Review: Arise by Tara Hudson and Giveaway

22 August, 2012 Giveaways, Reviews 31 comments

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

Review: Arise by Tara Hudson and GiveawayArise by Tara Hudson
Series: Hereafter #2
Published by HarperCollins Australia on July 5th 2012
Pages: 408
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

Amelia—still caught between life and death—must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia accidentally dematerializing. Looking for answers, they go to visit some of Joshua’s Seer relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia ends up with more questions than answers…and becomes increasingly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together.Wandering through the French Quarter, Amelia meets other in-between ghosts, and begins to seriously consider joining them. And then she meets Gabrielle. Somehow, against impossible odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life...a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price. Torn between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the netherworld choose for her.

For me, there’s two kind of books I give low ratings to.  Books that I thought were bad, or books that I simply didn’t enjoy.  This is the later of those two options.  It’s not that Arise was necessarily bad, but that it wasn’t for me.  For starters, I believe I mentioned in my review of The Treachery of Beautiful Things, that I need to pay more attention to book covers in order to avoid the whole purity thing.  Once again, I clearly should have anticipated a big sex issue with this book based on the puritanical white dress and girl holding some type of greenery.  I’m not sure who in our culture decided that white dress and foliage equaled hymen – but they did a really good job convincing everyone else (yes, the ferns represent death, but work with me here, people!).  I was thrown off by the ghost part, because I honestly didn’t anticipate a book about a ghost in love with a boy would be all about how to have sex.  It just wasn’t my thing – and particularly wasn’t the kind of book I wanted it to be.  Which must be really annoying to fans reading this review and going:

It’s not that the writing was bad.  I didn’t feel like there were any real technical issues the author suffered from, but the plot took a significant amount of time to kick into gear, which made keeping my interest difficult.  Because, you know, if someone isn’t about to have illicit smoochies or die on the very page that I’m reading then I’m bored.  And this book started out well because it started out with illicit smooches.  Between ghost girl and her boyfriend.  So I was simultaneously impressed and disturbed.

There’s a meme for everything, ya know?

But then we get to the main source of tension and part of the driving plot – they can’t…how do I put this politely?  They can’t seal the deal, understand?  It’s over before the cigar’s lit.  The party’s started but the guests can’t come.  I have no clue what I’m saying.  Look, they can’t bone, alright?

So whilst other, more involved stuff is happening, in the background there’s all this tension on can they, or can’t they do the horizontal mamba.  This is probably going to be very interesting, involving stuff for people who aren’t me.  The point was always moot because it’s not my bag, baby.  I’m more of a The Ghost and Mrs Muir kind of girl.   I like my ghost stories to be all about that insanely secret, entirely emotional/intellectual bond.  I want that bittersweet, mournful love where it’s already lost before it’s even started.  For a dead girl, Amelia sees a lot of action.  For starters, her and her boyfriend can make out and touch.  A good portion of his family can see/talk to her and they even go out dancing together at a bar at one point.  That felt like cheating a little.  Being almost entirely intangible, immaterial and unable to touch or shape the world around you is one stable aspect that makes ghost stories powerful.  Take that away and I feel like the whole story loses it’s best, most emotionally stirring aspects.

Maybe it’s an obsession YA has with being perfect and getting the perfect ending.  When Vampires can come out in the sun and sparkle, when miracles are pulled out of a hat, when ghosts can go clubbing, they start to lose their interest for me.  Which is a shame, because monsters and supernaturals, as they are, are the perfect metaphor for the awkward, disturbing, intimidating, frustrating experience that is puberty.  Instead you just have pretty people with pretty problems and that’s simply doesn’t hold my interest.



We are giving away a copy of Arise by Tara Hudson.

