*Series: Hereafter #1
Author: Tara Hudson
Pages: Hardcover; 404
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who love a good love story, because this one bleeds right off the page and into your heart!
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
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.
Amelia is a spirit, lost in the mortal world. Destined to relive the night of her death over and over. Not exactly the most pleasant existence. That is, until the night that she happens to rescue Joshua.
I know that there are plenty of paranormal romance stories out there, but I'd be lying if I said that this one doesn't stand out. Amelia's character is so perfect. She's sweet and lost, but downright fierce when she needs to be. I loved watching her wake up from the fog and become more aware of herself as the story progressed. Amelia's story has the perfect balance between being utterly heartbreaking, and yet full of hope at the same time. It will tug at your heartstrings, that's for sure!
Then there is Joshua. Wonderful and persistent Joshua. Want a guy who manages to be adorable without even trying? Here's your man. Dead set on being a part of Amelia's afterlife, apparently whether she wants it or not, he holds his own. The banter between these two and the stolen moments of closeness were too sweet for words. There were times when it was just so honest. Sure, they may be from two different planes of existence, but that doesn't stop them from being a perfect match for one another. Be warned, swoon worthy moments ensue.
Lest you think that Hereafter is just a book filled with romance though, let me sate your need for action! As Amelia remembers more about her past, the book really picks up pace. Ghosts who are "unclaimed" are apparently a no-no in Tara Hudson's ghostly afterlife. This allows her to weave a wonderful romance that pits two very different worlds against one another. Amelia's life becomes a tug of war between the living, and the dead. I cannot say enough how much this added to the overall story! Love is great, but love that is fated to fail? Even more delicious.
Let's be honest, I could go on about Hereafter for hours. However I'll wrap it up with the fact that while this may not be a new concept, Tara Hudson takes a story that has been done before and still manages to put her own gorgeous twist on it. Amelia and Joshua will make your heart soar, and then have you rooting for their continued existence together. Couple that with some all out action, and you have a book that is well worth your time.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.