he meets.

Last question—do you plan on visiting India? You’ve already done so much research about it! I have no immediate plans but I would LOVE to go. I think it would be amazing to see all the locations I’ve written about. I made a real effort as I wrote to layer my fantasy world on top of real world places because I like the idea of feeling like you could actually step through a doorway into another world.

Anyone else out there have a massive sweet tooth? I know that I do! I can’t wait to try out this recipe for cookies, courtesy of the prince himself:

Ren’s Cookies

2 sticks of butter

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ tsp vanilla

¼ tsp salt

¾ cup dark coco powder

2 cups flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 bag of chocolate chips

¾ cup smooth peanut butter

½ cup brown sugar

Cream the butter then add sugars. When it’s light and fluffy, add eggs and vanilla. Sift the next 5 dry ingredients and mix with the wet until thoroughly combined. Add one package of chocolate chips (or as many as you like!) to the dough. Mix together the next 2 ingredients to make the peanut butter filling. Then place a spoonful of the chocolate dough on a baking sheet, top with some peanut butter filling, and cover with some more chocolate dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-20 minutes depending on cookie size.

5 stars · fiction · history · romance · young adult

Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Gilt

Author:
Katherine Longshore

pages: [hardcover]: 398

favorite characters:
kitty & cat

summary:

In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free–
and love comes at the highest price of all.

When Kitty Tylney’s best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart and brings Kitty to court, she’s thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat’s shadow, Kitty’s now caught between two men–the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat’s meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

review:

Gilt is a historical young adult book filled with danger, intrigue, and endless drama. Kitty finds herself keeping secrets that anyone could lose their head over-literally. I was immediately wrapped up in learning about the 16th century class system, where most people would do anything to advance their status. This book shows just how insignificant a woman’s role was in that time and also how easily those in power can lose favor with the king. I came into this knowing nothing extra about the historical bacjground and now want to read even more about this time period. With wonderful descriptions of the setting, dialogue that is both as to the point and cutthroat as the class system, and a well defined cast of characters, Gilt is a book that I will turn back to again and again. It has everything a person could want in a historical novel: kings and queens, romance, suspense, and an ending that you’ll never forget.

This review is also posted over at i heart daily, an amazing daily newsletter that features a different amazing thing every day.

5 stars · fiction · paranormal · romance · series · young adult

Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Hereafter

Author: Tara Hudson

Pages [hardcover]: 404

memorable quote:
Not the kind of unconsciousness that torments the dead, but the kind that kills the living.

favorite characters:
ruth & amelia

summary

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 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.

review:

Hereafter is amazing, addictive, awesome, and leaves you craving more! I started this book yesterday . . . Last night, actually. Then when I woke up this morning, I kept on reading until the very end. I certainly didn’t expect to push everything aside just to get in a few more pages . . . which quickly turned into the rest of the book . . . but I couldn’t resist finding out more about Amelia, Josh, and Eli.

I loved the entire concept of the hereafters, Amelia’s ghostly ways, and her nightmares. I liked Josh’s appearance and importance as well as his grandmother Ruth’s-though, really, after a while I was busy screaming at Amelia and Ruth to USE YOUR WORDS. I feel like so many more problems could have been solved if everyone just sat down for a chat. Goodness.

Usually I don’t like novels where there’s the instant and super fast attraction/romance between main characters, but it makes sense, at least in Amelia’s case. She hasn’t had anyone so much as glance her way for years, really, so she knows she can’t just let this guy get away from her. He, on the other hand . . . Well, I can understand his interest, but there are some things that just don’t add up. Not enough to especially bother me, but enough to make me want to see what’s going on in his head.

The bad guy is great! Two parts creepy, one part pitiful, all parts desperate and willing to do anything to get his horrible plots to work . . . Finding out more and more as the story progresses, some of which is easily predictable, other parts that are more of a surprise, was a preferable change to the classic information dump. Sure, Amelia only has a few sources of information, but the wording remains believable and conversational, not like paragraphs of info read from a textbook.

For people continuously annoyed by love triangles, there isn’t one in this book. So far. Not really..

I was looking for a bit more ghostliness in Hereafter, a little haunting, maybe. But I liked the balance between life and death and the little things added together are really what made this book so catching and lovely for me. I really, really recommend it; I was reluctant to start because it seemed like another typical YA paranormal book, but look at what happened to me. I’m hooked.

HAUNTING. 5/5 stars