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 had Hereafter sitting on my wishlist for a while, but every time I would go to the bookstore I would pick up another book because it was always way too expensive. I ended up getting it for my Kindle, and got a little sad that recently HarperTeen released an special Kindle edition with bonus material for just $0.99. Anywho, I ended up getting it to read now because the release has been just announced in Brazil, so I decided to rush it in my to be read list.
Amelia is a ghost that’s wandering around a bridge in a small town in Oklahoma. She knows she died drown in the river, she doesn’t know for sure if she jumped off the bridge, all she knows is that she’s dead and trapped in a ghost existence. She doesn’t know her last name or doesn’t remember anything from her life. Sometimes she has this weird things she calls nightmares: she’ll be wandering somewhere and then all of sudden will revive her death and “wake up” from it in the cemetery.
Somehow, she helps rescue a boy named Joshua, who happens to fall off the bridge and dies for a second. He seems to be the only one who can see her now that he’s back to live, and more than that, he can even touch her. The more they get to know each other, more Amelia starts remembering about her life. She also meets another ghost—the first one she’s ever seen—, a boy named Eli who seems to be fascinated by her. She knows he has a secret agenda and she is not going to give up on Joshua that easy.
Right now you may be thinking “oh, another falling in love with a ghost story”, like on Anna Dressed in Blood. But let me tell you this: while Kendare Blake story was predictable and I thought there was nothing really new there, Tara Hudson’s narrative grew on me. Maybe because in this case the ghost is the main character, I’m not sure, but somehow I enjoyed Amelia much more than Anna’s story. Don’t be fooled, it does have some clichés on it, but they didn’t bug me much. I just couldn’t put the book down, I wanted to find out how Amelia died and how she was going to deal with Eli. Now I’m looking forward to Arise!
My favorite quotes on this book are bellow.
Still, I felt a little silly for being afraid. After all, it’s not like you can die twice. And I was already dead, that much was certain.
I knew nothing about him—not his age, hist last name, the way his voice would sound if it spoke my name. But I knew things had changed for me. They had changed forever.
My afterlife had proved all the supernatural stereotypes wrong. I couldn’t walk through walls or float amorphously from room to room. The living people who came close to me didn’t walk through my body but instead seemed to move unthinkingly around me, as though I were just an obstacle in their path.
I was trapped in a prison of one. It was as if I existed in my own little dimension, unseen and unheard by others but maddeningly aware of my surroundings.
Hours can pass like years when you wait impatiently for something, especially something you crave and dread in equal measure.
But my feet were traitors. Or more loyal, depending on one’s perspective.
“I am to please.”
“Then mission accomplished.”
Brilliant, Amelia, I screamed in my head. Death had obviously not improved my vocabulary.
In this moment I felt impossibly and utterly alone. Alone for eternity probably, and now painfully aware of what I would be missing.
“Amelia.” His voice was rough, and it broke. My name had never sounded more beautiful.
“Um… no, Joshua, I have no idea what is or isn’t a common trait for ghosts. This is my first… ah…”
“Haunting?” he offered.
I snorted. “Yes, this is my first haunting.”
“You know,” Joshua said in a light tone, “they’ve invented this magical thing called a dishwasher. I hear it’s life changing.”
His father chuckled. “Yeah. Her name’s Jillian.”