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The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  277 ratings  ·  124 reviews
“Congratulations, new kid. Welcome to the afterlife.”

What if death is only the beginning?

When Harriet Stoker dies after falling from a balcony in a long-abandoned building, she discovers a group of ghosts, each with a special power.

Felix, Kasper, Rima and Leah welcome Harriet into their world, eager to make friends with the new arrival after decades alone. Yet Harriet is m
Paperback, 425 pages
Published September 3rd 2020 by Walker Books
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Alice Oseman
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Me every time I finish a new Lauren James book: Wow this is my favourite Lauren James book ever

Seriously- this book is a ride! Wild twisty plot. Murderous ghosts trapped in a university building. Extreme queer pining. Found family fighting for each other. Absolutely loved it!!
Lauren James
This is OUT NOW! I hope you enjoy meeting Harriet and my ghost gang! Some extra content:
Planning notebook
Character bios and more

Some quotes:

“Harriet Stoker is such a wild ride. Twisty plot, murderous ghosts, found family, slow-burn romance – I was hooked from the very first chapter and could not put this book down. With characters I instantly loved (and some I hated) this book is my favourite Lauren James story.” – Alice Oseman, author of Heartstopper

“Startlingly original, so twisty and

Lucy Powrie
The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker is Ghosts meets Killing Eve. Imagine cool 90s ghosts, a complex anti-heroine, and twists and turns that will have you reeling long after you've turned the final page. I loved every second of it.

The biggest problem I had with this book was trying to decide who my favourite character was because I loved them ALL. From Harriet, who treads a dangerous path in her pursuit of power; to Rima and her adorable fox spirit Cody; to Felix who has kept (pretty badly)
Emer (A Little Haze)
I’ve been a fan of Lauren James’ writing for a number of years having read and enjoyed all of her traditionally published novels (I have yet to read her serialised online novel An Unauthorised Fan Treatise).

What makes me keep returning to her writing is her ability to write great twisty plots filled with interesting characters that are effortlessly diverse and inclusive. And this latest novel, The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker, is no different.

In a break from her previous novels, that we
Elizabeth Sagan
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
3,5 - More of a 4 than a 3. A very cute story, with a sort of an MC I've rarely seen. Harriet is mean and willing to quite literally step over dead bodies. (view spoiler)

Unpredictable, surprising book
What did I just read? I mean that in a really good way, but... what? I need a moment to collect myself, because this was a wild ride!

Things I loved:
- morally grey MC
- queer pining (like, so much pining!!!)
- found family of ghosts
- ghost baby!
- ghost pet FOX!
- so many ghosts!!

Lauren James is so amazing at writing the most twisty, intriguing books that keep you on the edge of your seat. It was so much fun trying to figure everything out, and there's always this weird sense of pride if you figure
rachel ☾
one of my favourite authors writing about ghosts? 2020 is truly blessed

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Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley for sending me this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
This book follows the main character, Harriet, from the day she dies, but death is definitely not her end. Trapped with other ghosts in a Uni halls of residence Harriet faces. a number of challenges as she grapples with her past, present and future.
What I Liked:
Plot. Going into this book, I really wasn't sure what to expect. What developed was a unique, thrilling and complex plot line which kept me on the edge of
anna ✩
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite-books

I have just finished this book and honestly I wish I had the exceptional vocabulary needed to describe it. I wish I could do it justice. I wish I could explain everything I'm feeling right now. Honestly my brain is blown and I fear I will spend the rest of my life thinking about this book.

Lauren James has created such a unique masterpiece that I honestly can't fault it. Everything about this book was good. The characters, the plot, the writing, all of it is wov
Jenny (Bookbookowl)
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: september-2020
Thank you to Walker Books Australia for providing me with a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review!

Harriet Stoker just wanted to take some photos in the old abandoned Mulcture Hall. Several students had died there years ago and there were all sorts of rumours about it, but Harriet thought it would be a great place to get some inspiring snaps for her photography project. That is until she fell to her death. As she steps out of her body, she’s greeted by some very excited ghosts who’v
Jun 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Thank you Walker Books and NetGalley for providing me an e-arc in exchange for an honest review. My review is my own and not influenced by others.

