Tuesday 16 October 2012

Review: Arise by Tara Hudson

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Source: Borrowed from the library

Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

Book 2 in the Hereafter series

In the first book I loved the growing relationship between Amelia- a ghost, and Joshua- a human boy. Since Joshua is part of a family of Seers and his recent near-death experience triggered his ability to see the supernatural, Joshua is the only one who can see Amelia. I loved this because their relationship seemed so sweet to me, but also ultimately tragic, as Amelia will never age, and Joshua will never be able to reveal his relationship or introduce his girlfriend to his friends and family.

Joshua is so adorable- I just love him, as he is determined that nothing will come between the two of them. Amelia is the practical one who points out all the problems with their relationship, but Joshua is adamant that nothing matters but that they stay together, and that they love each other.

I really liked the first book in the series- Hereafter because I loved Amelia and Joshua together, and because the idea of a ghost falling in love with a human was something that I could understand and get on board with. But Arise seems to take this to another level, and introduces a complicated mythology of a netherworld, and different stages of being a ghost, and all sorts of new rules that I just found harder to believe.

What I did like though was the trip to New Orleans. If anything was going to make this book more believable, the creepy atmosphere of New Orleans would do it! I liked the sense of magic and mystery, and spells cast in a creepy old graveyard, that did manage to lend a sense of realism to what otherwise might've been a stretch.

In the end Amelia has to make a hard choice- to give Joshua up and let him live his life, or to keep going with a relationship that can never go anywhere. Heartbreak and drama are inevitable in this story, which is due to continue in book 3 Elegy in July 2013.

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