Review Blog

May 29 2018

The afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

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HarperTeen, 2017. ISBN 9781460754283
(Ages 12+) Recommended. At midnight on Christmas Eve, Holly Chase, a rich, snobby 17 year old, is visited by three Christmas ghosts. She is warned that if she doesn't stop being horrible to everyone, she would face serious consequences. She doesn't listen to the ghosts and in a fateful twist, she dies. Her death does not follow the normal path though. She now works for a secret company, Project Scrooge. Something different is happening this coming Christmas for Holly, this year their new Scrooge will change Holly completely. Once I started, I couldn't put this book down. The characters resonated with me when I thought about the different way people treat each other and the lessons they learn from their impact on others. I really connected with some of the characters. Holly, snobbish as she may seem, is so much more than that underneath, a theme of human behaviour I'm sure many teenage girls will understand and relate to. She becomes more and more likeable as the book continues and I sympathised with her life story. Ethan Winters is an athletic heart throb, who has lots of money and is keen to make sure that everyone knows it. But as he meets and becomes closer with Holly, he begins to understand the important things in life and starts to see himself from a different perspective.
This book is about about second chances and shows the reader that shifting your point of view can often lead to a path you had never imagined. It is an entertaining and sometimes life affirming read for young people embarking on the lessons of life and love. Holly and Ethan's blooming relationship has you engaged and compelled to find out where it will go and if it will end. The settings are easy to imagine and very realistic. The plot thickens as the book goes on, with surprises at the end of every chapter, leaving you wanting to know more. This book is humorous yet emotional throughout. A memorable read that will leave the reader thinking about the importance of kindness in everything.
Mia Rice

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