Contest Rules:

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Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

31 Responses to “Review: Arise by Tara Hudson and Giveaway”

  1. Angie H

    It’s unfortunate that you didn’t enjoy Arise. I was really looking forward to reading it because I enjoyed Hereafter. I am reconsidering reading Arise…

  2. Abby

    LoL – I didn’t like this book, but we’re giving it away!!! (totally teasing. I know you don’t mean it like that.)
    The white = purity thing gets blamed on Queen Victoria (no joke), but the idea of a color = virginity goes back to Biblical times when a king’s virgin daughters wore specific robes to “advertise” their purity and say that they were available for marriage. By modern days, the color had settled on blue, which is why blue was the wedding color of choice pre-Victoria. However, awesome lady that she was, Victoria realized that there was a serious recession going on and keeping up with tradition would have meant much dying and cutting and styling of blue fabric to make it “right.” so she chose to wear an undyed dress and save some money (since the people were footing the bill for the wedding, it was a nice gesture). Since then, white = virgin bride, although it’s more accurate to say white = cheap and easy, since that’s the reason it was chosen 😉
    As for the flowers… she’s holding feathers or fern leaves on the cover, not flowers. Either way, they’re death markers, not purity signs.

  3. Realm of Fiction

    Thanks for the helpful review, Kat! 🙂 I wasn’t entirely blown away by the first book (in fact, I can barely remember what happened now) so I’m not sure if I have the enthusiasm to enjoy the sequel. I might give it a go sometime down the line, but won’t rush to get myself a copy yet. 😉

  4. bamayankee

    Thanks for the helpful review! I loved Hereafter, so I think I still will try this one. Hopefully I’ll like it : ) 

  5. bamayankee

    Thanks for the helpful review! I loved Hereafter, so I think I still will try this one. Hopefully I’ll like it : ) 

  6. heykelley

    Oh, great review. I’m glad I read this (I love this blog). My sister loves this series, but now I know that I’m probably not interested in it.

  7. CarloShmarlo

    Thanks for the review, I enjoyed that. Just goes to show that every book’s not for everyone. Me, I’ll give it a shot.

  8. Stephanie Sinclair

    “They can’t seal the deal, under­stand?  It’s over before the cigar’s lit.  The party’s started but the guests can’t come.  I have no clue what I’m say­ing.  Look, they can’t bone, alright?”
    Bahahahahaha! That was hilarious, Kat. *wipes tear* 

  9. MiltiadouK

    Thank you for the international giveaway 🙂 Loved the review, I needed some laugh!

  10. Mary BookSwarm

    “white dress and foliage equaled hymen” LOL–so true and why the heck is that? *shakes head* I’d like to tell the ghost chick that she’s dead. It’s never gonna happen…and it really shouldn’t. *shudder*

  11. Lissa Bilyk

    I think you make a really good point that also reflects on the first book – Amelia’s ghostly existence isn’t a problem, it’s merely an inconvenience. She can still make out with her boyfriend, and that’s not taking advantage of the awesome idea that she’s a ghost and that really they do have no future together. I also got frustrated in Book 1 because she couldn’t move through walls and had to wait for people to open doors for her.
    That being said, this cover is so pretty I think that’s the main reason I wanted it so badly.

  12. Kate C.

    Recently read an indie called “Enchanted” that was like this.  Strong start and super excited to read it, but the entire middle section was about the 2 horny teenagers unsuccessfully trying to figure out how to DO IT.  Which many many people seemed to enjoy, but wasn’t my thing. I can’t take the ANGST.  lol

  13. JeepinJaime

    I really , really hope that Arise is good. I loved Hereafter, but I have been hearing not great things about Arise. It takes a lot to disappoint me, and I am hoping this doesn’t have the things that disappoint. Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. cynicalsapphire

    I completely loathed the first book. I won a copy of this won and gave it away as quickly as I could because no. It was all about their insanely cheesy romance and how it felt like BURNING FIRE whenever they touch. Also, if your girlfriend is invisible, best not to go on dates in public, or at the very least not to make out in public. JUST SAYING.

  15. Neyra

    LOl i loved your gif in the beginning xD Shame that this book disappointed, but i’m definitely intrigued by it >.<

  16. neysakristanti

    Hi 😀
    I’ve read Hereafter, and it’s great enough I can’t wait to get my hand on Aride 😀
    And thanks a lot for the chance

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