Paranormal Young Adult
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (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.
MY THOUGHTSArise is a strong sequel to last year’s Hereafter, Amelia’s ghostly existence increasing exponentially in complications as she tries desperately to make a life out of death. Ms. Hudson avoids many of the familiar second-book elements, giving us plenty of tension without the frustrating addition of a love triangle while creating a series of realistic (for a ghost story) relationship roadblocks for our main couple. Arise is everything we could hope for in a second installment—the connection between Amelia and Joshua characterized both by sweet moments that satisfy our inner romantic as well as painful realizations that wipe the dopey grin off our faces and fulfill our somewhat twisted desire for drama.
Our resident ghostly heroine is as enjoyable as ever in her second appearance, inherently curious about the eccentricities of her afterlife, but not so curious as to run unthinkingly into danger without pausing to look at the situation from all sides. As much as she wants to stay with Joshua and continue their strange and beautiful relationship, she understands the limitations her existence places on the two of them more than the overly optimistic Joshua does, and while she acknowledges the selfish desire to ignore those limitations and revel in the bliss of her ignorance, she proves to us she’s made of stronger stuff than we might have expected and makes some difficult personal decisions.
In Hereafter, it was fairly easy to get caught up in the romance blossoming between Amelia and Joshua–the fact that she’s a ghost overshadowed by the fulfillment we got in watching her find a companion and confidante in him–and we basked in warmth as Joshua chipped away at her loneliness until it was nothing but dust at her spectral feet. In this book though, the complications of her being dead are a more central focus, and we can’t help but appreciate the way Ms. Hudson addresses the questions we've been asking ourselves given our hero is in love with a girl who will never age, who he can never introduce to his family, and who he can never even speak to in public without a passerby raising a questioning brow. Arise introduces us to solutions to a couple problems while causing a myriad of new ones, keeping us on our toes the entire time we read as we attempt to anticipate what intriguing curveball will be hurled our way next.
Overall, Arise doesn’t tease us with filler content or tap dance around major issues as we’re set up for the next book, instead progressing Amelia and Joshua’s relationship in interesting ways while thickening the plotline surrounding the netherworld and Amelia’s unusual connection to it. The conclusion is completely satisfying with events wrapped up nicely but without the perfect bow, and we eagerly look forward to seeing what’s in store for Amelia and Joshua after their time in New Orleans.