Published by HarperTeen on October 24, 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romantic, Young Adult
Sexual Content: Kissing
Reviewed by: Kate
On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she'd become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.
And then she died.
Now she's stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge--as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.
Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly's afterlife has been miserable.
But this year, everything is about to change. . . .
THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE is one of those books that has me stumped. It was one of those that while I enjoyed myself while I was reading it, I didn't absolutely love it, and I'm almost at a loss as to what to say about it in a review. Almost.
The premise of THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE is kind of a retelling of THE CHRISTMAS CAROL by Dickens. Since everybody knows the basic premise of that story, you'll kind of know what's going on in this book. Holly, our titular main character, dies after being a Scrooge one year (and being shown the error of her ways), and ends up becoming the Ghost of Christmas Past. There's a lot going on in the premise that isn't explained well, or doesn't make a ton of sense, such as the powers the different ghosts have, the fact that Holly is a perpetual seventeen year old leading a team of people in a (somewhat) professional setting, and how is it there are real live people working at a company with ghosts?
THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE touches on interesting questions, asking things like whether one event can change the course of a person's life or how much influence people have in the direction our lives take. And, can people change at all? Thinking about these questions in the context of the characters was the best part for me, and what I enjoyed the most after I had finished the book.
The ending was what surprised me the most - it took a direction I was not expecting. It's one of those endings that turns your brain inside out a bit trying to figure it out, and that was a little frustrating to me. I was left with a lot of "how" and "why" feelings after I closed the book.
Overall, THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE is a creative take on a commonly told story. A perfectly fine option if you're looking for a Christmas-y paranormal read, this is definitely a book that is best read around the holidays, when you're most open to believing in a little bit of magic.Series Titles: