Wednesday, December 6, 2017
The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand book thoughts
Title: The Afterlife of Holly Chase
Author: Cynthia Hand
Published Date: October 24th, 2017
Source: Won ARC in Goodreads Giveaway
# of Pages: 389
Genre: Young Adult/Retellings
Days to Read: 5
Rating: ★★★.75 (3.75 out of 5)
My Social Media: Goodreads/My Booktube Channel/Twitter/Instagram
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. . . .
TW: Fire, Death
I won an arc of this in a giveaway on Goodreads. All thoughts are my own. Since this is an arc it might differ to the final version, I do not know.
Since I enjoyed this over-all, as usual i'll get my minor gripes out of the way first. It took me between 50-100 pages to get into it but honestly I should have guessed it, because Holly, the scrooge, starts off so unlike-able and awful, the perfect scrooge! But by 100 pages I was sold, and it just kept getting better from there, which i'll get into in a minute.
Since it is A Christmas Carol retelling I honestly should have also expected the Christian over-tones. I know the story, and while I can't read Dickens writing i've seen adaptations of it and do enjoy the story as it as a good message in it. I don't mind religion in books if it doesn't feel preachy or a bit much, and as the story goes it did feel a bit preachy-ish to me a couple times, but this could just be a me thing. It didn't ruin the book for me or anything, just made me roll my eyes.
Also while reading I found the project scrooge people...well creepy and kind of hated them sometimes, to varying degrees, but now that i've finished the book I actually understand why things were that way, for the most part. I still think it's a bit creepy, and I felt like they could have had more compassion sometimes, I mean wasn't that supposed to be the point? But I digress.
I also disliked the tone of "A day wasted on others is not wasted on one's self," type of things here and there. I get helping others is awesome and you should do your best to be a good person, but one shouldn't forget to take care of oneself either and at times I got the impression that taking care of yourself at all is considered selfish and bad. I don't think that was supposed to be the message though.
Wow that sounds like I hated the book. Trust me there is much to love about it too! While it took me awhile to come to terms with Holly, I really got to know her over the course of the book. Why she was that way. Why scrooges come to be scrooges. Sometimes you have to look past the surface and really dig deep. You have to look into someone's past. I loved the character development and complexity that shined through!
As the plot progressed and the pacing picked up I just kept loving it more as I continued reading and eventually I didn't want to put it down! It was thought-provoking at times and I ended up loving Holly's POV. I got very emotional many times through-out the novel, i've annotated this book like crazy! Also there is a twist I didn't see coming and she does get her happy ending, but not like you'd think! I'll leave you with this quote.
"Without stories, we're all just lonely islands."
"Stories let us see and hear and feel what someone else does," she explained. "They build bridges to the other islands. That's why stories are so important. They create true empathy."
So yes, I do recommend this book, particularly around the holidays! It was a wonderful holiday read that i'm really glad I read and stuck with! I wish I could say more about it but I don't want to spoil it!