Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Afterlife” as Want to Read:
The Afterlife
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Afterlife

3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,281 Ratings  ·  264 Reviews
You'd think a knife in the ribs would be the end of things, but for Chuy, that's when his life at last gets interesting. He finally sees that people love him, faces the consequences of his actions, finds in himself compassion and bravery . . . and even stumbles on what may be true love.
A funny, touching, and wholly original story by one of the finest authors writing for yo
Paperback, 168 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Afterlife, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Afterlife

The Lovely Bones by Alice SeboldElsewhere by Gabrielle ZevinIf I Stay by Gayle FormanA Certain Slant of Light by Laura WhitcombBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver
YA Post-Death Novels
36th out of 126 books — 355 voters
Twelve by Lauren MyracleThirteen by Lauren MyracleEleven by Lauren MyracleThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Best books for 13 year olds
31st out of 181 books — 144 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,310)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 01, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
The story starts out with the main character named Chuy, who is later killed in a bathroom because he complimented some guys yellow shoes. After he found himself looking down at his own body. He knows he's a ghost. He experiments with his new abilities. He visits his family and friends before he completely disappears, while being a ghost he falls in love with a girl who is also a ghost. I love how Chuy still finds love in the afterlife. In my opinion, this book was very interesting and entertain ...more
Ben Charette
Jan 05, 2011 Ben Charette rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 01, 2009 Rian rated it liked it
Summary: In the first two pages of this novel, the main character is murdered at a nightclub; the rest of the novel chronicles his journey as a ghost through the first few days following his death. Chuy learns what it means to be dead (and to have lived) as he "visits" his friends and family and discovers the powers he does, and doesn't, have as a ghost.

Response: My first reaction to this book is to realize how different it is from my usual reading material. For example, this book is about a boy
Katie H
Nov 08, 2010 Katie H rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 17, 2010 Ana rated it it was ok
The book it's about this guy names chuy, he's 17 years old and he got killed at a club night party just for telling a guy he liked his shoes. After his death he became a ghost and so he sees his family and friends crying for him. When he sees the yellow shoes guy he started following him and doing things to him and realized that her body is diseaparing part by part every amount of time after a little while he mets this ghost girl named Crystal so he decided to teach her some tricks about ghost a ...more
Kaje Harper
Jun 22, 2011 Kaje Harper rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
This book started out in a promising and unique (for young-adult anyway) fashion by opening with the murder of the narrator. As a ghost, he then moves out into the world to encounter his grieving family and his unrepentant murderer. But despite some promising characters and possible conflicts, not enough happens in this book. It's not intensely emotional enough to really evoke a strong reaction. And in the absence of real angst the narrative wanders on waiting for a major plot point. Until it en ...more
Mar 08, 2009 Paula rated it liked it
Recommends it for: poeple who like reading realistic fiction books
Recommended to Paula by: No One
In "The Afterlife" by Gary Soto is about a teenage boy who's name is Chuy and he is 17 years old. He goes to night club for a date, but he gets stabbed for telling a guy that he likes his yellow shoes. Then Chuy is dead and is a ghost and sees what his family and other people are doing and what he sees is that all of his family and the girl he was dating were all crying for him. What Chuy realizes is that he could have done alot of things when he was alive that he couldn't do anymore and he regr ...more
RLL 520 Sharonda Kimbrough
This story is about a Mexican American teenage boy killed in the bathroom at a dance. The main character seems to create a new life for himself in his afterlife, making new friends and even meeting a girl. The book does a great job of being very descriptive, which helps the reader visualize a picture of the events in their minds. The main character, Jesus/Chuy spends some time at the beginning of the story trying to predict his family's reaction to his death.I believe this book would be of inter ...more
Jake Tanner
Feb 14, 2013 Jake Tanner rated it really liked it
The book I read was The Afterlife by Gary Soto. This book was very interesting and fun to read overall. This book has a very interesting plot; that is because the main character, a seventeen-year-old Latino-American named Chuy is stabbed to death in a nightclub within the first three pages of the book. The rest of the book is all about his journey as a ghost as he finds out just how much people actually cared about him and his search for his killer’s motive. His time as a ghost is limited as he ...more
Michael Wing
Aug 08, 2010 Michael Wing rated it it was ok
Just starting on Susan's recommendation. Just finished and came away with mixed reactions. Gary Soto creates Chuy, a teenager living in a violent Latino community. He is murdered on page 4 and spends the next 154 pages discovering himself as a dissolving ghost. Chuy visits his home, follows his murderer, meets a girl ghost and finally resolves his problems with life and death. I liked the way Soto developed a teen with insecurity who finds more self-awareness with a "new" perspective, a lesson t ...more
Nathan Gilbert
Oct 01, 2015 Nathan Gilbert rated it really liked it
I thought "The Afterlife" by Gary Soto was an excellent book. I really enjoyed reading this book because of the great detail it had. The author did a very good job of painting a picture in the reader's mind. Especially the part in the beginning where Chuy gets stabbed. I felt like I was right there in his body. Overall, this was a great book that I'd recommend to any of my friends!
Erin Forson
Dec 09, 2011 Erin Forson rated it did not like it
The Afterlife
by Gary Soto
What does death feel like? Gary Soto attempts to answer this question through his character Chuy who realizes he is dead (read the book to see how) and tells the story of his Afterlife immediately after death. The novel starts out with a bang in a restroom where Chuy is in the wrong place at the wrong time...and....then, in my opinion, slowly goes downhill from there. The biggest disappointment to me is the "romantic" way Chuy describes the afterlife and even his death f
Dec 05, 2015 Meowmeow1 rated it it was ok
The Afterlife by Gary Soto is just as it says: it is about the afterlife of a murdered boy. Told from the boy's point of view, this story is, frankly, not very interesting, but, at the same time, interesting. There is a handful of Spanish words thrown in, which makes this a book useful for picking up a few words--but doesn't really help make the book have any ethnic appeals. Contrary to some reviews, I feel there is a loosely portrayed moral. I believe the moral is that you should enjoy the life ...more
Apr 29, 2014 Raven rated it it was ok
In my opinion, this book appears to have a negative vibe at first because the main character was stabbed and died in the beginning. However, as I read on, the author creates a positive feeling as chuy learns how much his family and friends really loved him, he became curious about being a ghost, and falls in love with another ghost his age. For example,Chuy had made his appearance known to people in the real world by breathing on their necks,or whispering in their ears. This writing was difficu ...more
Michelle Figueroa
Mar 18, 2014 Michelle Figueroa rated it liked it
what happens after you die? Is there a Heaven? Do you just disappear? The genre of this book is fiction. I didn't really like this book, but that might have been cause didn't understand some of it. ***spoiler alert***

