Pages: n/a (416 hardcover)
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Others in Series: Arise (2012), Elegy (2013)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
First off, I absolutely love this cover. The colors with the water and the sky just flow endlessly together. I also love how the girl's body goes from transparent to somewhat melding with a physical body. I think this cover fits the storyline perfectly.
I have had limited experience with ghost stories, but I think Hereafter happens to be my favorite so far. Amelia doesn't exactly know what lead to her death, but it seems she is doomed to haunt the river in which she drowned and met her demise. That is, until she miraculously happens to help save a boy from meeting the same fate as her. Somehow, Amelia and Joshua are inexplicably tied together now. They work together to attempt to figure out the mystery of Amelia's death and discover if there possibly is life after death.
Tara Hudson created amazing characters. Amelia has basically been in a fog since her death. The days pass without notice, wandering the riverbank endlessly, yelling at passersby. The dead roaming the world of the living, utterly alone. Amelia relives her frightful end over and over and she has no clue of how or why she ended up in the river. Drowning is one of my biggest fears and reading through Amelia's constant nightmares, I truly felt her torment. Once she began to figure out more about herself and her past, I felt a greater connection with Amelia. Joshua was such a sweet boy, almost too good to be true. His connection with Amelia is instantaneous. In some instances, I would feel this is rushed. In the aftermath of a near-death experience, I really believed their connection. I loved watching their relationship grow and reading about the amazing things that occurred between the two of them since their surprise encounter in the river.
Hereafter was perfectly paced. The storyline unfurled smoothly across the pages and never felt rushed or boring. I was able to take my time and enjoy the story.
An enchanting debut, Hereafter is a fantastic start to a wonderful new series. Hudson gives readers an achingly beautiful and unconventional story full of romance and mystery.
Find Tara Hudson