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
Hereafter is an awesome debut novel from Tara Hudson. As most of you know, I love a good ghost story, and this is right up there with the best of them.
While the book does get bonus points for being set in Oklahoma, my favorite part of the book is that it is told from the ghost's perspective. I loved being able to go along with Amelia as she learned the "rules" of being a ghost. Her emotions, especially dealing with her family, really connected with me.
Joshua, if a bit too perfect, is a great love interest. He's strong, smart, and funny. It is great to see that while he doesn't always get along with his family, he truly cares about them, especially his little sister. Oh, and there is the tiny fact that he's willing to accept Amelia as she is, even though she has no pulse.
There is definitely a dark aspect to the story, dealing with Amelia's death, and why she is an "unclaimed" spirit. The last few pages left me thoroughly creeped out, but I can't say much without ruining the plot. But I will say that I can't wait to read the rest of this trilogy, and you shouldn't either!
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Y.A. notes: language