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The Everafter Hardcover – September 29, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up—Seventeen-year-old Madison Stanton is dead. When she awakes in a vast expanse of nothingness, she realizes that she doesn't remember her past life, much less how she died. As she explores her surroundings, she finds glowing items scattered about her, such as a bracelet, a pair of socks, keys, and a sweatshirt. When she imagines putting the shirt on her nonexistent body, she's brought back to a moment in her former life. From this experience she learns that every object around her is something that she lost while she was alive, and that using it will bring her spirit back to the moment in which it went missing. Armed with this knowledge, she attempts to discover how she died. With some help from the spirits of her boyfriend Gabe and her ex-friend Tammy, Madison learns the shattering truth of her demise. This fresh take on a teen's journey of self-exploration is a compelling and highly enjoyable tale. Huntley expertly combines a coming-of-age story with a supernatural mystery that keeps readers engrossed until the climactic ending. This touching story will appeal to those looking for a ghost story, romance, or family drama.—Laura Amos, Newport News Public Library, VA
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“In The Everafter, Maddy relives moments from her life which broke her heart, made her laugh uncontrollably, and forced her to grow. Amy Huntley’s book will do the same for you.” (Jay Asher, author of the New York Times bestseller Thirteen Reasons Why)
“A mystery about life’s greatest mysteries, a love story that transcends death, a ghost story with real substance, and an altogether fascinating novel about the redemptive possibilities in lost things.” (Gabrielle Zevin, author of ELSEWHERE)
“Stories about dead teens used to be mainly weepers about beautiful young girls with tragic diseases. Now along with vampires and zombies there are explorations of just what life after death might look like...Huntley’s take on the topic is cleverly constructed and compelling....Intriguing and thought-provoking.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Huntley is an author worth watching.” (Publishers Weekly)
[The Everafter is] a book that will stick with readers, making them think no only about Maddy but also about the nature of life and death, time, possessions, and the interactions with both people and things that make us, us. (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (starred review))
This fresh take on a teen’s journey of self-exploration is a compelling and highly enjoyable tale. Huntley expertly combines a coming-of-age story with a supernatural mystery that keeps readers engrossed until the climactic ending. (School Library Journal)
Top customer reviews
The mystery of this story was interesting and kept my attention, but what will stay with me far longer is the way the author described mundane events to highlight how truly precious they are. Though I did not experience the same events Madison experienced in her life, I have experienced the same emotions: the feeling of comfort when your mother comes and makes everything right again, the feeling of jealousy raw and frustrating, the joy of unrestrained friendship, the mixed anger and sadness at the falling out with a good friend. All of these little emotions were perfectly described and made both Madison and my own memories come alive. The epilogue was bittersweet and a perfect way to close the story.
Another interesting point was how the author managed to create a fully realized character at not just one stage of her life, but from young childhood through age 17. Madison's child-self that we see in her object flashbacks was as fully rendered as her 17-year-old self. Further, these stages mesh logically to create a believable history and progression of a person. A notable achievement.
I highly recommend this book, especially to readers who enjoyed Thirteen Reasons Why. Just be prepared with a box of tissues.
Death is something that has always fascinated me, I mean where do you go after you die? Huntley's perspective was really interesting and Maddy's sister, Kristen, brought up some really great points about death itself. The writing style of this book might not be for everything, but if at first it seems confusing, KEEP READING! It's completely worth it. In addition, I really loved the cover, it just went so perfectly with the book I couldn't imagine it having a different one. Covers with bright color contrasts always draw me to them. Like the stark red apple on the black cover of Twilight, this luminous, white flower really pops against the deep purple background. I highly recommend you go get a copy of The Everafter, it's amazing and Maddy's story will stick in my mind for a long time.
Overall: 49/50 = 98%