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Life After Death

(The Coldest Winter Ever #2)

2.55  ·  Rating details ·  889 ratings  ·  362 reviews
Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller
Instant USA TODAY Bestseller

The long-anticipated sequel to Sister Souljah’s million copy New York Times bestseller The Coldest Winter Ever.

Winter Santiaga hit time served. Still stunning, still pretty, still bold, still loves her father more than any man in the world, still got her hustle and high fashion flow. She’s eager to pay back
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 2nd 2021 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books
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Christina I am currently on Chapter 11 of this book and also considered passing it up, due to negative reviews. I would still recommend giving it a listen on Yo…moreI am currently on Chapter 11 of this book and also considered passing it up, due to negative reviews. I would still recommend giving it a listen on Youtube; there's a reader on there whose voice makes the story more tolerable. That being said, there are several issues with this book, the first being that the writing was surprisingly elementary. At first, I asked myself whether this style was a purposeful reflection of Winter's immaturity. However, it became evident that it was simply laziness on the author's part. I have come to suspect that Sister Souljah underestimates the reader's intelligence...because she leaves no detail to subtlety. Every now and then, she'll drop nice hints about the characters. But those hints soon turn to knocks, then screams. The text is far too expositional and though I frequently enjoy afterlife stories, the hell sequence is dragging on for Way. Too. Long. I can think of at least two plotlines that would have been more interesting than this one she's presenting -- it's even an entirely different genre from the Coldest Winter Ever.
Lastly, the book is preachy. Sis takes us through all manner of hellish experiences that Winter refuses to learn from. Some of them are pretty off the wall, even for me...and I am usually all for daring writing. There is one scene that was so unspeakably indecorous that I had to skip it. Again, Sis didn't trust that we would get the message without adding glaring details.
I'm still going to finish this book because I feel committed to seeing the story through to its end. I also encourage you to give it a shot, just with the knowledge that it will be nothing like what you wanted/expected to read. Please post a thought, if you decide to try it out. :)(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 2.55  · 
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Read In Colour
Jan 07, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: i-give-up
Let me just start with sis, what in the entire hell was this? Also, I'm about to drop spoilers so if you don't want to know why I gave this such a low rating, go ahead and click out, scroll past, do what you have to do.

When I read The Coldest Winter Ever back in 99, it was unlike anything I'd ever read, and I've always read a lot. Up until then, there wasn't a wide variety of street/urban lit. Donald Goines was one of the originators of the genre, but his books were most popular in the early 70s
Ebony Rose
Dec 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2021-releases

Firstly, thank you to Netgalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Sister Souljah for approving my request for an advanced readers copy of the long-awaited sequel to Coldest Winter Ever in exchange for an honest review. Like many millennial black women, Coldest Winter was a formative reading experience for me as a teen, so I was extremely excited to receive an ARC of the sequel.

Where do I begin with reviewing this? I find it challenging to write bad reviews, and I always try and find something
Jan 12, 2021 rated it did not like it
should've stayed dead tbh

honestly no one asked for this; it was awful.

This picks up 15 years after the first book. Winter is just finishing her prison sentence and is offered a reality show (why anyone would care about her, I have no idea. She wasn't a celebrity, her dad was just a drug lord in the 90s, but anyway). She says she'll do the show but only if her conditions are met (her father being released from prison [he's in jail for life for murder so wtf], a mink coat, a red carpet and Bentley
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oooh. I don’t know about this. She literally means life after death or what does death after life look like, and .......... I really try to avoid writing negative reviews. I mean really what is the point in that. To hoot and holler about how bad something is, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. So this is a caution review. Souljah literally, yes literally wrote a book about life after death, wow.

The first clue you have that something is amiss, is the publisher blurb. It says so little about the
Feb 08, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Took me a minute to figure out what to say. I don’t like trashing anyone’s work. It’s hard writing a book! But listen, this might be the worst book I’ve ever read. I...don’t know if there’s time to cancel this publication, but if they can, they definitely should. Scrap the whole premise and start anew. I need to erase this from my memory and hold on to The Coldest Winter Ever, those sweet memories of passing a beat up copy of that book around my high school—let that be my last memory of Winter S ...more
Penelope (The Reading Devil)
Jan 02, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: one-star
Ok, review is up on my blog:

Or read below:

I was really excited to read this because I loved The Coldest Winter Ever and Midnight and really thought that Sister Souljah could do no wrong! So believe me when I say I am so sad that I have to give this one a less than stellar review. But it just didn't do it for me.

