Release Date: June 7th 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins
Add it: Goodreads
Overall: ♥♥ 1/2
Hereafter tells the story of a ghost, Amelia, who has been wandering lost for god knows how long and constantly suffers from nightmares of the night she died. The beginning is good because we know everything about Amelia that she knows - her name, her age and how she died. So the book begins with Amelia having a nightmare which is beautifully described, but when she wakes up, she is still in the river drowning, however she soon realises that she isn't the one drowning, a boy named Joshua is and he is the first mortal to see her. Hereafter is basically a love story between Amelia and Joshua and Amelia recovering more and more memories of her life. But of course, they have an evil ghost to contend with who wants Amelia all for himself.
The first chapter captivated me, it was beautifully written and the whole nightmare scene was so visual. This was all well and good, however, whilst I understand Amelia and Joshua have a connection because he could see her, she saved him etc, the relationship between them just exploded! It happened instantly. Then, the first thing that really freaked me out about this book was the "skin touching" scene that is in almost every YA book you come across. This one had the same concept "my skin tingled etc etc", but sounded as if the two main characters were having wayyyyy too good of a time for this novel especially considering it was from holding hands.
Okay, so "The moment his skin brushed mine, a current shot through my entire body, from my scalp to the tips of my fingers. The current made the ache in my chest, and the tingles that raced along my spine each time he looked at me, seem like low-burning cinders. My heart, my brain, my skin - all of it was momentarily engulfed in flame, a flame lit only by the spark on my cheek." is all pretty standard for YA or Paranormal Romance, but then a few sentences later...
"Joshua stared at me, rubbing his hand. He continued to breathe unevenly, as though he'd just run a long distance. Then, still gasping, he smiled. Hugely. "What," he managed to choke out, "was that?" "I have no idea." And I began to laugh. "Want to do it again?" "Hell, yes," he growled, and lurched forward to grab my hand from my lap."
What the hell was that? It sounds like the two just had incredible sex or something, by HOLDING HANDS. "Hell yes" he growled". THAT makes the book seem somewhat naughty, but it isn't like that at all! This book is strictly PG 13 stuff people!
Secondly, "he smiled. Hugely." Why is the word 'hugely' in a sentence of it's own? It's not a sentence. It does not need its own. Full stop. Putting a fullstop for a single word is generally for emphasis or dramatic effect, but "he smiled hugely", or simply "he smiled" would have sufficed!
I'm going to do a little bit more nitpicking because as I've said on my blogs rating policy, if I notice it, it must be bad.
Within the first few chapters, Ms. Hudson constantly refers to Amelia's dress, or skirt, or whatever it is. On page 75, "My eyes dropped right back down to my dress.", okay, yeah that's all well and good, but then on THE VERY SAME PAGE, "We sat that way for a while, him in a casually amused pose and me with my eyes glued once more to my skirt." What the fuck is it? A dress or a skirt? If this mistake wasn't on the same fucking page, I wouldn't have picked it up and it wouldn't have bothered me as much, but it happens over and over again! The sentence after the "skirt" sentence, it's suddenly a dress. Ugh.
I also was worried that while Joshua and Amelia were making out on a park bench, talking and holding hands, that SOMEBODY may just walk past, see Joshua making out with thin air and get him committed. But lucky for these two lovebirds, nobody saw them.
Okay, that's my rambling about things that bothered me out of the way... Now...
Have you ever noticed that in almost all YA novels, the guy smells like mint or something? Well Joshua has a sweet and musky smell. I like musk, so I thought I'd point that out :) plus the fact, he doesn't smell like mint.
Okay, so after reading about 250 pages of "I wub yooh", "he is amazing", "his room is amazing" and "when our skin touched it felt like fire". We start to see plot development, yayyyy! So far, Joshua's grandma (whom I love) is meant to have tried to hurt Amelia, this hasn't really been mentioned, and Eli is meant to be trying to get to Amelia. This hasn't really been mentioned either and if either of these things have, they haven't been very interesting. Throughout the novel, Amelia remembers more and more of her past which is interesting to find out but after 250 pages, we finally get more action, less lovey dovey stuff, more of Jillian (Joshua's sister who I also love), and more drama - YAYYY!
Another thing I loved was the fact that Joshua wasn't a sick freak who wanted to kill or hurt the girl (a la, Patch) and he actually treated her nicely and with respect, unlike other guys in YA lit, however it was a little strange that Amelia was like "Just so you know, I'm a ghost, sorry, don't think I'm crazy", and Josh is all "omg I love you, I don't care if your a ghost, I believe you".
I love the fact the Amelia didn't fall for Eli and there wasn't any love triangles and I love that Amelia was able to tell us all her worries, problems and things about her without coming across and whiny and annoying.
What really impressed me was there was no cliffhanger, but it still left questions and ideas to be answered and explored in the next few books and as a whole and as a romance, it's a pretty beautiful story.
Overall: ♥♥ 1/2