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I Belong

Review: Arise by Tara Hudson

Title: Arise

Author: Tara Hudson

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Hereafter (Book 2)

Publication Date: June 5, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 404 Pages

ISBN-10: 0007437285 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0007437283 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Emmy


Neither truly alive nor fully dead, Amelia must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia dematerializing. Desperate for answers, they seek out Joshua’s Seer relatives in New Orleans, but the search only leads to more questions. Just when she’s starting to lose all hope, Amelia meets Gabrielle. Against overwhelming odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life…a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price.

Trapped between life and death with an impossible choice to make, the ghostly Amelia must fight for true love in this captivating, romantic sequel to Tara Hudson’s breakout debut Hereafter.

Quick & Dirty: While dealing with the problems of a paranormal relationship, Arise has higher stakes than Hereafter did and uses Amelia’s nature to build more acute tension.

Opening Sentence:  The entire world had gone dark, and I had no idea why.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I don’t want to call the person who wrote the synopsis a liar…but I’m about to. Everything the synopsis describes happens, but totally not the way they’re making it sound. I don’t know why, either, since the book is way more interesting than the synopsis makes it sound. For one thing, they don’t go seeking out Joshua’s Seer relations. Amelia finds out the netherworld still wants her — desperately enough to take her by force if it has to. Nightmares Amelia shouldn’t even be able to have are creepy warnings, but she doesn’t know what of. All she can do is try to protect her loved ones — her mom, Joshua, anyone the demons of the netherworld could hurt to force Amelia’s hand.

The Mayhews go down to New Orleans for Christmas and Amelia tags along, needing to get as far away from High Bridge as she can. During their stay Joshua, Jillian and Amelia meet some Seer-cousins who haven’t had their events yet. They can’t see Amelia, but with the help of Alexander Etienne, they’ve learned how to hear her. They accept Amelia and Joshua easily, eager to learn more about their powers and see the dead. Alexander doesn’t want to exorcise Amelia, like Ruth and her cronies did, which makes for a change. He’s charming and smart.

It’s Joshua’s Christmas present that really gets the ball rolling as far as the plot goes. A little voodoo goes a long way with ghosts. Joshua’s present does more than change Amelia’s afterlife — it has massive consequences on their relationship. Gaby teaches Amelia the rules of her new afterlife, but the danger she escaped in High Bridge has followed her to New Orleans.

There are a lot of new characters in Arise that come with the new setting. Hudson does a great job of tossing in bits of setting here and there to set the atmosphere, but every new character required an explanation of their backstory. For the most part, the pacing was fine despite these large blocks of exposition — and most of it comes back around later to be relevant to the plot. The plot of Arise is very different from Hereafter because it’s the motivation for the entire story. With Hereafter, the plot seemed much more secondary to Joshua and Amelia getting to know each other. Not the case with Arise. Tension and angst follow Amelia through the whole book, which makes it a page-turning read. Arise isn’t a “middle book” like you see in many series, but in my opinion where the series’ overarching plot really takes off. Since Hereafter and Arise were very different books, I can’t wait to read Elegy and see what Hudson has in store for us.

Notable Scene:

“Yeah, I had to celebrate No-Shave November.”

And now you’re celebrating…what? Don’t-Get-Any-Play December?”

“Dude,” O’Reilly protested, “like you have any room to talk. You haven’t had a girlfriend in, like, forever.”

Joshua’s eyes met mine for just a second. Then he looked back at the fire. “Whatever, Grizzly Adams. You look like a bear died on your face.”

O’Reilly boomed out a deep guffaw and, before he had time to remember how distant they’d been, punched Joshua roughly on the shoulder. Joshua laughed, too, the sound gusting out of him like a sigh of relief.

Boys, I thought, shaking my head. An insult and a punch and all is forgiven.

Then I grinned broadly, feeling no small amount of relief myself when they began to talk as if the past few months hadn’t even happened. Maybe, if the two of them kept this up, I wouldn’t have to worry about Joshua getting lonely.

Because you are going to leave him, aren’t you?

Hereafter Series:

1. Hereafter

2. Arise

3. Elegy

FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Arise. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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