Book Rating: 5/5 Stars
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars
- Reading level: Young Adult
- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: HarperTeen (June 7, 2011)
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.
INTRO & SETTING: This book was one of the best I've read in 2011. And for a debut author, it was completely amazing. I've always loved ghost stories, and I'm a total hopeless romantic, so when you meshed the two, well, I'm in heaven. The setting really revolves around a place called High Bridge, the place where Amelia died, along with countless other people. It's pretty much an evil, nasty hole of evil and nastiness. There's also the Netherworld, which is sort of a flip side of our own, only it's gray, cold, eerily beautiful, and baddies watch you from the trees. Yeah. Creeeepppy. But... also perfect. It brings in just the right amount of dread and eeriness.
CHARACTERS: The characters were wonderful. Amelia, the MC, is perfect for the story. She's sort of sweet, but sad and angry at the same time. But, hey, you would be too if you had drowned and had no memory of your past life. Joshua is my dream boy. He's cute, he's funny, smart, and he reads a ton, not to mention his back yard is practically Wonderland, thanks to his Mom being a landscaper. The romance in this book was exceptional: heartbreakingly sweet and totally flawless. That's pretty hard to find in books. Another thing I loved about this book? The enemies weren't someone you could easily take down, and Amelia's got some on either side of her world. Eli, another ghost like Amelia, is desprate to have her for himself, and Ruth, A Seer (and also Joshua's Grandmother... dun dun dun...), is trying to exorcise Amelia to the Netherworld, or wherever it is Amelia belongs.
PLOT: Like I said, I love ghost stories and the mystery behind them. There was certainly mystery in this book, what with Amelia not even knowing who she is, let alone why she is dead and who is in charge, or even if anybody is in charge. Then she saves Joshua, and things start to fall in place. Slowly she figures out who she is, and what she left behind when she died. The climax occurs when she finally finds out how she died and tries to stop her fate from becoming another girls, and in turn meets Eli's bosses. And people who boss Eli around? Well, they can't be very nice, now can they? Anyways, I cannot wait for more, and I highly recommend this book, especially on a stormy afternoon.
FIRST SENTENCE: "It was the same as always, but different from the first time."
LAST SENTENCE: "I would always choose the hereafter, when it was a hereafter spent with him."