Monday, 20 January 2014

Monday Mini-Reviews - Afterlife Academy by Jaimie Admans and The Memory Game by Sharon Sant

It's time for my third Monday Mini-Reviews post of 2014 (in which I attempt to both keep up with my out-of-control TBR pile AND help out my fellow authors!), and this time I'm reviewing two books which, interestingly enough, both feature unique approaches to life after death. First up is Afterlife Academy by Jaimie Admans!

Afterlife Academy

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. 

I read and reviewed Not Pretty Enough last year, and I was excited to read this – I love a good boarding school story! The idea of having to return to high school after death is a fantastic concept for a book, and I wasn’t disappointed. Sixteen-year-old Riley was looking forward to going to prom with her boyfriend Wade, but after a joyriding accident, wakes up dead. To her horror, high school doesn’t end when life does, and her only company is Anthony, the nerdy boy she used to bully.

Admans does a great job of making Riley a likeable character despite her previously being judgemental and cruel to others. Riley goes from being popular to being shunned for her bright blond hair in a world where everything is grey. The narrative voice is great and there’s plenty of humour – I love the creative touches, like the microwaves, biting pumpkins, and dinner lady with horns!

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a fun romantic comedy with a paranormal twist!


Rating: **** 

The Memory Game

'If there is a hell, I think maybe this is it.' 

Weeks after fifteen-year-old David is killed by a speeding driver, he’s still hanging around and he doesn’t know why. The only person who can see and hear him is the girl he spent his schooldays bullying. 

Bethany is the most hated girl at school. She hides away, alone with her secrets until, one day, the ghost of a boy killed in a hit-and-run starts to haunt her. 

Together, they find that the end is only the beginning…


My second read of the week is The Memory Game by Sharon Sant. This life-after-death story follows fifteen-year-old David as he adjusts to being a ghost. He’s trapped on Earth with no idea why he can’t move on; or why only Bethany, a girl he used to bully at school, can see him. Sharon Sant does a wonderful job of making the reader really feel the emotions – David’s frustration, anger and sadness jump off the page. He’s a flawed character but ultimately likeable, and I enjoyed reading about his friendship with Bethany as it develops.

This is a really well-written story with characters who feel like real people. I read it in one sitting and was completely drawn in. The story touches on some dark themes and my heart broke for the characters more than once, but it was an emotionally satisfying read with a fitting ending.


Rating: *****

5 comments:

  1. Isn't it odd that both have such similar premises yet were so different? I can't imagine reading a book in one sitting. I guess I read too slow. :P
    Thanks for the reviews!

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    1. Thanks for commenting! Funny thing is, I didn't realise when I started reading them back to back. :P

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  2. Thank you so much, Emma! I'm so glad you liked AA, and I thought TMG was brilliant too!

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  3. These both sound really good! Great mini reviews (:

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