The Everafter by Amy Huntley

This book was sad and yet somehow a little uplifting. It deals with the after of death. What happens to us after we die? It really made me think.

Madison only knows one thing and that is she’s dead. She doesn’t know how or why or where she is now. She starts finding things she lost and goes back to her life and sees the scenes connected with those objects. She doesn’t change much of her history, but lives through most of the events again.

The other minor characters in the book weren’t as completely developed, in my opinion, as Madison. However, I felt like it made the point of the story even more prevalent. We weren’t there to see Maddy’s entire life and her friends and boyfriends and family. We were learning about Maddy and her soul. We were learning about the events that shaped her and the other characters were there just enough to show how they helped shape her. I really enjoyed the effect it had.

The epilogue was one of my favorite parts of the book. It was perfect for the story and left the feeling of hope and life that the book needed.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

This is a wonderfully fabulous book that I completely devoured. It was hard for me to put it down to sleep.

Juliette is a fantastically written character. She starts the book as somewhat weak, yet resilient. She thinks of herself as a monster, something that doesn’t really deserve to be around people. By the time the novel reaches its conclusion, you can see her strength growing, her acceptance of herself finally starting to come about. Throughout the entire novel, you can see that her heart is what makes her powerful, not whatever power she actually has. It’s her heart that gives her strength.

I love Adam. I want an Adam of my own. He is amazing and kind and wonderful. I’m sure I could come up with more adjectives to describe him, but I won’t. I just love him.

Kenji provides a bit of relief with his whole persona. His little comments, inserted exactly where they need to be, let me take a breath and prepare myself for more of the intensity sure to come.

Beyond the characters and the storyline, I adored Mafi’s writing style. You see inside Juliette’s head and are aware of just how broken she is in the beginning. You can feel her faith in herself grow through the writing. And the metaphors on every page really let you feel what she is feeling. As an example, there are many interpretations of how realization could feel for a person. But when you read, “Realization is ice-cold water and it’s dripping down my spine,” you know exactly what to feel. You feel that cold water dripping down your back. I can’t get over how stunning the writing is.

This may be the first book in a trilogy, but it is a complete book that I’ll definitely be telling people to read, as I anxiously await the second book.