The Low Down: Amelia has been wandering for what seems like many, many years. She is alone and has no recollection as to who she is or where she lives. One thing she does know is that she is dead. Though she doesn’t sleep, she still has nightmares about the way she died. She can still feel the pull of the river, her mouth filling with the brackish water, her body being pulled under. She just doesn’t know how it came to be. But none of this matters that one night that she comes out of her nightmare, when she realizes that there is someone there in the water with her, dying.
She has to help him, somehow, this unconscious, beautiful boy. He’s driven off of High Bridge into the river – her river – and is now slowly drowning. She can’t touch him or make him hear her, since she’s a ghost. As his heart stutters, he opens his eyes…and sees her. Inexplicably, he then smiles and touches her face. And then he fights to get to the surface.
After her encounter with the boy, Joshua, things begin to change for Amelia. Sometimes, briefly, she can feel things or smell things. Then Joshua comes looking for her, wanting answers as to what happened in the river and who Amelia is. Just when Amelia is happy for the first time in her, uh, death, she meets someone who knows a little too much about her and how she ended up in the river. And when Amelia learns her history and the rumors of High Bridge and its unusual number of deaths, she knows that something bad is going to happen.
Best Thang ‘Bout It: I liked the ghost aspect of the story, and whether the circumstances of her death or something else means she might be able to come back to life? ‘Cause of course, readers will want Amelia and Joshua to be able to grow old together. I love Joshua’s sister – obviously cranky because she has to work hard to stay popular while Joshua just is. Their grandmother is a force to be reckoned with, and her additions to the plot are very intriguing.
I’m Cranky Because: Sometimes, and this is a complement to the author, I can feel smothered by a book. Claustrophobic. It’s usually when the action is tightly wound and constant or if the action takes place in a small area. Seriously, I feel like something is just above my head, keeping me from standing. So I have to get up and move around. Is that strange?
Should You?: Yes. Swim to the surface and ask the paramedics to drive you to the nearest bookseller.
Hereafter by Tara Hudson was published on June 7, 2011 by HarperTeen.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction Paranormal Romance Ghosts
Ages: 13 and up