Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hereafter (Hereafter #1) by Tara Hudson: review

Goodreads rating: 3.77
Hardcover, 404 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2011)

Series: Hereafter #1
Setting: Oklahoma (United States)
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.  


I went into reading Hereafter with pretty low expectations. It wasn’t receiving the best reviews, and while I don’t hate ghost stories (my review of Anna Dressed in Blood is a testament to that), they’re one of the hardest paranormal creatures to write about. Hereafter wasn’t perfect. I enjoyed the story, but some things seemed a little farfetched. The romance was sweet, but Joshua was a little too accepting of it all. It didn’t make sense that he would believe in her so quickly, since he always thought his grandmother was crazy for believing in ghosts. But on that note, I can’t wait for more of Amelia and Joshua. I can’t remember if they already said “I love you” to each other, but I still enjoyed their romance.

The idea of the river being evil and basically a gateway to hell makes total sense. I believe that some places just have bad luck, whether it be raging ghosts or some bad voodoo. Amelia’s story was a sad one, but she couldn’t remember any of it until she basically woke up. She was used to floating along this river, and then the nightmares came, a replay of her final seconds of drowning in the river. As the book progresses, we learn more and more about Amelia’s death, and how it wasn’t an accident. Not even close.

Eli was the perfect bad guy. It’s like Warner from Shatter Me or Valentine from The Mortal Instruments. They think they’re right. They don’t know they’re evil (or they do, but still think that their plan isn’t), and can so easily convince people to believe what they believe. When Amelia finally wakes up after saving Joshua, Eli tries to get her to join him in ferrying souls through this ominous black hole under the bridge. Amelia isn’t going for it. Even when he threatens to take away her ability to walk among the living, and to ever see Joshua again. On top of that, Joshua’s grandmother is part of an exorcist group (read cult), and she has it out for Amelia.

It was an interesting read. There was some heartache over Amelia’s old life (she didn’t just die, it’s been years), but there’s also a blooming romance and a ghostly mystery. Luckily for me, this one didn’t keep me up at night. I just don’t do scary, people. Overall, if you’re into ghost stories, definitely pick this one up. If you’re a scaredy-cat like me, give it a shot. It’s worth it. Not I can’t wait for Arise!


  1. I'm really glad that you enjoyed this one! I really enjoyed it as well! I loved Amelia and Joshua! They were soooo cute! :D
    I am definitely looking forward to Arise as well!

    Great review! :-)

    A Daydreamer's Thoughts

  2. I have low expectations of this one too. Most of my friends didn't like it and I think this may be the first positive review I see on it so it gives me hope! haha. I still want to give it a try


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