Review: The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
" '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.' "
Name: The Afterlife of Holly Chase
Author: Cynthia Hand
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Holiday Romance, Retellings
Holiday season was off to a great start with this retelling of A Christmas Carol. Holly Chase was a brat, spoiled girl whose mother's dies and she is angry at the world and her life. Spending too much time thinking about being the prettiest and fanciest girl in her school she looses sight of the important things in life. Hence, she gets a visit of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. After this freaky meeting one would think that she changes her ideals, but she doesn't and hence she dies. However, she wakes up in New York and is invited (or forced in a way as she is quite literally only alive in New York) to work for the Scrooge department where she becomes Ghost of Christmas Past.
The story is very sweet and compelling, it is written in a way where we really do not like Holly until the very ending. This sometimes made it hard to connect to her and root for her. The romance story that blooms between Holly and the current Scrooge was beautiful, yet at times I felt as if this was not really the important aspect of the whole story (which is true). The romance is the subplot and it adds to Holly's development as a character.
There are many things I wish would have been better in this book. One of them being the romance, although it is not the main plot I did feel as if I missed out on their connection and wish we could have see them develop more as a couple (maybe through this the ending would have hit my emotional side a little harder). I also feel the backstory or history of this project (or even how it even works) wasn't developed as much as I hoped for.
The truth is what really MADE the story for me was the ending. I was feeling MEH and OKAY all throughout the book but then the ending came and it made me so happy and giddy and feeling all emotional that the first half of the book mattered little to me.
“But love doesn’t always have to be about the happy ending. Love can be about beginnings, too.”
-- 3.5 stars --