The book is based on Winter's life after she has died (so think heaven, hell, devils, God, etc.). That alone was a bit of a shock to me given the
Feb 10, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: giveaways
I think it's funny that all of the "5 star" reviews have nothing to say about the book ... probably because there's nothing good to say (and they probably are simply leaving the stellar review because they know the author, it's the only reason why I could think they'd leave a 5-star review, especially without gushing about the book).

I'm not even sure what to say about this book that others haven't already explained in their reviews here on Goodreads. Honestly, read any of the other 1-star revie
Chanele McFarlane
Jan 09, 2021 rated it did not like it
Thank you to Netgalley for approving my ARC request in exchange for an honest review.

I've been looking forward to this sequel for years. I consider The Coldest Winter Ever to be a classic and I've re-read it several times since I initially read it in high school. That said, I went into Life After Death with extremely high expectations but ultimately, I am very disappointed. I gave it 1 star but even that feels like a stretch.

I couldn't even finish it. To be honest, it felt like Life After Death
Mar 08, 2021 rated it it was ok
2.5 at best!

I’ve thought long and hard about this and I just can’t give this book more than a 2.5. If you are looking for that feeling you felt while reading The Coldest Winter Ever and even the Midnight series you are not going to get it. There was just no thrill for me. About 5 or so chapters in I figured out what the book was solely about. Let’s just say the title speaks for itself, literally. The last two chapters is what made me give it a bit more love on the rating.

The Santiaga family was
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was ok
I was one of the girls who grew up reading The Coldest Winter ever way before I had business reading it. It changed the way I viewed my own life and I wanted nothing more than to be like Winter Santiaga. Waiting 20 years for this book, I thought I wouldn't be able to put it down, but Life After Death was a hard read. Not because it was hard to follow or particularly difficult in verbiage, but because Winter is still Winter, and I didn't realize I needed Winter to grow up. I needed Winter to be t ...more
Leila Marchbanks
Jan 20, 2021 rated it did not like it
I am beyond disappointed in this book. It's not at all what I expected. The Coldest Winter Ever took me on a wild ride and I loved every minute. From the beginning this book took a dark and silly turn and just fell off the deep end. I really hate the terrible publicity this book will receive when it comes out in March. Sister Souljah really let her fans down with this one. At times I said it wasn't even worth it to finish. I only pressed on to see how bad it could really get. ...more
Jan 20, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2021-read
Nostalgia is not enough.

“Life After Death” is the highly anticipated sequel to “The Coldest Winter Ever” by Sister Souljah. As a Black teen growing up in the 90’s, ‘The Coldest Winter Ever” was a staple coming- of- age novel within our community (even though the majority of us had no business reading it back then, lol). Everybody knew about Winter Santiaga and the various obstacles she faced. So of course, twenty years later, people were excited to hear about this sequel.

It takes a lot for me
Anetra Chisholm
Mar 02, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I can’t believe I waited all these years for this.. This book is horrible!!!! Sister Souljah is a one hit wonder. Everything she has written is trash except The Coldest Winter Ever. But writing a part 2 could have been so easy. Tell how Winter navigated life in jail, give an update on what her sisters and dad is doing and once she get out of jail let her get revenge on everybody she felt did her and her family wrong. Make her a dope girl getting money and
Jeannine Perez
Jan 21, 2021 rated it it was ok
This book was not what I expected it to be. Not that I want a book to be predictable, we all love a shocking twist or POV we didn't expect etc.. But lets think back on how The Coldest Winter Ever ended.

Mama Santiaga's funeral. Winter and her father seeing each other for what we think may be the last time. Midnight adopting the twins. Porsche showing up looking great and living life. As a reader, I'm hoping this isn't the last time Winter gets to see her Dad. What kind of life are Midnight and t
Naketa Mullins
I actually didn’t finish. It wasn’t really my kind of book. I’m a big fan of her previous books but this one was a little demonic for me. I respect everyone’s religious beliefs but the things I read went against mine.
Feb 15, 2021 rated it did not like it
15 years in prison and still the same raw, narcissistic Winter. I really and truly enjoyed The Coldest Winter but can’t even begin to say the same for Life After Death. It had so much potential to be a great book or not exist at all. Like what in the fresh hell did I just attempt to read. I was expecting so much more. I found it incredibly confusing and very hard to read. Perhaps I will continue in the distant future but for now it holds no interest for me.

-Thank you NetGalley for the ARC. All
Book Reviews By Tara
Jan 06, 2021 rated it did not like it
Although The Coldest Winter Ever is one of my all time favorite fiction novels, it saddens me to say, Life After Death is my least favorite sequel.

