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HEREAFTER by Tara Hudson

HEREAFTER

By Tara Hudson

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: June 7th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-202677-4
Publisher: HarperTeen

Amelia knows she’s dead and that she drowned, but little more.

Then she encounters a drowning boy, Josh, and though he survives, his brief experience of death allows him to see her. Soon they’re an item—his presence and touch reawaken her senses. Josh takes her to school, and together they investigate her origins. In the less-benign afterlife when Josh is not around, Amelia meets mysterious Eli, once a handsome young man and now responsible for bringing the recently dead to his masters, terrifying beings that rule the afterlife’s nastier corners. While Eli plots to make Amelia his apprentice, Amelia and Josh pursue the genre’s traditional passionate-but-chaste relationship. Among the obstacles they face is Ruth, Josh’s grandmother, a “Seer” who can perceive Amelia but confuses her with Eli, whom she’s sworn to exorcize. The breathless ending has “sequel to come” written all over it. Smoothly written—the spookily vivid afterlife is a strong point—this debut represents a modest addition to a fantasy genre featuring heroines with limited aspirations.

Being dead, Amelia has a better excuse than most for lacking a career goal beyond finding bliss with the one living guy who can see her. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)