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Radiance: A Riley Bloom Book Paperback – August 31, 2010
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Riley has crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. She has picked up life where she left off when she was alive, living with her parents and dog in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. When she’s summoned before The Council, she learns that the afterlife isn’t just an eternity of leisure. She’s been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a possibly cute, seemingly nerdy boy who’s definitely hiding something. They return to earth together for Riley’s first assignment, a Radiant Boy who’s been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But all of that was before he met Riley . . .
Amazon Exclusive: Alyson Noël on Radiance
When Jean Feiwel, Publishers of Feiwel & Friends and Square Fish, approached me to write a spin-off series starring Ever’s little ghostly sister, Riley, I jumped at the chance. I’d had so much fun creating her character in Evermore that she ended up getting a much bigger part than I’d originally planned. She just kept showing up—usually dressed in some kind of kooky costume and wig—and by the end of the book I was saddened when it was time for her to move on. Though, I have to admit, as excited as I was to get started, I was also a little nervous about writing a twelve-year-old, as all of my previous protagonists have been fifteen and up. But once I realized I didn’t have to write a twelve-year-old per se (since no two are alike!), that I was only writing Riley, a character I’d already grown to know and love, the story took off from there. Picking up right where we left her in Evermore—on the other side of the bridge, firmly ensconced in a place called the Here & Now, and surprised to learn that it’s not exactly the eternity of harp lessons and cloud lounging she’d envisioned. She’s got a job as a Soul Catcher, a guide named Bodhi who is as nerdy as he is intriguing, and a pretty terrifying first assignment she’s not entirely sure she can handle. . . Writing Radiance was the most fun I’ve ever had writing.
Amazon Exclusive: Jean Feiwel, Publisher of Feiwel & Friends and Square Fish, on Radiance
As a publisher, I read a lot. So I’m always on the lookout for a book that has an author’s special voice, a memorable story, an irresistible character. When I first read Alyson Noël’s Immortals series (which at that time was only Evermore and Blue Moon), I loved Ever and Damen, but I really fell for Ever’s younger sister, Riley. Here was a character who was a real scene-stealer: sassy, true, real (and yes, well, dead). I wanted to know more about Riley. I approached Alyson through her Immortals editor and agent, so as to be respectful of her writing schedule and prior publishing commitments. She was enthusiastic and gracious, and the editing process has been fun (!) and gratifying. Alyson is a rare person: a dedicated and talented writer, and a caring and spiritual person. I’m so lucky to have Radiance on our Square Fish list and to have Alyson Noël in my life.
From School Library Journal
Gr 5-8–Riley Bloom, 12, has crossed the bridge to "Here," the afterlife, leaving behind her teenage sister, Ever, in the Earth plane. In Here, the time is always Now, and Riley can manifest anything she wants by just imagining it. She is forced to take an honest look at her past life, find her new place, and learn her purpose. Bodhi, a "dorky guy," has been assigned as her guide to teach her everything she needs to reach the next level. Her yellow Lab will travel with her. She is assigned the duty of Soul Catcher and is responsible for making Earth-bound souls move on and cross the bridge to Here. Her first subject is Radiant Boy, a 10-year-old who has been haunting an English castle for years. Other Soul Catchers have tried and failed, but now it's time for Bodhi and Riley to help him. This new series is by the author of The Immortals (St Martin's Griffin, 2010), where readers first meet Ever and Riley. Narrating in a contemporary voice with an honest and comfortable cadence, Riley is imperfect, but always likable as she sweeps readers to her faraway land where she makes herself and readers assess their behaviors and, quite possibly, make adjustments. In the midst of this wildly fanciful setting, Noël is able to capture with nail-on-the-head accuracy common worries and concerns of today's tweens.Helen Foster James, University of California at San Diego
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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That being said, the story had some merit. I find Riley's new otherworldly job as a Soul Catcher very interesting. To me, she is a therapists of sorts, as she provides much needed counseling to these spirits that are stuck in Limbo. Riley's first case was quite difficult. However, she shows courage and perseverance (and possibly stubbornness) throughout her trials and tribulations.
I adored Buttercup, Riley's yellow lab. I was happy that Riley had a companion in the Here & Now. There is a scene where he learns to use one of his newly attained abilities as a spirit, and I smile through it all. It was an adorable moment. There was also a very interesting scene with a dead mother who was literally stuck in her own personal hell, full of grief and despair. Riley was sucked into the world through her eyes and it was quite eerie and heartbreaking.
All in all, I think this book is a great paranormal starter for younger kids!
she is mature enough to read this, although she lost he grandfather and her uncle.
I don't want to mislead you with my rating. I didn't rate it a 2 out of 5 because it sucked. It didn't suck. I just don't feel that it was something that really fit my interests and I don't think I'll be re-reading it any time soon. With that said, I am curious to know what Riley's next adventure is but I won't be rushing to find out what it is like I did with this one.
In Radiance, Riley is still interesting. She still has an attitude and she still has that spunk she had in Evermore, but I think the reason why I liked her so much in Evermore was because of her relationship with Ever. Being the nosey, annoying, caring younger sister. If you take out Ever... you just have Riley, who's scared and confused and is just trying to understand her place in the afterlife.
I found Riley's task to be a little... unbelievable. She pretty much breezed through it. I was really intrigued by Bodhi's task more than I was with Riley's. It also baffled me how close both of their tasks were to each other and had no idea. I guess that's one of the upsides to not knowing what happens in the afterlife, all the different things people come up with! I kinda liked Bodhi, he seemed like an interesting person. Kinda wish I knew more about him. I thought it was cute that Riley got to keep Buttercup, I think he's helping her cope with her afterlife... life. Wow, that sounded weird lol.
I probably should also add that while this is under young adult, it felt more like a middle grade read than a young adult one! If you were a fan of Riley in Evermore, do I do suggest reading this, if you have any interest in what Riley is up to after she had to leave Ever behind.
The author starts off by explaining what Riley is experiencing after she had crossed the bridge to meet her parents and dog. From there the author takes you on a journey of discovery. Allowing you as the reader to see what the heavens look and feel like from Riley's point of view.
Not wanting to say much more because there is many more twists and turns in the book I would recommend it for teens and adults. I think that although it is not a super long book the material is well written and worth reading.