Hereafter by Tara Hudson

HereafterTitle: Hereafter

Author: Tara Hudson

Genre: Ghost/Paranormal/Romance

Publisher: HarperCollins

Pages: 404

Rating: 3.5/5

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.

The cover of this book is gorgeous – probably the first thing that drew me to it – but the story itself doesn’t quite live up to it. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this book before reading it, and even now, over a month after I read it, I’m still unsure about it.

The main character, Amelia, is an odd ghost. She doesn’t remember anything from her past, but as soon as she meets a boy named Joshua who almost died in the same river where she perished, memories begin to trickle and then flood in. The mystery of figuring out who Amelia was seems to be wrapped up fairly simply, not interesting enough to catch my attention completely. Even the mystery of her death isn’t that interesting – it’s random, and paints a picture of an Amelia who seems different from the one you read about, or at least one who was friends with people who seem nothing like her (this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine…).

The main focus of the book seems to be the romance between Amelia and Joshua anyway, which seemed a bit rushed and too perfect for my taste. I guess it’s a cute romance but a bit bland for my taste.

The character of Joshua’s sister seems like she could be interesting, if she did more than just try and fit in with the popular crowd, that is. And their grandmother, even though she was a nasty piece of work, also seems like she could make future stories interesting, but I’m not sure yet.

Like I said, I’m still unsure about this book. Even though I didn’t really care about the main characters and their romance, it seems like the sequel could have some potential, and maybe debut author Tara Hudson will grow more with her storytelling by then. Only time will tell.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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