The Afterlife of Holly Chase

The Afterlife of Holly ChaseThe Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
Published by HarperTeen
Published on October 24th 2017
Pages: 400
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RRP: $17.99
3 Stars

On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she'd become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.

She didn't.

And then she died.

Now she's stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge--as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.

Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly's afterlife has been miserable.

But this year, everything is about to change. . . .

I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I wanted to save this review for December but just for now I’ll say that I was going to give up on this book at about 20% in because I just couldn’t buy the premise, I couldn’t suspend my disbelief because I really hate those concepts like Dead Like Me where the character is dead but they have to go on ‘living’ in the real world and have a shitty job and can’t see anyone who might recognise them and I just really hate that concept, I didn’t realise how much I hated until I was ready to give up a CYNTHIA HAND book. CYNTHIA HAND. She was on my auto-buy list.

I tried not to take it seriously because someone said this was supposed to be a light, fun book, so I deliberately spoiled the ending which was a twist I didn’t see coming, and then I thought I could at least finish it, but even then there were some things that just didn’t work even when I knew the ending. Mostly about a different particular character not being whom they seemed to be. And I couldn’t buy that Holly was being underpaid in a job she hated but had no choice in doing where she was so important she led her own team but there were so many ways to fail if you didn’t put in 100%.

Look, the concept of a company that spends all year investigating their ‘Scrooge’ so they can perform a personalised Christmas Carol didn’t really work either because it tried to be set in the real world with real people using makeup and special effects to play the Ghosts, but there was also an element of magic using time travel and summoning the Marley characters, and I couldn’t help but wonder, why isn’t the entire thing just magical based? Why is so much of it set in reality? It’s a real company with real university graduates doing real engineering and a HR and finance department (why finance? Where are they getting their money from?), and trying to marry the supernatural elements didn’t work, because the original Scrooge wouldn’t have had all that modern tech stuff, and I just had so many issues with the basic concept. How exactly does one go about getting a job at Project Scrooge? Why have no ex-employees ever spilled the beans about REAL GHOSTS AND TIME TRAVEL?

The best thing going for this book is Holly’s narrative voice, littered with pop references and snark and just so spoilt-rich-girl it’s wonderful.

Oh look I guess I kind of did review it.


About Nemo

A lover of kittens and all things sparkly, Nemo has a degree in English Literature and specialises in reviewing contemporary, paranormal, mystery/thriller, historical, sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction. She is especially drawn to novels about princesses, strong female friendships, magical powers, and assassins.

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