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The Everafter by Amy Huntley

Published in 2009 The Everafter is Amy Huntley's first and (thus far) only novel.  It's a fast, suspenseful, and sad read--I read it in a day.  Unfortunately, it is not available in county; I requested it through Inter-library Loan.

Madison Stanton wakes up dead in an endless, dark void populated only by the glowing objects she lost during her lifetime.  She discovers each object is a portal to the moment in her life when she lost that object.  She can use these objects to relive those moments to see her family and friends again who were involved in those moments, but there are rules.  If she finds an object while reliving that moment, it disappears from the void and she can never return to that moment in her life.  She can change the moments' outcomes, but in changing them, she also changes herself in imperceptible but monumental ways.

Using these objects Madison slowly pieces together who she was, who her family and friends were, when she died, and, she hopes eventually, how and why she died.  But Madison isn't the only one who died that day--who else died and why?  Can she use her lost objects to change her fate?  Or is she only able to use them to reveal how and why she died?  When the disturbing truth of her death is revealed, will Madison be ready to move on?

Equal parts haunting, heart wrenching and tragic, this is a young adult novel that has many layers--there's the metaphysics of Madison's spirit void and how she's able to travel back to various moments in her life and there are the moments in her life relived and retold throughout the novel.  This is a novel as much about life and death as it is about a coming of age with the unique spin that the adolescent's coming of age happens after she is dead.  It is a novel about the experiences and people who make us who we are and a story about letting go.

I recommend you check it out the next time you visit the library.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie

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