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I Ain’t Afraid Of No Ghost

Forever Young Adult Presents: A review of Hereafter by Tara Hudson

I Ain’t Afraid Of No Ghost

BOOK REPORT for Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Cover Story: So Close...
BFF Charm: No
Swoonworthy Scale: 0
Talky Talk: I Don't Remember
Bonus Factor: Kickass Gram, The Evil Guy
Relationship Status: Oops, I Must Have Accidentally Deleted Your Number

Cover Story: So Close....

It's not that bad! The ghosty girl's not my fave, but I can live with her. But the tagline! "A stranded spirit, a sudden love." WHAT. To be fair, I should have taken it as a warning, because it gets much, much worse.

The Deal:

Amelia's a ghost. She wanders around rural, southeastern Oklahoma crying out for help and re-experiencing her drowning death, but mostly exists in a timeless fog. One night, she blanks out and comes back to consciousness in the middle of the river, just like she always does when she has her drowning nightmare, but this time there's a living boy in the river -- and he's drowning. She connects with him, he lives, they fall in love, she starts being stalked by an evil spirit, a coven of Seers want to exorcise her, you know -- the usual star-crossed lovers thing.

BFF Charm:

Amelia's one of those girls who's nothing until she meets the right guy. As a ghost, she doesn't even know her name or anything about her life except the moment of dying until she meets Joshua. I guess you could see it as the redemptive power of true love or something, but even though she grows a backbone an gets less whiny toward the middle of the book, I still don't buy it. You know what REALLY killed me, though? After EVERY nightmare, she wakes up in the cemetery, and despite moaning all the time about not knowing who she is or what happened, she never ONCE tries to find anything out on her own.

It was always daylight, and I was always surrounded by row upon row of headstones. A cemetery. Probably mine. I never waited around to find out. I could have searched for my headstone maybe. Could have learned more about myself---about my death. Instead, I'd pull myself up from the weeds and dash for the iron gate enclosing the field, running as fast as my nonexistent legs would carry me.

Swoonworthy Scale: 0

I'm sorry, but I just couldn't buy it. Amelia instantly falls in love with Joshua, and I'm kind of OK with that. She saved his life, he's the first person to see her since she died, whatever. But he falls in love with her? And doesn't care that she's a ghost? I believe that even less than I believe in ghosts. AND and and -- I haven't even gotten to the best part, which is the descriptions of what it's like when Joshua and Amelia touch. I get it, it's a big deal for a ghost and a living person to physically touch, but the contact between Joshua and Amelia was too much like insta-orgasm. Not only would that be rather inconvenient, and second, I just kept picturing what Joshua must look like, making out with an invisible girl. I don't know what would be more awkward - yr mom walking in on sexytimes with a real girl or walking in on sexytimes with a ghost she can't see.

Talky Talk: I Don't Remember

I read this book a week ago, and I can't remember anything about the writing other than occasionally rolling my eyes at cliches and overused phrases -- lungs aching for air, dark looks passing over faces, adverbs tumbling over each other in their desperation to get out.

P.S. Short, punchy, one-sentence paragraphs lose their effectiveness when used on every page.

Bonus Factor: Kickass Gram

Joshua's grandmother has the hate on for ghosts, and it's her mission in life to exorcise them all. She's grouchy and tough and rules the family with an iron fist -- she's awesome.

Bonus Factor: The Evil Guy

For once, I kept hoping this would turn into a love triangle just because I loved Eli. He's rude and power-hungry, but he was a helluva lot more interesting than Joshua -- and I'm not a girl who usually goes for the bad guys.

Casting Call:

Alexandra Chando as Amelia

Whiny? Self-absorbed? Forgettable? I think Sutton will do the job (what, you don't mean to say you've already forgotten about The Lying Game? You had, and now you hate me for reminding you? Yeah, I hate me, too).

David Bowie as Eli

What this book needs is a little dance magic.

Relationship Status: Oops, I Must Have Accidentally Deleted Your Number

Book, we met one night at a party, and I thought you seemed cute and kinda interesting so I made out with you in the hallway for a bit. But you weren't a very good kisser, and once I started to sober up, you turned out to be just like all the other paranormal guys -- not very original, full of unbelievable tropes, and just kind of boring. So yeah, it's a little awkward running into you in the bookstore a few weeks later after never calling, but let's be honest -- it never would have worked out anyway.

Meghan Miller's photo About the Author: Meghan is an erstwhile librarian in exile from Texas and writer for Forever Young Adult. She loves books, cooking and homey things like knitting and vintage cocktails. Although she’s around books all the time, she doesn’t get to read as much as she’d like.