I got this book at BEA and was excited to read it. First, I love Alyson (hello! who doesn't) and 2nd I was interested to see the other side of Riley. I've read the Evermore series so I wanted to follow Riley's experience from that fateful day. I also think its wonderful that paranormal is moving into the MG and tween market.
About the book:
Welcome to the Here & Now
Riley Bloom left her sister, Ever, in the world of the living and crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. Riley and her dog, Buttercup, have been reunited with her parents and are just settling into a nice, relaxing death when she's summoned before The Council. They let her in on a secret—the afterlife isn't just an eternity of leisure; Riley has to work. She's been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a curious boy she can't quite figure out.
Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup return to earth for her first assignment, a Radiant Boy who's been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But he's never met Riley...
My take on it:
If you are a fan of Alyson Noel's Immortal Series , then you will enjoy finding out more about Riley and what happened to her on that fateful day. If you haven't had the chance to read the series, it doesnt matter b/c this book stands on its own.
First I LOVE the cover. I'm kinda getting tired of the same ole animated or cartoonish covers that a lot of MG books seem to get. I think most Middle graders and tweens want books that are more like the cool YA books we see everyday. More books showing real people doing real things.
I also love the sassiness of Riley. She funny and spunky and like most tweens - you cant tell her what to do. If you do, she'll probably want to do it even more. I think it's rare to see this kind of sassiness in MG and I like that it is opening up to something more than just sugar sweet tweens. I think Riley shows us exactly what it might be like to be a tween and have your life ripped away from you. You would not be happy. You would be kinda annoyed. right?
I also love that Radiance seemed to "talk up" to tweens. It was a little more advanced in vocabulary and it was first person so you really got to know how Riley felt. I think some MGs today are too simplified for kids this age. (I wish we could see more MGs that have more layers - like Harry Potter. I think that's why kids loved HP so much!)
The book is a very easy read. You can read an excerpt of Radiance.
Question - If you died today, what do you think would be the first thing you would do in the AfterLife. Kinda morbid but kinda fun at the same time. (Am I sick?)
Here's what the other Bookanistas are up to this week: