Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: Arise

Tara Hudson
Paranormal Young Adult
404 pages
HarperTeen
Available Now
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 THOUGHTS
Arise 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.

Rating: 4/5

25 comments:

  1. Hereafter wasn't one of my favorite books last year. I liked it, but somehow I didn't fully fell in love with the story! So I wasn't actually planning on reading this one, but ... you liked it and this should be enough for me to give it a second chance !

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  2. I didn't read your review, because I haven't read the first book yet. Another book on the long, long list of "should" reads. Hopefully soon. Although I think Hourglass will be first because I got Timepiece at BEA.

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  3. i really love Hereafter and definitely gonna read this!

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  4. I really loved Hereafter. Amelia and Joshua are so cute together. I look forward to reading more about them in Arise (hope to get my hands on this asap.) Looking forward to the author tackling these complications, too. Great review!

    Precious
    Fragments of Life

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  5. I love that the author addresses the issues/questions that the reader may have had after book 1. It is one of the reasons I love series--you have to have faith that they will get to your questions eventually :)

    Great Review!

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  6. Danny - If you weren't loving the first one, this one may not be for you. I really enjoy this series, though I do hope we get more info on the netherworld in the next book:)

    Alison - No spoilers in there, I promise. I still need to read Hourglass as well!

    Reviews - Yay!

    Precious - I loved it as well, and I thought this was a strong second book. Typically second books flop for me, but this one was great:)

    Felicia - Yes. Exactly. It's why I love series too:)

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  7. I haven't read the first one, but it does sound like a good read. I really like when we don't have too much filler or backstory when starting the next book in a series.

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  8. This sounds like the perfect second book in a series, I hate it when were given second series books which go nowhere, I'm glad it's left you wanting more from the next installment! Great review Jenny! :)

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  9. Jennifer - Me too, and this one did a great job answering some questions and then creating new ones:)

    Jasprit - Exactly! This one moved things forward nicely I thought:)

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  10. I agree this was a stronger book in my opinion. I was glad that many of the issues I was struggling with were addressed. The Risen concept was in interesting twist as well. Yes, I also agree with you that this is a nice sweet romance without a love triangle.

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  11. Lovely review! I enjoyed Hereafter quite a bit so look forward to starting Arise soon. I'm glad there is genuine progress in this book and it's not just a filler as a lot of second books in series tend to be. I'm glad you liked it, Jenny!

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  12. I LOVE this review for Arise! I really did like this sequel and really did like that nobody else came in to try to vie for Amelia's attention (or Joshua's) Just the two of them, no intruders, for their romance. :)

    Great review! Can't wait for book three.

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  13. I do not know..she is a ghost..sort of. That just makes it, well I just do not see happy endings in ghost stories, and if there are then it's silly.

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  14. I love that this one wasn't just a filler novel! YAY! I was worried about that. I liked the first and now will have to read this one to see what happens. I'm so glad this one is a good compliment to the first.

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  15. Heidi - I know this isn't your favorite series:) I enjoyed the Risen aspect too, it will be interesting to see where that goes!

    Sam - Yay! Can't wait to see what you think:)

    Ashelynn - Me too! I was so glad we were love triangle free! It's a rarity these days:)

    Linda - I like how the ghost aspect is handled, I'm curious to see how she's going to handle things moving forward:)

    Melissa - I thought it was a great second book, lots of interesting things happened and kept the plot moving.

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  16. I can only imagine the trouble it would cause to date a girl who won't age, who you can't intro to your family or friends...that seems like a love that's destined to end in heartache. But I like that the author doesn't shy away from continuing with this storyline.

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  17. Jenny, I'm so glad you like this too. I thought it was a great second installment. We didn't just get filler and frustration but forward movement in plot. Brilliant review! I can't wait to see what happens to Joshua and Amelia. :)

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  18. So glad to hear that this is a strong second book. I still have the bad taste of a couple in my mouth and I want this one to rock when I (finally) get to it!

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  19. Hrm..I'm still on the fence about this one. I do like a ghost story and a cute couple battling against their odds to root for, but the description isn't catching my eye. Since you gave it a 4, I'll put it on my maybe list and try it later. Awesome review per usual, Jenny. :)

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  20. Mary - Right? I really like that she's approaching all their issues head-on and we just get to kind of sit back and watch what happens:)

    Rachel - Yay! So glad you felt the same way, I'm definitely excited to see where things go from here.

    Bookworm - Second books have definitely been problematic for me in the past, but this one didn't suffer any of the problems some of the others did for me.

    Rummanah - If you do try it, definitely read book 1 first or you'll be a little lost:) I really enjoy this series!

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  21. I definitely thought this was a strong sequel as well without any filler content. I liked that the whole dead ghost thing was approached more. I cant wait for the next book!

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  22. The cover alone makes me want to try this series! The concept just seems very original. I'm putting it on my wishlist.

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  23. Ugh! I just can't keep up with all these books! Another series where I still haven't read book one. I such a loser. LOL

    But yes, that romance does sound complicated. Curious what the solutions are.

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  24. This book had a lot of insecurities in it. Sometimes I wanted to just scream. Loved the review.

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  25. Tara Hudson has written another fabulous YA paranormal romance that had me held in thrall, and glued to the pages!
    I highly recommend this book if you love YA, or if you are looking for a fantastic paranormal romance that will sweep you off your feet! If you haven't read Hereafter, I sincerely hope that you will do so, and soon, because this is a fantastic series!

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