|In reliving these moments, Maddy learns illuminating and sometimes
Madison Stanton doesn't know where she is or how she got there.
But she does know this--she is dead. And alone, in a vast, dark space.
The only company she has in this place are luminescent objects that
turn out to be all the things Maddy lost while she was alive. And soon
she discovers that with these artifacts, she can re-experience--and
sometimes even change--moments from her life.
Her first kiss.
A trip to Disney World.
Her sister's wedding.
A disastrous sleepover.
frightening truths about her life--and death.
The Everafter (unabr.) 5 CDs. 5:07 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2009. ISBN 978-1-4418-0183-8. $54.97.
Click image above to see the trailer
| || Click the image to the left to listen to an excerpt of the audiobook, published by Brilliance Audio|
| Praise for the Book...|
VOYA (Starred Review)This book might need to be sold to readers one at a time (the first line is "I'm dead"),
but it will be well worth the effort. Huntley's writing is as lovely as the photograph on the
book's cover and as poetic as the Emily Dickinson quotes sprinkled throughout. The
nonlinear tale tells Maddy's life story, ranging from babyhood to her senior year and then
back to toddlerhood. Readers learn along with Maddy about her family, her best friend,
her boyfriend, and even her frenemies. Inspired by a friend's question, "Wouldn't it be
funny if all those things you lost turned up after you were dead, just when you didn't need
them anymore?" Huntley creates an entirely new version of the human experience after death.
She pulls in some quantum physics but not so much as to scare off the unscientific, and
intersperses the aforementioned Dickinson, but the world and the interactions between the
spirits that inhabit it and the real world are as fascinating as the question of how Maddy died.
This book is one where people who like to read the last page first will need a friend to cover
it, so that there are no spoilers. It is also a book that will stick with readers, making them
think not only about Maddy but also about the nature of life and death, time, possessions,
and the interactions with both people and things that make us, us. Reviewer: Beth Karpas
School Library JournalGr 8 Up—Seventeen-year-old Madison Stanton is dead. When she awakes in a vast
expanse of nothingness, she realizes that she doesn't remember her past life, much less
how she died. As she explores her surroundings, she finds glowing items scattered about her,
such as a bracelet, a pair of socks, keys, and a sweatshirt. When she imagines putting the
shirt on her nonexistent body, she's brought back to a moment in her former life. From this
experience she learns that every object around her is something that she lost while she was
alive, and that using it will bring her spirit back to the moment in which it went missing. Armed
with this knowledge, she attempts to discover how she died. With some help from the spirits
of her boyfriend Gabe and her ex-friend Tammy, Madison learns the shattering truth of her
demise. This fresh take on a teen's journey of self-exploration is a compelling and highly
enjoyable tale. Huntley expertly combines a coming-of-age story with a supernatural mystery
that keeps readers engrossed until the climactic ending. This touching story will appeal to
those looking for a ghost story, romance, or family drama.
—Laura Amos, Newport News Public Library, VA
Kirkus ReviewsDeath is the new life. Stories about dead teens used to be mainly weepers about beautiful
young girls with tragic diseases. Now along with vampires and zombies there are explorations
of just what life after death might look like. First-time author Huntley's take on the topic is
cleverly constructed and compelling. Madison, the 17-year-old narrator, recognizes the objects
floating around her as ones she owned during her lifetime. Some experimentation leads her to
realize that she can use them to re-experience and/or observe specific portions of her existence.
Doing so helps her to answer the central question-how she died-as well as to reconnect with others
in this formless void. Weaving concepts from physics and the poetry of Emily Dickinson into a
series of (not chronological) vignettes from Madison's life works surprisingly well and presents a
clear picture of relationships, choices and consequences. Refreshingly, Madison's death resulted
from her effort to take care of a friend, not bad choices about drugs or alcohol. Intriguing and
thought-provoking. (Fiction. YA)
Praise for the Audio Version of the Book...
School Library Journal (Starred Review)
Gr 7-10–Seventeen-year-old Madison (Maddy) Stanton is confused, lonely, and dead in this
novel (Balzer & Bray, 2009) by Amy Huntley. Where she is and how she got there is unknown,
but in the expansive darkness that surrounds her, she discovers floating, luminescent objects
she lost in her previous life. Maddy sees these items and feels that her “life is lying in a heap
of memories piled on top of one another.” Each object allows her (and listeners) to skip through
her past life, proving that even seemingly insignificant items—a bracelet, a pine cone, a piece of
popcorn—elicit memories. During her soul searching, Madison also discovers clues to her
mysterious and sudden death. Tavia Gilbert is amazing in her ability to transition between
numerous characters, from a silky, Southern drawl to a soused father to a complicated,
contemplative teenager. This is as close as you can get to a full-cast narration with a solo
voice. Huntley’s fabulous, haunting debut novel is a ghost story, a mystery, and a love story
that creates a unique twist on one of life’s ponderables: what happens after we die?
A compelling addition to teen collections.–Cheryl Preisendorfer, Twinsburg City Schools, OH.
Way to Go, Tavia Gilbert!
YALSA (Young Adult Library Association) Named The Everafter