May 10, 2013

Reviewing... [23] Afterlife Academy

Do you remember Jaimie? Tea-drinking arachnophobic author? If you don't it's because I mainly talked about her YA book Afterlife Academy last time (by which I don't mean last blog post... it was the cover reveal- lovely that).
Now I've read said YA paranormal romantic comedy.

Reviewing... [23]

Author: Jaimie Admans (as I've remembered to you, we are buds*) Source: Review copy for tour*

Recommended for: Teens (or above) who've been bullied/been unpopular (and it's got something for a goth not just us laughing readers XD)

It was enjoyable seeing Riley step inside (having not mastered the magically appearing thing after 5 minutes of death) a school identical to her old school- the contents of the school are much different & they are all in their afterlife and apparently understand her "adjustment issues". Yeah, well- it'd be easier if their was a thing to like underneath all the maths, redemption, haunting, visualisation and... well, therapy. It'd have been quiet cool to see Riley learn that but, perhaps, she learns some more valuable lessons (minus maths in this case). There are definitely paranormal aspects but they all seem to be described early on, there wasn't a lot of emphasis put on red-horned dinner ladies, vampire pumpkins and Art rooms devoid of colour. This is just the world which fades into the background (perhaps that's how Wade- the living boyfriend- you & I missed it?) "Death World" wasn't entirely likeable to me (it seemed more "parallel universey", they even called it "life") but this is a paranormal novel- not "Afterlife- the theology" so I suppose it would be original for the death theme.

It's comedy, it's paranormal & it's romance? With a death theme?... *fangirls*
Well, the characters were quite original too. Riley wasn't what she seemed. Sure, she was a bully (and she won't lie, but rightfully shares the blame) but she doesn't want to continue being a bully, especially when it seems like she wouldn't be getting a popularity as a reward. Now, I expected to sort of like Riley but to be honest she spent most of the book getting on my nerves. I don't know why but books that seem to focus on character's & have a plot facade annoy me... I was honestly thinking the reason she must be going in circles so much was so that she could wear a hole in the ground or something & go into a vortex.
However, in hindsight I realize how well it was executed- even with the snakes 'n' ladders I was engrossed, the story was embellished in that respect. I loved Adman's style, it didn't seem like Riley was just whining for the sake of it, it felt like... I don't know, real. Even though the book didn't span over much more than a few weeks it felt like it did. It felt like there was a reason she wasn't learning & if I felt at any point that it was like Riley was just turning to her "readers" to moan every minute I'd have put it down. Probably.
She didn't just get away with it- people do guide her (firmly) & Riley doesn't have her emotions spared (poor girl). I'd like to share one little quote with you that I loved in Afterlife Academy, it summarizes this: "Accepting that you weren’t always fair goes a long way to righting the wrong."
So, I accepted Riley's turmoil eventually- thanks to the goths/emos (and the above). Eeek, I love how there seemed to be a mix of cultures (stereotypes or not, they're up my street) that had to come together! They were the BOMB because they were so realistic. If you're wondering, it wasn't much of a romance (however the visualisations & flashbacks were umm... something like that)- she didn't create a romantic relationship with a goth either. Bonds and friendships seemed to mean more in the afterlife & I think that's something Riley struggled with- I know I would... I do know, I was concealed but I was THERE. Pretending to be the Haribo-eating- and apparently vampire- pumpkin of course... I felt like I was there though (:
Nice bit of scenery, me! Not. :P If I wasn't scenery in the book I'd have created more action... not the bad kind, readers of this know what I'm on about, there was some "action" but not a lot of real of edge-of-the-seat moments (I did read this in two places anyway, neither car: a) bed    b) car on 3-4 hour journey) but there was tension. Tension has more beauty to it... Y'know?
I may have (actually or am I still talking about if I wasn't scenery?) visibly been laughing at Riley's humour. She'd probably appreciate (maybe not on second thoughts) the girl laughing at her & her comical (not clumsiness though) ways/words (yes, I didn't actually laugh out loud, I didn't want family getting grouchy every 5 minutes)... Ooh, it may have distracted her from moaning. I should've been in Afterlife Academy :P

Given that I actually wanted to be in the book (and sorry that I kept stating reasons I should've been like, umm... Caydi a character), I think it's better than the average star rating... That's about 3 and ¾ out of 5.

Whereas, Amy Bookworm rated Afterlife Academy:

However at the end I'm not sure if I'd have read it for more than 3 hours straight if the circumstances had been different. Admans did create a novel worth the read (and the magnet & postcards in my case).

Talking about magnets... That's one of the prizes in this wonderful international giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can win Afterlife Academy notebook, pen, magnet, and signed postcard swag set (INT) during May! Why not enter and buy the ebook?... Here's the blurb (yes, it does sound funny but not romantic, doesn't it? Hence Puck's raised eyebrows, and clearly well-contained fanboying, above):

Even being dead isn’t enough to get you out of maths class.
Dying wasn't on sixteen-year-old Riley Richardson's to-do list. And now, not only is she dead, but she's stuck in a perpetual high school nightmare. Worse still, she's stuck there with the geekiest, most annoying boy in the history of the world, ever.

In a school where the geeks are popular and just about everything is wrong, Riley has become an outcast. She begins a desperate quest to get back home, but her once-perfect life starts to unravel into something not nearly as great as she thought it was. And maybe death isn’t really that bad after all...

Welcome to Afterlife Academy, where horns are the norm, the microwave is more intelligent than the teachers, and the pumpkins have a taste for blood.

*Even if a review copy is provided my review will still be honest & not affected.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, Amy! I really appreciate you reading it and taking the time to write such a well thought out and helpful review! :D

Trish Hannon said...

Sounds fun!

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