Review: The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

October 16, 2017 Book Review, Young Adult 8 ★★★★

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

The Afterlife of Holly ChaseThe Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
Published by HarperTeen on October 24th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Paranormal, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Edelweiss
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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 know it’s only October but to be perfectly honest, I am sooooo ready for the Holiday season! Christmastime brings out the absolute best of feelings and nothing compares to the classic movies and stories surrounding it. The Afterlife of Holly Chase takes a different and modern spin on a tale we all know so well, A Christmas Carol, and by the end my heart was filled with joy and excitement for the months to come!

The story starts off with a glimpse of Holly and the person she used to be. She was selfish, materialistic, and pretty nasty to the people around her. So just like the original tale, she is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve in an effort to change her ways before it was too late. But unlike Scrooge she did not heed their warnings, so she died. The story continues five years later where Holly has been playing the part of the Ghost of Christmas Past at a company called Project Scrooge, the very company that tried to save her all those years ago. But this year is different. The new Scrooge, Ethan, is young, just as Holly was, and not only fascinating but very attractive…

The whole idea of Project Scrooge was pretty fun to read about; a company who is dedicated to making the world a better place one grouch at a time. This was an actual company with all sorts of employees (alive and dead) and roles that played a part in the elaborate scheme and I just thought it was all so incredibly clever and well thought out. I loved all the little details on how it played off the original Dickens story, like the process of determining all the main players in the new Scrooge’s life – the Marley, tiny Tim, etc. There were quite a bit of Dickens references and I think readers will get a kick out of that. But then there were new modern twists thrown in like hoodies that make you invisible and electrodes used to read minds and enter memories. The old and the new all blended very well together.

But Holly is a ghost (but in a sort of normal looking zombie way?) and her existence is quite lonely and sad. She is still flawed but in a more relatable way. You cannot help but root for her throughout the story, wishing she had a chance for something more. When she goes off script and falls for Ethan, things start to change around her with both Ethan and the company, putting the whole project in jeopardy. The story takes some twists and turns and by the end my heart was filled with joy with how it all came together.

I smiled, shed some tears, and even found myself surprised a time or two with this one. Cynthia Hand has once again written a wonderful novel for many to enjoy. This is definitely one to check out to get you into the Christmas spirit!

“God bless us, every one.”

About Cynthia Hand

Cynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of the Unearthly series with HarperTeen: UNEARTHLY, HALLOWED, RADIANT (an enovella) and BOUNDLESS. Currently she lives in southern California with her husband and two small children. She teaches courses in creative writing at Pepperdine University. Her next book, THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE, will be released in February 2015.

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

8 Responses to “Review: The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand”

    • Sara @ Forever 17 Books

      LOL Normally I would want to read a Christmas book in December but I couldn’t help myself and I had an ARC so I went with it. I get why getting a Christmas-themed story out there early before the Holidays is important but at the same time I know a lot of reviewers would rather wait until a little closer as well. 🙂

  1. Christine

    I think you’re the first person I’ve seen who has reviewed this so far and I’m so happy it ended up being really good! I’ve been on the fence about downloading it from Edelweiss just because I wasn’t sure if it would live up to the hype I have for it in my head haha. I didn’t want it to be just another retelling with no pizazz. Sounds like it was original and a great read to boot. I’ll definitely have to read it now!
    Christine recently posted…Review: The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefanoMy Profile

    • Sara @ Forever 17 Books

      I was initially surprised I didn’t see many, or any really, reviews for this before either. Perhaps people want to wait until closer to Christmas? That’s the only thing I could think of. I really do love this author and her writing a lot. 🙂

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