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 really enjoyed this book, though I've heard a few people say it didn't live up to their expectations, I didn't really have that problem.
The storyline is great, while stories about ghosts and humans faling in love are still quite popular (Meg Cabot's Mediator Series was what got me started on YA Paranormal), this story is original because it's told from the point of view of the ghost, not the human. I think this was a risk, because it meant that Hudson had to really think through the ghost's senses and what the afterlife is really like, and this could have left plot holes, but Hudson pulls it off very well. The descriptions of the hereafter, of the senses and the reactions that Amelia has a so well written and believable that they didn't feel fake to me, as the could have.
The characters are all quite good, I didn't really like Amelia to start with, she bored me, but I will put that down to the fact that she hasn't spoken to anyone in years and she keeps reliving her past. Joshua is just adorable, I have a thing for Joshuas anyway (they make e think of my boyfriend), and this one was just so cute and caring and protective, I loved how he wasn't written to be sexy or hot, he was just the perfect caring boyfriend. I also sort of liked Eli, the sexy rock-star ghost who is obsessed with Amelia and wants to make him her own, he was the bit of hotness in the story and even though he was a bad guy, I sort of liked him.
While I'm not usually a fan of romance that builds up fast, the relationship between Joshua and Amelia was so lovely and sweet that I didn't mind that it happened so fast, it was also believable because of the circumstances.
I had a few problems with Hereafter though. Mostly, I thought that Joshua believed Amelia way too easily about what she was, which sped up the story but also had me cringing a little, I also think that he fell for Amelia too easily, I mean I understand attraction and all that but he didn't really think through the I'm human and you're a ghost that doesn't age issue . I also though that the pacing was off, the story concentrates so much on Amelia and Joshua and not the mystery behind her death or Eli and this slowed down the story for me, meaning that a few bits got a bit boring for me.
All in all a good read for fans of the paranormal, I can't wait for the sequel.
Overall rating: B
Stand alone/series: First in a series
UK Release: July 7th 2011
Publisher: HarperCollinsBook obtained via: Sent by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review