Normally I don’t read thrillers so this was a new genre for me to discover. The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker is a story about a young woman who dies in an abandoned building and discovers there is an afterlife with other ghosts. Some who are good and some who are very bad.

The story got my attention right from the start and kept it for about fo
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
When Harriet Stoker falls and dies in a tragic accident while exploring an abandoned halls of residence, she doesn’t expect to wake up again as a ghost. She definitely doesn't expect to be surrounded by the ghosts of others who have died there, including the dozens who all mysteriously died in their sleep one night twenty five years before. She’s determined to learn all about being a ghost, unlock her powers and leave to visit her grandmother and the ghosts of her parents. She’ll do anythin
Bruna Oliveira
Jun 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for the digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3.5

This book is about Harriet, a student who has the brilliant idea of going into an old building to take some photos. She ends up dying and she gets stuck in this "place" with a lot of other people who also died there. She gets close to a group of ghost close to her age and they show her how her "life" will be from now on.

The author's writing is very gripping - as it was in her other books I've read
Manon the Malicious
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
*4.5 Stars*

I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker is a ghost story. It starts when Harriet takes a fall and dies in an old university building. Turns out, a lot of people whom have died in that building are still there, as ghosts. There's a kind of hierarchy and the criminals are locked in the basement. A LOT happens but I don't want to get into it more than that, I think it's better to discover it just as Harriet does, learn
Book Barbarian  (Tammy Smith)

Feeling dead inside when you get approved AFTER the publish date.

ALL joking aside, I am really excited to start reading this, the cover is beautiful!

Jun 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, read-2020
Thanks to Walker Books and Netgalley for the ARC, in exchange for an honest review.
2.5, rounded up to 3.
After initially reviewing this book, it turned out that the last 20% had been missing from copy of the galley! It had been a week or so since I finished reading, but I've tried to pull my thoughts together now after actually finishing the complete version.
The final 20% changed my opinion to some extent - the conclusion was a lot more satisfying, and I enjoyed the twists, turns and revelations
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Roll on September when this glorious book will publish and we can hopefully all go into bookshops and pick up a copy! It's been a while since I last enjoyed a book the way I enjoyed Harriet Stoker. It's the kind of book that will make you squeal with delight for so many reasons! Roll on pub date so I can start talking about it (PS I'm lucky enough to work for the publisher which is why I have access to the manuscript)
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Harriet is trying to finish her assignment for Photography class, snapping photos in one abandoned building renowned for haunting ghost stories. She is just too focused on getting the right photo, so she can get a good grade for the project and she doesn’t notice the danger signs, and regretfully she falls off a balcony and dies. Harriet discovers that there is an afterlife as a ghost and the building is actually full of other ghosts. Between the struggles to accept her death and getting accepte ...more
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I do adore Lauren James. She is a brilliant author and each and every book is so different from the last. This latest novel, The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker plays with time and space in a very different way to her previous books. Here she explores life after death.. amongst other things.

Harriet Stoker is exploring the dilapidated remains of Mulcture Hall. It’s her first year at the University of Warwick and she is trying to add some atmosphere to her photography project. Unfortunately f
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
So, ghost stories may be my new favourite thing to read.

The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker is appropriately titled as we follow Harriet Stoker from a tragic accident, straight into her afterlife and yes, she is reckless.

I think some readers will struggle with Harriet. She is selfish and impulsive and wildly unlikeable in some parts however I really enjoyed reading her and seeing what influenced her decisions. Her whole character arc was something I'd love to see more of in books.

The little
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
*thanks to Walker Books for sending me an ARC*
I read a lot of books that I love, but I have to admit that there aren’t very many that surprise me. The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker by Lauren James was one of those few! This paranormal YA fantasy novel is fun and creepy, and has whole load of unexpected twists and turns, and clever revelations.

