Amelia—still caught between life and death—must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia accidentally dematerializing. Looking for answers, they go to visit some of Joshua’s Seer relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia ends up with more questions than answers…and becomes increasingly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together.Wandering through the French Quarter, Amelia meets other in-between ghosts, and begins to seriously consider joining them. And then she meets Gabrielle. Somehow, against impossible odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life...a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price. Torn between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the netherworld choose for her.
I really enjoyed Hereafter last year, but I think it had a few tiny faults that definitely detracted from my enjoyment. Most of these kinks were worked on in the sequel but there were still a few faults, so overall the rating that I'm giving this is going to be pretty similar to the one that I gave Hereafter.
The writing in this book was definitely an improvement. I felt like this book seemed more real and seamless whereas I found Hereafter a little jumpy and I struggled to find a pace with it. I didn't have that problem with Arise, I managed to read all 400 pages of it in a single very long bath. There were a few times where the dialogue seemed forced and unrealistic, but on a whole the narrative and pacing in this book were much better.
Amelia and Josh are both fantastic characters. I loved how dedicated to each other they are, and I like that Josh is just like what teenage boys are like and not the overprotective semi-stalkerish type that a lot of YA books seem to include (I hate that!). I did have a few problems with the relationship, I supported them as a couple because they were so darn adorable, but I still think that Josh wasn't addressing the whole 'dead-girl-won't-grow-old' situation which I really think he needs to take into consideration. I like that Hudson isn't making their relationship full of drama but I would have liked a little inner-conflict from Josh, since it seemed like most of it was coming from poor Amelia!
This book wasn't as action packed as Hereafter and most of the action took place at the end, it didn't take away from the pacing but it did make it a little less exciting. I loved the ending, the climax had me holding my breathe, but I would have liked some more conflict throughout the book.
Overall, a great continuation to a good series. Whilst the writing was better than the first, I would have liked more action and some more conflict.
Overall Rating: B
Book released June 5th 2012 by Harpercollins
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Other books by this author: