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Review: Hereafter

Review: Hereafter

Title: Hereafter
Author: Tara Hudson
Published: 2011
Length: 404 pages

My star rating:  ★ ★ ★ 

In the beginning of Hereafter, Amelia has recurring nightmares of drowning, only to discover on waking that they’re actually memories of her own death. Until she saves Joshua from a similar fate, she has no other memories of her life, no concept of time, and no ability to interact with the living. But her “awakening” and her relationship with Joshua come with a price.

This book just left me feeling so…blah. I love The Ghost and Mrs. Muir a great deal, but, as a rule, YA paranormal romance does notwork nearly as well as that classic. This was an exceedingly quick read (I got through 100 pages during my forty-five minute lunch), yet it dragged on and on without anything really happening other than ghostly heroine Amelia miraculously regaining the ability to feel things, move thing in the “living world,” and remember her past for seemingly no reason.

Oh, and she also spent a lot of time with her insta-love living boyfriend, Joshua, who was painfully duller, especially when compared to her fellow ghostie and Joshua’s would-be competition, Eli. Eli was easily the most interesting character in the book, but in the end, even he was painted with such a broad brush that he became a mind-numbing, cliché villain.

Tara Hudson’s prose wasn’t difficult or all that bad—it was just unmemorable, just like her characters and her story. The only vaguely memorable part of Hereafter was Hudson’s vision of the afterlife, which was grim, cold, and unwelcoming. I’m a lover of both paranormal and crime stories, and yet…this was often a chore to get through.

To make things worse, nothing was explained particularly well. Why can’t Amelia touch anything except for Joshua, for instance? I didn’t feel like there was much internal logic in Hudson’s world.

In short: I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, I’m just kind of in limbo about it.

I also felt like I had read it before, only done better—considerably better—in Jessica Warman’s Between. It was also dark, but it actually had a plot; compelling characters; and fortunately, no insta-love. Warman is also just a better author.

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