The Everafter by Amy Huntley

I'm dead.

Not my-parents-told-me-to-be-home-by-twelve-and-it's-two-o'clock-now dead. Just dead. Literally.

I think.

I can't feel a body anymore. No hunger--not even a stomach. No fingers to wiggle, no feet to tap.

So I pretty much have to assume that I'm. . .gone?

No. I can't be gone because I'm here.

I won't say that I've "passed on" or "passed away." I don't remember passing anything on the way here. For that matter, I don't remember dying, either. There's some saying about people "dying of curiosity." But I'm just curious about how I died.


So begins The Everafter by Amy Huntley (2009), a fantastic YA read that I found through Violet Crush's blog review.

Shortly after the start of the book, we learn that our heroine is Maddie, and, as we later learn, she was only seventeen when she died. Part of the beauty of the book is the way that everything unfolds slowly, piece-by-piece, and we learn about Maddie as she learns about herself--about who and what was important in her life through key memories that she gets to re-experience.

How does she get to re-experience these important moments in her life? She's surrounded in this "after" location by items she lost while still alive. Each lost item is connected to something important in her, and she has the opportunity to reconnect with both the items and the moments.

I can't say enough about how interesting I find Huntley's conceptualization of death and what comes "after." Maddie is easy to identify with, too, which helps in the sense of plausibility for the storyline.

As someone who struggles with questions related to death, dying, and grief, I didn't expect to enjoy this book so much. I thought I might be bothered by the subject matter, but that wasn't the case at all. Maybe that's in part because Maddie's life had meaning, as she learns right along with the reader, in a normal sort of way that all of our lives have meaning.

My overall personal rating of The Everafter is a B+.

Comments

Violet said…
I really like your review, one of the things that I liked was also how everything unfolds slowly, how Maddie goes from an annoying teenager to someone I could identify with :)

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