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.
Before I begin reviewing the book, I just wanna ask, "How gorgeous is this cover?!" I mean seriously, it is perhaps my favorite cover ever, even if it is a creepy gaveyard.
Now, I have been DYING to get my hands on this book, which is the second book in Tara Hudson's Hereafter series, the first book being Hereafter, of course. This is one of my favorite series as of this moment. It's one of the few that doesn't have a female protagonist that drives me insane *cough* Clary from the Immortal Instruments *cough*. That was not-so-subtle example of one lead female who I cannot stand. But Clary is a whole other story; you can read my review expressing my dislike of her in the City of Lost Souls here
But back to Arise. If the cover wasn't amazing enough, the story itself would make up for it. Naturally, I have read a few ghostly love stories but never has one captured my interest for throughout the whole book. Normally I get bored along the way, but Tara Hudson tells Amelia's story in such a way that I had trouble putting this book down. The writing had perfect flow, and obviously, I never came across a dull moment in the book.
As for the plot itself, I was in awe. It's pretty freakin' amazing if I do say so myself. There were so many different twists and turns, all just adding to the suspense and intensity of the dire situation Amelia is faced with. Not only is Amelia on the run from psycho ghosts and other frightening creatures, she is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: should she finally move on and let Joshua live a normal, ghostless life where he is safe from harm, or risk him and everyone else she cares for because of her own selfish wants? I honestly did not want the couple to break up, but of course, the only rational decision would be to do whatever it took to keep Joshua safe.
In this installment, we get introduced to many new faces and also a new setting, for the majority of the book takes place in New Orleans where Joshua's family is meeting for the holidays. This seemed like an excellment setting for the story since New Orleans is so rich with history and ghost stories. In New Orleans, you meet some of Josh's family (aunts, cousins, etc) and also Gabby and her brother. Now, I won't go into too much detail with these characters because if I did, I might be giving away spoilers, and I don't want to ruin the book for anybody. I will say that at first, I didn't like Gaby; I didn't think she could be trusted, but in the end, I really liked her.
I cannot wait for Hudson's next installment which I hope will be just as good as the first two. I would recommend this series to anyone who loves a good ghost story or star-crossed lovers. It's full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end. This book deservedly received 5 out of 5 stars (well...butterflies actually ;)) from me.