Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hereafter by Kate Brian

Summary (From Goodreads):
Rory Miller thought her life was over when a serial killer set his sights on her and forced her into witness protection. But a fresh start on Juniper Landing Island was exactly what she and her family needed. For the first time in years she and her sister hang out at the beach, gossip about boys, and party together. She's also made friends with a local clique--including a magnetic and mysterious boy named Tristan.
But Rory's world is about to change again. Picturesque Juniper Landing isn't what it seems. The truth about the swirling fog that rolls in each morning, the bridge that leads to nowhere, and those beautiful locals who seem to watch Rory's every move is more terrifying than being hunted by Steven Nell. And all Rory ever wanted was the truth. Even if it means learning that she can never go home again. From the best-selling author of the Private and Privilege series comes the second novel in a heart-stopping trilogy about a girl who must pick up the pieces after the only life she's ever known ends.
So, Book 1 had one of those, “What??!!” type of endings. It wasn’t my favorite book in the world, but I was so thankful for the ARC of book 2 that I acquired (signed) at BEA because before even writing my review for book 1, I had gotten through most of book 2. I seriously put down the first book, and then went and found the second.
Please stop reading if you have not read book 1. It’s just two hard to review book 2 without talking about book 1. This book is all about Rory learning what it’s like to be a “lifer” on the island. She learns about the other lifers (and their various years of existence). She learns about her job helping people pass over. There’s a process that involves coins, connections, and seeing images of people’s past lives.
Too bad for Rory, the two people she first receives coins for are: her best friend on the island and then her father. Not to mention that there is a lot of weird, creepy stuff happening to add to the already weird, creepy island. For starters, things are changing. People are getting sick, there’s bugs, there’s dying plants, there’s a lot more people going to the shadowlands (“hell”) then ever before. When Rory sends her best friend on the island to the shadowlands, she knows something is seriously wrong. He’s the sweetest guy ever. It just doesn’t make sense.
It soon becomes clear that there is no way Rory will help her dad cross over because she is taking no chances in him going to the wrong place. She also can’t tell anyone in her family about where they are and what she does, etc. because that would give them a quick, one-way pass to the shadowlands as well.
This book maintains all the creepy suspense of book 1. There’s no serial killer after Rory any more, but there is all the weird stuff happening on the island. And instead of all the awesome, random interspersed chapters from the serial killer’s point of view, we have random interspersed chapters from the point of view of the person who’s responsible for tearing up the island. And it’s so fun and mysterious to not know whose thinking the horrible things here. The other book was clearly about the killer. You don’t know who’s messing stuff up here (who is the evil character) until the end. And it’s so much fun making guesses.
I loved all the teen drama in this book. The big issue between the two sisters is actually addressed. There’s all the fun parties, bar scenes, and crushes that book 1 had. But there’s also more couples, more sisters-getting-along-moments, and more questions answered. I was so intrigued by the society of lifers and all their crazy traditions. I want to know more about the mayor.
And again, I loved the ending! This time, I guessed the big twist so it wasn’t as much of a shock. However, book 3 is looking to be more and more a rescue story and a story of revenge. And man, do I love those stories! All in all, this book had an interesting storyline that I have not really seen before (at least in this context), believable characters, a lot of drama, and just the right amount of suspense. Brian seriously gets props for keeping the suspense thing going for so long (even after the serial killer is gone). I liked it more than the first book, and I have a feeling I’ll like the third book the most. Some of the boy stuff/romance/love triangle things seemed a little forced, and a little cliché. And neither book was quite as romance heavy as I thought they would be, which is a good thing. I just feel like the romance that is in them could use a bit of work. This gets a 8/10.

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