I was super excited about the release of this book. I even reread The Coldest Winter in anticipation of it’s release. Unfortunately, I didn’t need to read TCWE again, because Life After Death is a completely different story than TCWE.

I found this book highly disappointing. As I read each chapter, I continuously contemplated putting the book down, an
Mar 03, 2021 rated it it was ok
Writing a book is not easy. Heck, I can't even write a complete sentence, so I can only imagine the tremendous about of pressure to write a sequel after twenty-something years. All writers have a platform and audience to truly send a message. Whelp, Sister Souljah took her shot.

The book starts with Winter’s release from prison. She ain't learned a damn thing and only got worse in her endeavors to be top b*tch making other b*tches bow down. Well... It's on the first page that we learn she has suf
Brookelyn Mosley
This book was probably the strangest, most bizarre book I have ever read in my entire reading life... and it was amazing! I will admit that at first, I was like, “WTF is this?! Who asked for this? We did not need a sequel.” It started off on a note I wasn’t expecting at all. Fantasy is not my genre of choice. BUT I stuck with it and was rewarded, at least to me, for my patience. This book is ahead of it’s time, way WAY ahead of its time. It’s so well crafted and mapped out. Weird and extremely u ...more
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle Mitchell
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 07, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I just crawled, belly to the ground, thru sewage. This book contains the stuff that megalomaniacs are made of. I would expect these rantings in a 4am tweet. Am I alone in believing that one doesn't need to tear down another's religion to have faith and belief in their own? sad. Religious fanaticism aside...this book wasn't the least bit entertaining. Sista Souljah had over 20 years and still no character development or depth. It can be argued that the first book was a cautio ...more
Mar 04, 2021 rated it did not like it
1 star is too generous. I started it and tried my hardest to like it despite the overwhelmingly negative reviews but the plot is utterly ridiculous and Winter is even less likable in the sequel. I couldn’t finish it. I didn’t even make it halfway through. Don’t waste your time or your money. Such a huge let down and beyond disappointed!
Mar 08, 2021 added it

Chocked full of vibrant details.
This book is a book club's dream.
If you want to have a conversation with a myriad of topics that span a coming of age and the aftermath, THIS is it.
At the beginning of the book, it grabbed my attention immediately, explaining her release from imprisonment.
The details thereafter had me on a whirlwind trying to figure out what was actually happening. It does come together, but you can not anticipate how.

I read this as an audiobook.

About the work o
Jasmin Brooks
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was ok
This was not at all what I was expecting from the sequel to The Coldest Winter Ever. It was a bold choice of plot to continue Winter's story this way, but then, Sister Souljah is a bold woman. I really didn't like the story, to be honest, but I couldn't stop reading. At first, I was confused and read on to see where it was going. Then I was sucked into the story and had to know how it ended. The writing and the incredible imagination made this book worth reading...maybe?
For those looking for ano
Sky Blue
Mar 02, 2021 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Soni S
Winter Santiaga returns in this sequel to The Coldest Winter Ever. She's completed her time served, is still stunning, bold and loves her father more than ever. She's eager to get a new start, with a fashion line and interior design business, and reclaim the empire that her father had built. But Simone, has other plans for Winter's future. Will she blow Winter’s head off? Or will at least one bullet blast Winter into another world? Either way Winter is fearless. Hell is the same as any hood and ...more
Apr 06, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a total disappointment! Waited all these years for the sequel and Winter is still a mental teenager. Fifteen years in prison but her mind hasn't expanded one iota.

She mentioned Midnight several times throughout...why? He was never, ever her man. Is it because he was the "only" man who resisted her "charm"? She kept pretending that she loved him but he represented a challenge to her in reality. Still obsessed with her looks and material things. I'm annoyed with myself for finishing. Took he
Danielle Mcallister-andrews
if you get this book thinking it'll be like the first then you will definitely be disappointed like so many. reading it for myself i was super confused at first like wtf is this?????? lol i can't say i loved it. i dont even know if i liked it but i appreciate the journey. ...more
Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another intriguing story. Once you begin , there is no way, not to be hooked. The characters are absolutely fabulous and come through strong.
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Sister Souljah (born Lisa Williamson) was born in 1964 in New York City. She attended Cornell University's advanced placement summer program and Spain's University of Salamanca study-abroad program. She later majored in American history and African studies at Rutgers University. Her travels and lectures have taken her all over America, Europe, and Africa. In the mid-1980s, she founded, in cooperat ...more

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The Coldest Winter Ever (2 books)
  • The Coldest Winter Ever (The Coldest Winter Ever, #1)

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