The story takes place in Fresno. Chuy just a happy life he didn't expect much considering he thought of him self as an average teenager, but what would happen to him if everything was taken away from him. In just one night, everything ended for Chuy and he didn't even understand w
Linda Lipko
Sep 26, 2012 Linda Lipko rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Seventeen and life is good for Chuy, until he attends a dance at a local nightclub and without a warning is brutally stabbed and murdered.

Chuy's spirit is now free to observe the love and grief of his parents and friends. Chuy's spirit is able to watch as the man with the yellow shoes who stabbed him continues a journey down the wrong paths.

This is a well written book that is touching and thought provoking. Never grasping at sentimentality, rather it is a soft ball flying in the sky.

Mar 02, 2010 Ernesto rated it liked it
At first I choose this book because i've always been interested in ghosts and thought it would be good. However the plot to me was kinda boring while Im not saying it was bad I have say to that I expecting a bit more ot of it. Though I must say the ending did leave me kind of hanging woundering was that it I did however I did like how the author used spanish word throughout the story.It deffinatly make a person think about what comes after death so I'd say it was an ok read overall.
Feb 25, 2010 Giovana rated it it was ok
I thought this book was okay. I think it could of had a better ending, because i do not like it when Chuy just disappeared. I want to know what happen after. I did like that it just cut me off. Although, I liked that Gary Soto express his idea of the afterlife in this book. I wished he could have done a better job. He did however, made me realize the importance of life and to be thankful for what we have, because tomorrow we might not have all of what we have today.
Camille Stanford
Jul 20, 2015 Camille Stanford rated it really liked it
Shelves: ghosts
Being in a good mood, the high-schooler Chuy compliments the guy next to him on his yellow shoes. Apparently this was the wrong thing to say, as Yellow Shoes stabs Chuy and leaves him in the restroom to bleed to death. But though Chuy is dead, his spirit lingers; while he takes care of his final goodbyes, he meets a girl who he falls in love with.

