Do you love heart-warming redemption stories? How about Charles Dicken's classic, A Christmas Carol? If so, welcome to this no-spoiler book review of The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand.
I had so much fun reading this one! Ironically, I read it in July, and it was my favorite book of the summer reading challenge.
Book Review of The Afterlife of Holly Chase
What's the book about?
This one is so high concept, and I was immediately intrigued.
Holly Chase is a scrooge. She was visited by the ghosts of past, present, and future, BUT she refused to change and died shortly after. Now, she is forced to serve as the Ghost of Christmas Past.
What I Loved
I had so much fun with the Charles Dickens references. The characters who work at Project Scrooge are all given code names by their mysterious boss, including Havisham (the main character), Copperfield, and Dorrit. If you're familiar with Dicken's work, you'll get some delicious clues about characters and plot points.
Holly is entitled, rich, rude, and a bit famous. Her dad is a Hollywood director. The entire story is told from her perspective. She also has a difficult past and like all scrooges, a Marley (a bad mentor who has died). At first, she's a bit hard to read, like a stereotype of a Valley Girl. But as the story unfolds, she changes... slowly and believably. Project Scrooge strips her wealth and status. As the Ghost of Christmas Past, her mission all year long is to help her team redeem a scrooge.
This year's scrooge is unusual. Like Holly, he is very young, only a teenager. Their backgrounds are similar. She wants to break the rules. She wants to meet him. Cue the love story I never asked for but became immediately invested in. The slow build and flirty banter is very well done.
What I Didn't Love
The ending wrap-up felt a little rushed. I wanted more of this world. I wanted more explanation of the history of Project Scrooge and the past scrooges. I wanted more romance. If you need a firm HEA romance, this book might not be for you.
Just in case Cynthia Hand ever reads this review, I wish this book was a series. I'd love to read this story from a different POV. I'd also love to read more stories about other scrooges.
This article was written by E.V. Everest.
E.V. Everest is a YA fantasy and sci-fi author, best known for her Shadows & Starlight series. Travel to a glittering, dangerous world with political alliances and ballgowns, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Cinder. Check out the series by clicking the book cover below.