Title: Hereafter (Hereafter #1)
Author: Tara Hudson
Release Date: June 7, 2011
The only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead, trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. But everything changes when she finds Joshua 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.But as Amelia and Joshua struggle to keep their secret bond hidden from the living, a frightening spirit is doing everything in his power to drag Amelia back into the ghost world...forever.
I'll admit, what originally drew me in to Hereafter was the absolutely gorgeous cover. Of course the ideo of a ghost story also sounded really interesting, but it was truly the cover that got me to read the book. As it turned out, there was a lot more to this book than just a pretty cover.
There isn't much that Amelia remembers about herself. She knows her name and she knows that she's eighteen years old. And she knows that she died drowning in a river after having thrown herself off of a bridge. What she doesn't know is how long she's been a ghost or why she threw herself off the bridge. If that's even what happened. When one day a car falls in her rive, Amelia does everything she can to save the boy in the car, Joshua, from the same fate she suffered. And then everything changed. Even though he is very much alive, Joshua can see Amelia. Not only that, but he can even talk to her and touch her. With Joshua's help, Amelia may finally be able to discover who she is and exactly what happened on the night that she died. But as the two work together to uncover the mysteries of Amelia's past, more than just secrets may come to light.
I absolutely love ghost stories and it was no different with this one. The story was mesmerizing and pulled me in right from the first page. I just had this need to know more about the characters, especially when it came to finding out exactly what happened to Amelia on the night that she died. And the way Tara Hudson writes just made me want to keep reading until there was nothing left to read. Her words just flowed on the page and were absolutely wonderful. I loved her way of telling the story and especially the voice she gave Amelia as the narrator. With Hereafter, the writing was definitely a large part of why I enjoyed the story as much as I did.
Amelia was great as a narrator but I sometimes had trouble with her as a character. At times she came off as a bit whiny, but eventually I came around to her. I guess if I had been all alone with no one able to see me for an indefinite period of time I would do a fair amount of complaining myself. What I did like about her was all the mystery surrounding where she came from. As for Joshua, I didn't really like how easily he accepted that Amelia was a ghost, but other than that I liked him. What I especially liked about him was that he was ready to stand up for Amelia when the time came to do so, even if he wasn't sure how everything going on as possible. As for the relationship between Amelia and Joshua, I really liked it. The way it was done didn't feel like overkill, it was just right.
Overall, Hereafter was a very enjoyable read, one I would recommend to those who enjoy a good story with a ghost. I now look forward to reading whatever comes next from Tara Hudson.