A thoughtful book about death and relationships, as well as what is right and wrong. Chuy learns a lot after his death, and though there is obviously s
Cole Flores
Mar 15, 2015 Cole Flores rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cory Penick 3rd
Apr 07, 2014 Cory Penick 3rd rated it did not like it
This book was in a word, awful. The plot was thin and the excitement of the book died out very quickly. The main character dies within the first 10 pages of the book and you don't even feel bad because in the beginning he literally has no friends and he dies alone in a bathroom. After he dies he floats around aimlessly for about half of the book before the author's intended purpose is revealed,it's a love story. He finds this girl that is also dead from a suicide and is the exact opposite of him ...more
Erika Ibarra
Feb 25, 2010 Erika Ibarra rated it it was ok
I thought this book personally was a waste of time.It seemed like a average book that does not grab my attention. Im on the 2nd chapter barley,and im not encourage to keep going on. One thing i do like is the humor which is pretty funny. Also i like how Gary Soto made a visual how the after life might be.Its nice to picture and a great way to make a book, only if there was more adventure to it!(:
Courtney Seymore
Nov 24, 2015 Courtney Seymore rated it really liked it
I thought the this book, by Gary Soto was exceptional. Soto creates realistic characters, such as Chuy, who is a hispanic teenager struggling to find his way in life, even after his death. Along with that, his physical traits are strong as well. Chuy comes across as a likable boy, trying to stay out of trouble and hopefully finding a girlfriend. One thing I enjoyed in the book was the constant change of setting. He wasn't always in the same place. With that, the author explain each place in grea ...more
Mary Olive
Feb 23, 2010 Mary Olive rated it liked it
Shoot down for what he believes is a complement, Chuy finds himself stuck in the world between living and dead. In his ghost form Chuy discovers how much he truly meant to his family and friends when he learns of his mother's plot to violently avenge his death. Chuy must learn how to intervene before he completely disappears.
Madison Godfrey
Apr 30, 2014 Madison Godfrey rated it it was ok
I recently read, The Afterlife by Gary Soto. It is about a boy in yellow shoes killed Chuy in the bathroom of a club. He comes back as a ghost, watches everyone else go through life and tries to help but he cannot. He meets Crystal, falls in love and they vanish as ghosts together. My first reaction to reading this was how different it is from any other reading material or book that a child would read because it involves death. I think it is a more mature book and the reader should be older than ...more
Feb 04, 2016 Carissa rated it really liked it
The book The Afterlife by Gary Soto is about a boy named Jesus or Chuy. He dies at a young age of 17 because he complemented a guy on his shoes. He then gets out of his body and visits family members and friends. I honestly think this book is boring. Its a kind of book that doesn't keep you on the edge of your seat. You'll always know what is going to happen next. I think this writing is very easy to read and understand. Gary Soto's use of diction was very poor in this book. One of the strengths ...more
Josh Southerly
Oct 26, 2015 Josh Southerly rated it really liked it
I really liked The Afterlife. So far I think it has been on the top five of my favorite books. The book isn’t too long or too short. I loved the way Gary Soto gets his point across in a very subtle and nice way. The story makes me value my life a lot more, while at the same time, makes death not as scary as I had once thought of it to be. I also think that this book would be ok for people who had once lost a loved one. Reading this book can help people think that their loved ones in the afterlif ...more
i really didnt like this book. it was slow and, boring. i didnt like how it showed how he died in the first chapter. after that he jus described his life and it was just not interesting. it didnt have me wanting to read more.
Baylor Horning
Jul 30, 2015 Baylor Horning rated it really liked it
This book was good.The main character, Chuy, was a typical track athlete. He had okay grades, and he didn't like school. That was until an unfortunate event occurred leaving him stuck as a spirit. Throughout the book, Chuy realized that he loved everything. That is a bad trait because you never know true love. When i read the book i never really felt a true twist. That was a let down for me personally because i like the twist. The book ends as an untold story. At the end, you don't really know ...more
What I learned about this book was that the book taught me about afterlife and it also get me thinking how short life is.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 76 77 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Class of 2014: Book Review- Milenia 1 2 Sep 17, 2013 10:46AM  
  • Call Me Maria
  • Head Case
  • The Brothers Torres
  • Sofi Mendoza's Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico
  • Dark Dude
  • The Tequila Worm
  • Any Small Goodness: A Novel of the Barrio
  • Episodes: My Life as I See It
  • Response
  • Breaking Through
  • Little Chicago
  • The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez
  • Instant Boyfriend (So Little Time, #2)
  • Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida
  • Freshman: Tales of 9th Grade Obsessions, Revelations, and Other Nonsense
  • Slake's Limbo: 121 Days
  • The Forbidden Schoolhouse: The True and Dramatic Story of Prudence Crandall and Her Students
  • Hate You
Gary Soto, born April 12, 1952, was raised in Fresno, California. He is the author of eleven poetry collections for adults, most notably New and Selected Poems, a 1995 finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the National Book Award. His poems have appeared in many literary magazines, including Ploughshares, Michigan Quarterly, Poetry International, and Poetry, which

has honored him w
More about Gary Soto...

Share This Book