Hereafter by Terri Bruce

Jesus, she couldn't do anything right! Who would have thought being dead was so hard? 

Title - Hereafter
Author - Terri Bruce 
Publication Date - January 9th 2014
Publisher - Mictlan Press 
Format - Kindle Edition 
Pages - 369

The blurb

Why let a little thing like dying get in the way of a good time? 

Thirty-six-year-old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that's exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night of bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on Earth as a ghost, where the food has no taste, the alcohol doesn't get you drunk, and the sex... well, let's just say "don't bother." To make matters worse, the only person who can see her - courtesy of a book he found in his school library - is a fourteen-year-old boy genius obsessed with the afterlife. 

Unfortunately, what waits in the Great Beyond isn't much better. Stuck between the boring life of a ghost in this world and the terrifying prospect of of three-headed hell hounds, final judgement, and eternal torment in the next, Irene sets out to find a third option - preferably one that involves not being dead anymore. Can she wipe the slate clean and get a second chance before it's too late?  

Becca's thoughts

Hereafter by Terri Bruce was a brilliant and epic thought-provoking read that has filled my mind with crazy, crazy thoughts about the afterlife. The imagination and ideas behind this story have set my curiosity alight and I'm suddenly consumed with thoughts about what happens when we leave this world. 

Irene Dunphy is Terri Bruce's main character in Hereafter and for the entirety of the story, my mouth was hanging slightly open in awe of the ideas that were written across the screen of my kindle. Irene hops into her vehicle one night after drinking with her girlfriends and decides, stupidly, to drive herself home with a whoozy head. Ultimately, Irene dies when her swerving car heads into a lake and she drowns. When Irene wakes up, she is no longer alive - she is dead, but still present on earth. I have to say, it has been a while since I have read a story in third person; most books that I read these days are in first person and either written from just one point of view or sometimes two. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed this traditional way of story-telling, and with the genre/circumstances of the plot, it worked together just perfectly. I absolutely adored Terri Bruce's ideas and how they came to life as Irene opened her eyes to the world but from a ghost's point of view. For instance, the fact that Irene can open doors and move things around, and the fact that she can still drive her vehicle and living humans will stop just behind her even though they can't actually see her. It was all truly fascinating, and it had me thinking, what if the afterlife was really like this? One part that I particularly LOVED was when Irene is choosing a table to sit down at, and living humans are doing the same thing. Irene choose a table, and some humans go to sit down too, but for no reason they decide "Nah" and head off to find a different table. And do you know what? It's so true! Has there ever been a time where you've gone to sit down somewhere but changed your mind for no apparent reason? I have a few times. Maybe there's somebody already occupying the that particular table but you just can't see them. Food for though, eh? ;) The whole of Hereafter is filled with absurd notions, but absurd notions that when you sit down and think properly about them, actually make sense. The whole idea intrigued me and once I really got into it, I just couldn't stop reading. 

Jonah is another of Terri Bruce's characters in Hereafter. I found Jonah to be very interesting, rather strange and incredibly clever. Jonah is obsessed with all things to do with the dead, and after finding a mysterious looking book in his school library one day, he is able to pass over to the land of the dead and converse with them. Fate brings Jonah and Irene together, and thankfully, due to all of the knowledge that he holds about that particular subject, he acts as a sort of side-kick to Irene. Jonah is only fourteen years old, but his intelligence contrasts greatly with his young age. I adored him. Throughout many parts of the story, I did think that he had a little crush on Irene, despite her love for Vodka and rather sharp temper that flared now and again. He was adorable with his cheeky grin, boyish looks and tendency to blush, but pushing all that aside, Irene began to grow fond of him and they actually became sorta' like best friends. 

I do think that this story will provoke a whole lot of thoughts about what awaits us on the other side. As I said before, so much of it came from Terri Bruce's imagination yet managed, somehow, to make sense. It was weird, strange yet completely enticing and I lapped up each and every word that the author wrote. The story itself went a little slow at one point, but once I had passed that part, it began to grow wild and I absolutely loved it. It was a pure roller-coaster of madness and it all so surreal, but tantalized my mind in so many ways. The characters were brilliant. As well as Irene and Jonah, there were many others that added to this crazy, delusional world and made it all the more enjoyable. Being alongside Irene as she discovered this new world, full of weird and wonderful ideas, was such an adventure and it's opened my mind to all sorts of crazy, crazy ideas. 

I am so happy that I requested Hereafter by Terri Bruce on Net Galley because so much imagination has gone into it, it should be illegal to not read something like this and open your mind to all of the impossible that could maybe be possible. It was completely out of my usual genre of chick-lit, but its books like this that make me incredibly happy to take my chances. I enjoyed it immeasurably. and I'm way beyond excited for book no.2! Bring it on! 

Becca's Books will be rating Hereafter by Terri Bruce with a stunning 5/5 rating! Completely and utterly worthy. I loved it! 

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