Friday, March 18, 2011

Review: Hereafter

Synopsis: 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.

My Review:  I usually stay far far away from "ghost" stories.  Especially ones that blatantly suggest romance between the living and the dead.  It just never works out, and it kills me inside to not have a happy ending.  That being said, I like very few ghost related stories.  Hereafter surpassed all of my expectations.  I was literally blown away and shocked at how much I loved the story.  This is the only afterlife romance that I actually like!  Well more along the lines of adore, but you get my meaning. 

I absolutely loved Hudson's interpretation of the afterlife.  Amelia doesn't have any perks to being a ghost like in the movies.  She can't make any contact with the living, can't walk through walls, can't even open a door.  She is literally stuck in her own personal version of purgatory.  She's spent years simply wandering around too afraid to look for who she was before she died.  Amelia doesn't remember anything from her life.  Her last name, what she looks like, her family, and how she died.  Amelia is living completely in the dark without anyone to guide her, until the day she meets Joshua.  When Amelia sees Joshua in the river unconscious, she can't bare the thought of someone else dying in the river like her.  She tries desperately to drag him to the surface, but the only thing she can do is will him to live.  By some miracle, after Joshua's heart stops beating he responds to Amelia's pleading and wakes up.  Joshua's brief glimpse of death allows him to see and hear Amelia. 

When Joshua seeks Amelia out, she knows any interaction with him will bring nothing but heartbreak.  When he finds out that she's dead, she'll loose the one person who has been able to see her.  However, her fear can't stop her from wanting to see his smile and stunning eyes again.  What starts out as a desire to simply be seen and heard turns into something Amelia hasn't felt since she was alive.  Their companionship quickly turns into something deeper even though the two of them are separated by an incredible gulf.  Their growing feelings for each each other are both quick and natural.  The way Hudson portrayed their growing love wasn't filled with cliche metaphors or twin soul non-sense.  It was very realistic, even if it did grow rather fast. 

I found Amelia to be a great MC.  She was strong, protective, and very emotionally relatable.  I found her attempts at levity in awkward situations very entertaining.  Her personality really came through, and I can honestly say there wasn't one single thing I did not like about her.  Joshua had equally adorable quirks.  The way he ran his fingers through his hair and the way he draws on his O's when he says "okay" were completely adorable.  He has a great personality as well and is very down to earth.  The two of them were just so RIGHT for each other.  Their relationship was believable and very sweet to read about.  You can't help but hope against hope that SOMEHOW it will work out.  Even though I'll feel like my heart has been ripped out when ultimately it doesn't, the two of them were so sweet to read about I don't mind for now. 

Though this is mainly a romance, the story is equally as good.  Amelia's struggles to remember her life, and her new awareness to another ghostly presence isn't making things any easier.  She worried that because she is a "lost" soul that she is evil or that she somehow deserved what she got.  As she grows more aware of her purpose in the afterlife, she comes to realize that there's more to her death than a simple drowning.  The river she died in is surrounded by an evil aura.  The darkness that lurks under the bridge hides another world that houses more than spirits. 

Hereafter was an incredible start to a new series (trilogy?).  I was hooked from start to finish, and the ending just left me wanting more.  Amelia and Joshua's love defies logic, but it just makes it all the more romantic.  Overall an excellent story and an even better romance.  I guarantee that anyone who picks this up will love it. 


Alexa said...

I think what I liked best was the forbidden romance between Amelia and Joshua. Plus I mean who could resist Josh, he has a room packed full of books and he really seems to understand Amelia. Plus there is that dark element with the evil ghosts so the story is interesting, I thought it was good but I wasn't in love with it. I guess I'm waiting to see what happens down the road for the characters. Oh and btw I sent out the third brotherhood book today so you should get all of them sometime late next week. :)