Publishing Info: October 1, 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Source: BEA 2013
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 6, 2013
Related Posts: Shadowlands (Shadowlands #1)
Rory Miller thought her life was over when a serial killer set his sights on her and forced her into witness protection. But a fresh start on Juniper Landing Island was exactly what she and her family needed. For the first time in years she and her sister hang out at the beach, gossip about boys, and party together. She's also made friends with a local clique--including a magnetic and mysterious boy named Tristan.
But Rory's world is about to change again. Picturesque Juniper Landing isn't what it seems. The truth about the swirling fog that rolls in each morning, the bridge that leads to nowhere, and those beautiful locals who seem to watch Rory's every move is more terrifying than being hunted by Steven Nell. And all Rory ever wanted was the truth. Even if it means learning that she can never go home again. From the best-selling author of the Private and Privilege series comes the second novel in a heart-stopping trilogy about a girl who must pick up the pieces after the only life she's ever known ends.
** If you have not read the first book in this series, SHADOWLANDS, please be aware that there will be mild spoilers for book one ONLY! Otherwise, enjoy a spoiler-free review of HEREAFTER! **
Ever since SHADOWLANDS ended, I have been dying to find out what happens to Rory and the other kids of Juniper Landing. That ending was QUITE the surprise so I was so anxious to get my hands on HEREAFTER!
HEREAFTER was somehow a super quick read for me. I read it cover to cover on one Saturday morning with my coffee in hand. This is definitely a fast-paced book, full of action, suspense, and a whole lot of mystery! SHADOWLANDS ended with quite the paranormal twist so I was really glad that HEREAFTER spent the entire book exploring that reveal and what exactly Juniper Landing is. The more we get into the history and backstory of Juniper Landing and its residents, the more interesting and twisted the story became.
I was really glad that HEREAFTER spent a lot of time focused on Rory interacting with the residents of Juniper Landing. One of the things I was frustrated with that was left open ended at the end of SHADOWLANDS was the significance of the leather bracelets and we DO get an answer for that — which was also interesting! I actually felt like there should have been a little bit more to it than that, but I was happy with the explanation!
The paranormal elements of this book were cool. I loved the idea of what it meant to be a “Juniper Landing native/local” and what that really meant for Rory once they realized how special she was. I’m actually not sure why most of them were teens — I think we were just focused more on the teens than the adults? — so that’s something I was hoping would be a bit more explained, but that’s okay! I can roll with it. Even more so than the paranormal plot, I loved the elements of mystery and suspense. Kate Brian knows how to pack it in there and I definitely felt a certain level of paranoia towards characters — past and present — whether they were there or not, and whether they were good or evil. Even once the book ended, I still wasn’t quite sure where these characters’ loyalties lie. I just love when an author is able to create suspense and just by a few quick words here and there, the seed out doubt is planted into my mind and from then on, I don’t know who to trust. I was constantly changing my mind about who was on the right side and who was working against the group and it made for such a fantastically suspenseful story!
There is a romance that blossoms in this book and I’m not sure how I feel about it… But at times, I think that was also the point! Once again, the doubt was placed in my head and then I wasn’t sure who to trust anymore. I also liked how there was a sort of role reversal for select characters — an untrustworthy character becoming someone Rory relies on and a confident betraying her trust. It was so interesting to see those characters sort of switch places because she had pretty strong feelings about both!
The ending, once again, leaves me begging for the next book in the series because I have GOT to know what’s going on! Everything gets upended and just when you think things are normal and can’t be changed, they do. I love the suspense and drama that Kate Brian brings to these books as well as an interesting twist on the Juniper Landing crew. I’m definitely anxious for book three!
Rory // Character Obsessions: Protecting her family, training for her new responsibilities, Tristan, solving the mysteries of Juniper Landing.
I feel like Rory grew up between SHADOWLANDS and HEREAFTER. She was still a bit naïve towards romantic relationships but she is fiercely loyal to her family and would do anything to protect them. I also felt like she was a bit more of a go-getter in this book so I was really happy to see that!
Tristan // Character Obsessions: Show-running, Rory, flirting.
I always felt like Tristan was a little too… slimy. He was too good to be true! Naturally when Rory started this Tristan obsession a while back, I wasn’t too thrilled. Maybe it’s just because I don’t like that “golden boy/jock/Mr. Perfect” appeal, but hey. To each his own, right?
Kept Me Hooked On: Thrillers. This is a paranormal story but I love the suspense and how much it feels like a thriller. I just love being kept on my toes and not know what will happen next or who to trust!
Left Me Wanting More: Maturity. I was left wanting JUUUST a touch more. I think it was Rory’s naïve attitude toward Tristan and the boys of Juniper Landing and Darcy’s touches of jealousy BUT both of those things do help push the plot along and allow it to develop like it should. That’s just a personal thing and it just left me with the slightest disconnect with the characters.
HEREAFTER was a much-anticipated sequel for me and I was so happy with the answers I got and the new mysteries that were brought up! I loved the action and how quickly I was absorbed into the book. I finished it in one sitting because it was such a quick read for me and I didn’t want to put it down!
BOOKS LIKE HEREAFTER
(Click the cover to see my review!)