June 16, 2011

Book Review: Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Title: Hereafter
Author: Tara Hudson
Publisher: HarperTeen

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.
My Thoughts

I don't normally do this, but I have to start this by commenting on the cover.  WOW! I remember the first time I saw it.  I loved it then, and I love it now.  It's just so pretty, but yet there is this starkness about it - an almost sadness. Now that I know the story - I see how this cover fits it.

This story starts out with Amelia who is lost.  She had died, but she doesn't remember anything about how or why.  She just drifts through her afterlife.  I was struck by how sad this would be.  To be left literally adrift alone and lost.  I've read a lot of books about people who have died and ended up in some sort of afterlife, but this is the first time they've been left in almost a mystery.  I really felt for Amelia during this.  I mean, there's the pain of missing someone, but how hard would it be to not even know who you should be missing!

Then along comes Joshua.  He can see her, and things begin to change.  She is less adrift and actually more alive.  But of course this brings it's one set of complications.  The relationship between Joshua and Amelia was sweet.  I did have to let go that the "immediate attraction" issue again.  I wasn't as frustrated by it this time.  I think that had to do with the situation Amelia was in - so alone until Josh, so I could buy the attraction easier.  And maybe it had to do with her being a ghost!  I don't for sure, but I could buy it a bit better than in other stories I've read.

About the plot - it's pretty slow moving.  At times it dragged.  This is a 400 page book, so it covers a lot.  Sometimes I think it could've skipped a bit, but it wasn't enough to drag the entire book down.  The mystery of Amelia's past did keep me intrigued.  I wanted to know too what had happened to her and why was she where she was now.  That mystery was nice since it didn't make it entirely a romance book.  Maybe that's why the quick attraction didn't bother me so much!  Anyway - the unanswered questions kept me reading.

In the end I enjoyed the story.  I didn't LOVE it, but it did hold my attention and it had enough uniqueness to make it stand out. 

For the Guys? Nope. Yes yes some boys would like it, but most of my boys would not be interested.

Final thought:  Not what I expected.
Best stick-with-you image:  Can't say or I'll give something away
Best for readers who:  Like a ghost story with romance and mystery
Best for ages: 12+


  1. I'll be reading this soon for Netgalley. Thanks for a great introduction review. I'm happy the storyline doesn't seem saturated in romance. The mystery will be the draw for me.

  2. Thanks for the review. I am intrigued though it does sound a bit long.