Hereafter (Hereafter #1) by TARA HUDSON
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 (goodreads) .
Before I get into the story, I want to take the moment to compliment Tara Hudson's writing. She writes with such imagery that I can easily picture the scene that she is describing. I was extremely impressed and excited because it felt like I was watching a movie in my head- if you couldn't tell that doesn't happen too often for me). Now for the plot.
I knew this book wasn't going to be an instant favorite because I could go a day without reading it which only happens when I'm not interested. I had a hard time finding a rating for this book. The writing made it more than a three but the overall plot made it less than a 3.5 so I'm going to be extra difficult and say that I give this novel a 3.25. Yes. 3 1/4.
Back to my review. The plot did not 'wow' me. In fact, some parts bored me. I was expecting a lot more than what I got. I really enjoyed when Hudson delved into Amelia's death and life and explained her lack of sensations in her afterlife. What I didn't like were the character interactions.
I liked all of the characters. Amelia, Joshua, Jillian, Eli, Ruth, they were all exceptional characters ALONE, but their interactions felt so cheesy and bland.
Side note: Who refers to their grandmother by her given name? Joshua does, isn't that kind of disrespectful?
A glaring issue I had with this novel is the overuse of the word "evil." There were a couple of phrases where Amelia wondered if she was "evil" which just felt awkward. There were also descriptions of things that were "evil," but I really feel that the the "evil" situations or positions were just another side to the story. Hereafter tried to make some situations black and white when it was obvious that there were shades of gray.
Overall the characters were great (when they weren't talking to each other), the plot was meh, the writing was great, and I was left feeling underwhelmed. I'm sure others will love this novel but it just wasn't for me.