Kaje Harper's Reviews > The Afterlife

The Afterlife by Gary Soto
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's review
Jun 21, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: ya, fantasy
Read from June 21 to 22, 2011

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 ends. The writing is competent but I never felt really touched by either Chuy's predicament or his family's grief. And the love interest was clearly a relationship of opportunity. The concept was clever but something more was needed.
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