Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review - Afterlife Academy by Jaimie Admans

Title:  Afterlife Academy
Author: Jaimie Admans
Release Date: October, 2013
Pages: 250
Goodreads Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
My Content Rating: YA (Sex is implied in one scene, but not described)

Summary from Goodreads:  Even being dead isn’t enough to get you out of maths class. 

Dying wasn't on sixteen-year-old Riley Richardson's to-do list. And now, not only is she dead, but she's stuck in a perpetual high school nightmare. Worse still, she's stuck there with the geekiest, most annoying boy in the history of the world, ever. 

In a school where the geeks are popular and just about everything is wrong, Riley has become an outcast. She begins a desperate quest to get back home, but her once-perfect life starts to unravel into something not nearly as great as she thought it was. And maybe death isn’t really that bad after all... 

Welcome to Afterlife Academy, where horns are the norm, the microwave is more intelligent than the teachers, and the pumpkins have a taste for blood. 

- - - 

Afterlife Academy is a Young Adult paranormal romantic comedy, suitable for approximately ages 14 and up.

Afterlife Academy was a cute, quick read.  I had read another Jaimie Admans book at the end of last year and enjoyed it, so when I saw this one free on Amazon, I snapped it up!

When Riley dies in a car accident caused by her boyfriend, she finds that the afterlife is nothing like she expected.  Instead of pearly gates, she finds herself standing in front of Afterlife Academy - with the geeky kid who her boyfriend mowed down in the accident.  Suddenly, Riley feels like the outsider - she's sure that it all has to be some sort of a mistake, that she needs to get back to the world of the living somehow.  But until she can find a way to escape, she has to learn to live in the world of the dead.

What I loved:
  • Humorous dialogue.  One of the things I love about Admans is her witty dialogue.  Adman's take on the world is always a little quirky, and her characters are quirky too.  I love it!
  • Unique take on the afterlife.  I thought that this book's vision of the afterlife was incredibly fun!  Basically, any teenagers who die before they've completed high school end up at Afterlife Academy.  They study for a while (see the curriculum below) and then eventually graduate - where they graduate to is a mystery, but apparently even the dead have jobs!
  • The curriculum.  Afterlife Academy has some fun and interesting classes like haunting and redemption!  
  • The message.  The overall message of this book was good - basically a message against bullying and about treating everyone well.
The negatives:
  • Unlikable main character.  Unfortunately, Riley is an incredibly unlikable character.  This is mostly by design.  She's the mean girl who needs to learn her lesson by the end of the book.  The problem is that she continued to be the mean girl for most of the book.  Every time I would think that she was changing, she would make yet another comment about how Anthony was a geek or how she just wants to get back to her horrible jerk of a boyfriend.  It wasn't until the very end of the book that Riley turned a corner and by then it was a bit too late for me.
  • The romance.  Anthony was the geek that died in the car crash with Riley.  He was a sweet guy, smart and obviously a bit hung up on Riley, but I could never quite figure out why.  I really wanted Riley to start deserving Anthony's attention, but once again, it was just a little too late when that finally happened.
Overall, this book was a fun read, and I would recommend it to YA readers who don't mind an unlikable main character. I give it 3/5 stars.

add to goodreads new