When the one boy you crushed on in life can't seem to stay away in death, it's hard to be a normal teen when you're a teen paranormal. Sixteen-year-old Keira Nolan has finally got what she wanted-the captain of the football team in her bedroom. Problem is he's not in the flesh. He's a ghost and she's the only one who can see him. Keira's determined to do anything to find Jimmy's killer. Even it if means teaming up with his prickly-yet-dangerously-attractive brother, Dan, also Keira's ex-best-friend. Keira finds that her childish crush is fading, but her feelings for Dan are just starting to heat up, and as the story of Jimmy's murder unfolds, anyone could be a suspect.
This thrilling debut from Vanessa Barneveld crosses over from our world to the next, and brings a whole delightful new meaning to "teen spirit". It was a YA finalist in the 2014 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Awards and earned a Favourite Paranormal Romance nomination in the 2014 Australian Romance Readers Awards.
This is Your Afterlife first came to my attention because of its beautiful cover and the person behind it – our very own Jenny from Seedlings and Supernatural Snark. The cover reflects the book perfectly: it is upbeat, sweet and light. Just what the doctor ordered. If you’re looking for a comfort read, look no further. This book will make you laugh, swoon, and despite its title, it will leave you smiling ear to ear.
Keira’s former crush and her school’s football star shows up one day in her bedroom, but alas, he is no longer alive. Jimmy is Keira’s first ghost, but she isn’t surprised. Her recently deceased Grandma had the same gift. Keira and Jimmy have very little history between them, except in Keira’s imagination, but an easy friendship develops fairly quickly and Keira is determined to find Jimmy’s killer, regardless of the cost.
Unlike with Jimmy, she has far more history with his brother Dan. Jimmy may have been a safe infatuation, but Dan was the real deal – her best friend and confidant, until she hurt him terribly in eighth grade. Finding a way back from all the hurt isn’t easy, but it’s absolutely necessary if they’re to help Jimmy and send him safely to his real afterlife.
I liked Keira a lot, and I simply adored Jimmy and Dan. The mystery part of this book is very predictable, which leaves the three main characters in charge of keeping us happily reading nevertheless, and these three do their job beautifully. Spending time in their company was so heartwarming and pleasant, I truly didn’t want to leave them at all.
Stephanie Bentley narrated the story beautifully. Her voice sounds young, which is a definite advantage when you’re borrowing your voice to a 16-year-old. I’ve been known to abandon YA audiobooks because the narrators sounded too old, but with Bentley, that’s really not an issue. To make things even better, her voice characterization is fantastic. I’ve already checked out other books narrated by her on Audible and there are several I won’t hesitate to buy.
This is Your Afterlife is a perfect book for those days when you find yourself tired of angst and unnecessary drama and you just want to relax with a sweet, undemanding read. It is a book about second chances and forgiveness, and while it may be slightly predictable at times, even that can be oddly relaxing.
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