Friday 20 May 2011

Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Pages - 250

Published by HarperCollins - New York.

Kindly sent to me via NetGalley to review.

Opening paragraph
It was the same as always, but different from the first time.
It felt as if my sternum was a door into which someone had roughly shoved a key and twisted. The door - my lungs - wanted to open, wanted to stop fighting against the twist of the key. That primitive part of my brain, the one designed for survival, wanted me to breathe. But a louder part of my brain was also fighting an urge that might let the water rush in.

Goodreads 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 everything in his power to destroy their new found For and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

For the first time, in forever, I am struggling to review a book. This book has me sitting on a fence where I am struggling to decide which way to fall. There were certain aspects I loved and then others that I found difficult to believe.

The storyline itself was original. I have yet to come across a ghost/human love story with that Romeo and Juliet situation hovering in the background. The relationship develops a little too quickly for me and their love is doomed from the beginning. I think that is where my problem with the book lies. I cannot suspend my disbelief that this relationship can ever have a happy outcome. She is DEAD. She cannot come back to life, because that would be too much like Bobby reappearing in the shower in the retro show 'Dallas'. So the only way they can be together is if he dies and that is just not an option. I almost wanted to sit them down with a relationship counsellor and ask them 'So where do you see this relationship heading?'. I can imagine that the author has a few tricks up her sleeve,which she will conjure up in the following books, but the impatient old crone in me was desperate for answers.

The three main characters were interesting. I felt sorry for Amelia  from our first contact with her. The continual burden of her death made me feel melancholic. Joshua deals with his new found abilities as a Seer really well considering. I would have liked to see him a little freaked out by Amelia's secret, but that wasn't to be. Eli is a rather Machiavellian character who disturbed me quite a bit. You could understand the reasons for his actions, he was basically saving his own butt.

Death and the hereafter don't come across as an ideal holiday vacation; if there is a Heaven, we never get invited on the tour within this book. We just get to see the darker side of the hereafter, which is very bleak and possibly a little scary.

The book took me quite a while to get into and perhaps that was due to my frame of mind rather than the book. It needed my full attention and I was unable to give it to it. Once I got into the book, I enjoyed the storyline and the pace picked up as the story progressed. Their were a few surprises along the way which I had not expected.

The book ended with quite a few loose ends, which allows me to believe a sequel is on the way. I am hoping  the sequel will expand on Josh's family a little, allowing us to learn more about the hereditary vocation as a Seer.

I think that maybe ghost romances might just not be for me, they will sit alongside the zombie novels I just can't get into either.

If you loved A Certain Slant of Light, then you will really enjoy this one too.

Here are some more positive reviews to help you make up your mind about this book.

Reading Teen

Eve's Fan Garden


  1. I like the way you post the positive reviews too-that's such a good idea. I'm kinda on the fence about this book too. I've seen good and bad reviews so I can't make up my mind whether to read it or not. I'm not sure Ghost relationships are for me either...

  2. Cait- Although this book wasn't for me, I am very conscious of how much blood,sweat and tears went into writing it. I am sure that their will be many fans who will love this book, so I am trying to be constructive rather than critical.

  3. Great review, Vivienne. I have this one on my Kindle from Netgalley and I'll be reading it shortly. Wonder how I'll feel about the story.

    Again I have to spread my love for Isaac Marion's Warm Bodies, I think that perhaps a person who doesn't like zombies might fall in love with that story.

  4. Ladybug - you are trying to lure me on the dark side, aren't you?LOL I shall add it to my list, purely because I trust your judgement.

  5. I did indeed LOVe A Ceertain Slant of Light - I must read this book. Your review was articulate and well-balanced WELL Written :D

  6. So far ever review I have read about this one has been very similar...I have it to read as well but I am not sure that I will bother.

    Great review as always! :)

  7. Guilty as charged ;) I feel a little pressure here now, I'm crossing my fingers that you'll enjoy it if you get to it.

  8. I do find that it's hard to write about the books I'm "meh" about. I think I'll pass on this book.

  9. Emma - that was a great book. Sigh!

    Jules - Sorry. Eek!

    Ladybug - LOL, don't worry it will be awhile before I get chance to read it. So I will have forgotten to blame you by then.

    Bermudaonion - Isn't it! I hate to be critical.

  10. Such a thoughtful review - its so very frustrating when you feel this way about a book. Not a story for me I don't think.

  11. I really loved A Certain Slant of Light so even though you didn't love it I'm still pretty excited to read this book simply because of that! Thanks for the honest review there always appreciated :)

  12. I had this one on NetGalley too but by the time I get to it, it will probably expire. I do still want to read it though as the premise sounds interesting to me and I do like ghosty romances. Sorry it didn't quite cut it for you but you can't win them all.

  13. I enjoyed your honest review, Vivienne. You do sound undecided about this book. I think I'd also have a hard time suspending my disbelief about the future of the love relationship in the story, which seems like a central part of it.

  14. Hmmmm....I've been reading a lot of mixed reviews on this one. I'm going to have to try and grab in on NetGalley before it expires to see what I think!

  15. Sounds a bit creepy. And she is dead, it's not like she can come back, which makes me sad .(

  16. Thanks for the honest review. The premise does sound good. Hmmm...I wonder if I'd enjoy this ghost romance...I'm a sucker for doomed love stories.

  17. ...a ghost/human love story with that Romeo and Juliet situation hovering in the background. I like the sound of this one. I would probably believe this story and the fact that she is DEAD, and he's still living and breathing makes me want to reach for this book. Like Naida, I'm a sucker for doomed love stories.

  18. I enjoyed "A Certain Slant of Light" so I'm looking forward to giving this a shot.

    And I'm with Ladybug... "Warm Bodies" was an AMAZING debut by Isaac Marion. Willing to post it your way if you fancy giving it a shot!

  19. I think I have this book waiting for me on netgalley, but something about it holds me back. Perhaps it is logistical problems with the whole ghost/human love story? I'm not sure..


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