Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The Everafter-- Amy Huntley
So, I can't help it... I love all those afterlife type books. Maybe it's because we can never actually know what it will be like until it's too late to write a book about it... Anyway, Amy Huntley's The Everafter should have been right up my alley. Yet somehow I just couldn't go there with her.
Maddy doesn't know where she is or how she got there. All she knows is that she is floating in an outerspace-nothingness kind of place and there are random objects, like a baby rattle, a penny, a pinecone, etc floating near her. She starts calling the place IS because that's what it feels like, and is pretty sure that she's dead... but she doesn't know how she died. When Maddy touches the object nearest to her, her boyfriend's sweatshirt, she is immediately transported into a memory related to that object. She can relive the moment, even alter it a bit, and then eventually comes back to IS. Over time, Maddy figures out how to better maneuver in her new location of IS and even meets up with a few kindred souls... but basically, the whole plot of the novel is moved and detailed by these objects and Maddy's memories.
So in concept, I can see how this works... but in practice I think Huntley kindof fails. I do think it would have been fun to write a book based on memories and objects, but I think it's less fun to read it. I realize that I can be a pretty harsh book critic, and it takes a lot to wow me these days, but still, The Everafter felt flat to me. I would give this book to teen girls who liked A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb, If I Stay by Gayle Forman, or Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin, but all of those books are superior in plot and writing to this one (IMHO).
P.S. So here's a bit of randomness for ya: My ARC copy of this book has the title listed as just The After... but upon publishing, it seems this book is now called The Everafter. Which do you prefer?