Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Book Review: Arise by Tara Hudson

SUMMARY: 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.


Without really wasting time recapping events from Hereafter, yet also easing readers back into Amelia’s story, Arise is a well done follow up to an already awesome series. With some big plot twists, and an overall storyline that is original and beautifully developed, this book delves further not only into Amelia’s afterlife but pulls in other ghosts as well. Using some known concepts yet twisting them to be something unique and her own, Arise is creative and alluring.

I love Amelia, from the still behind the times way she sees the world to her fascinating with things. She is a fantastic protagonist, someone who is a bit pessimistic yet also hopeful to the important things. The way she feels towards Joshua has a certain poignancy to it, and there is a breathtaking realism despite the whole she’s a ghost and he’s a human thing. Add in the hot kisses these two share, and the soft looks that say so much, and the romance in this one is a great driving point for things without being the only focus.

My only gripe about this one is how conveniently oblivious Joshua’s parents seemed, at times making me feel as though they didn’t notice things for ease rather than because they truly are that unaware. Still, they are an active part of Joshua’s life and far from absent. Adding to this is one specific thing at the very end of the novel, things readers will question and wonder, that was, in my opinion, blatantly left out simply to leave something lingering for the next book. This didn’t sit quite right with me, mostly because I just couldn’t totally believe the pair wouldn’t at least try to see if things were different. Apart from these two small things, Arise is a stunning book that had me gripped and unable to stop reading.

This installment takes place mostly in New Orleans, and Hudson does a fabulous job bringing it to life. From the descriptions of the buildings to the beignets and The French Quarter, the richest parts of New Orleans are woven easily throughout the book. With only a few things that are predictable, Hudson’s tale is imaginative and twisting, leaving readers hoping for the best but at times fearing the worst. Rounding out the big parts of this plot, but leaving hints of what is to come in the next book, Arise propels this series forward in a great way and leaves the characters changed for the better.

Source: ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review 
Reading level: Ages 13 and up 
Hardcover: 416 pages 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 5, 2012

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