I loved the cast of characters we met - the good and the bad - as well as the mysterious and seemingly omnipresent narrator who pops up between cha
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
this was Intense. some good old Lauren James Plot Twists that were very well executed! (didn't come out of nowhere but still a surprise) also the characters were absolutely on point i was so invested by them. the gay pining was also absolutely iconic. harriet was a really good character and an amazing anti-heroine, so i would definitely recommend this if you like ghosts and books about the supernatural
However maybe be aware of this book if you're a bit squeamish about graphic body stuff/gore - d
John Moore
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
*** I work for the publisher***

Boy, you guys are going to LOOOOVE THIS! Ghosts with powers and it’s super dark - perfect read.
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
*I received an eARC from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker is an entertaining and thrilling story full of twists and turns. It's an exploration of how we deal with our inner (and outer) demons and face the truth of who we are and who we want to be.

I went into this book having read James' novel: The Loneliest Girl In the Universe, so I expected a story full of mystery and crazy twists. And I was not disappointed. The world James
very generic with kinda cringey dialogue and also very uninformative about how incorporeal beings are able to jizz in their pants BUT also very fun
Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)
Rated 3.5 really.

Excerpt from my review - originally published at Offbeat YA.

Pros: Imaginative take on ghosts. Lots of twists and turns. Solid characters.
Cons: Sometimes the writing gets in the way of our connecting with the characters. The anti-heroine might not sit well with everyone (though there are plenty of co-protagonists to love).
WARNING! A sex scene (though not overly graphic). Some violence/gore.
Will appeal to: Those who like original afterlife scenarios and found families.

First off..
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm so embarrassed. Luckily, I huffed and puffed and scoffed at this book in private. I had read the premise, but not very thoroughly. At the start of the novel, I made the assumption that Lauren James was making a lot of silly mistakes. I thought she was accidentally depicting Harriet Stoker, the protagonist, in a weird and almost negative way. For example, Harriet would have a way of getting what she wanted by either flirting with people or by using them in other ways. There are so many more e ...more
Giulia Colma
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

OMG, this book!! I don't even know how to explain how freaking good it was.

Everyone knows I'm a slow reader because I can't focus on a book for too long, but I read +400 pages in three days, which is like super impressive for me, considering that I usually take this long to read novels with half the pages.

Harriet Stoker dies while visiting an abandoned hall of residence and doesn't expect waking up again as a ghost, surrounde
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love Lauren James, her writing is always wonderful and this was no less true in this book. I loved the diversity of characters in this book and the intrigue was top notch. However the ending just left me feeling a bit let down. If this is a standalone then the end is a very weak point and if it isn't then I feel that knowing it was the first in a series would have allowed me to be prepared for the level of cliffhanger.

However the story is clever and interesting and I am really hoping there wi
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Harriet doesn't bother with all the signs saying Danger of Electrocution, or Unstable Structure. She knows this is the perfect place to take photos for her photography project and a bit of danger isn't going to stop her. She's bound to get a good grade with all the amazingly atmospheric photos she's taken. She has so many big plans for her life but unfortunately life has different ideas for her.

This was a bit of a difficult book for me to review. I enjoyed The Quiet at the End of the World and r
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Lauren James is the twice Carnegie-nominated British author of many Young Adult novels, including The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker, The Loneliest Girl in the Universe and The Quiet at the End of the World. She is also a Creative Writing lecturer, freelance editor and screenwriter. Her books have sold over a hundred tho

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“You aren’t as funny as you think you are!” Kasper yelled at Rima. “Once I overheard you memorising puns in the bathroom!”

Leah interjected, “He’s right. You said that even your mum never used to laugh at your jokes, Rima.”

“All of my jokes,” Rima corrected. “I said all of my jokes. And I told you that in confidence, Leah! If you keep this up, I’m gonna stop being best friends with you.”

“When?” Leah asked, longingly.”
“Those are the Tricksters,” Greg said. “They're brothers. They made the black market.” They looked like old-fashioned movie stars; all smoothed-back hair & artistic stubble. Their hair was completely white - a shockingly bright white. But there was something unnatural about their disproportionate handsomeness.
It felt artificial, like a neon poisonous frog. The urge to flee gripped the back of Harriet’s neck, seizing up her muscles. They couldn’t notice her, her hindbrain was telling her body. She had to hide.”
More quotes…