hereafterHereafter (Hereafter #1) by Tara Hudson
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Library
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

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. – Goodreads

Tara Hudson is a debut author with Hereafter, but it is nearly impossible to tell that fact. Even though this is another book that took me quite some time to get into and I’m not exactly sure why. (I blame school making me feel guilty, not the book.)

This is the story of Amelia. She’s a ghost who believes her afterlife has no purpose. She has no idea how she became a ghost, she just knows she’s a ghost and no one can see her. Wait. Someone can see her and his name is Joshua. Amelia saves Joshua’s life at the beginning of the book, when he accidentally drives his car off a bridge.

But this is not typical YA, promise. I don’t want you going into this believing she begins to ‘live’ for him. She just begins to see that there may be a point to this afterlife business after all. Joshua, by the way, is not even remotely bothered by the fact that she is a ghost. Joshua also helps Amelia figure out how she died and helps her remember and helps her, in her own way, move on. Plus Joshua has his own story in the book and Amelia helps him, which is nice to see.

Of course this book isn’t perfect, and that’s okay. There are many complaints on GoodReads about how the book was rushed and sure, you can say it was rushed, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the fact that the book was not drawn out for the sake of drama. Do you know how many books I’ve read where it seemed the author introduced drama just to introduce it? Here’s a hint: too many.

Here’s the other thing, the book ended nicely. This could be a standalone book and end here and I’d be fine. Yes, there are a few questions I have still but nothing that I need to know and I throughly enjoy the fact that this could be a standalone. It’s refreshing to read in YA.