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Afterlife Academy by Jaimie Admans
Genre: Fantasy and young adult
Release Date: March 15, 2013
Pages: 206 (Ebook)
Even being dead isn’t enough to get you out of maths class.
Dying wasn’t on sixteen-year-old Riley Richardson’s to-do list. And now, not only is she dead, but she’s stuck in a perpetual high school nightmare. Worse still, she’s stuck there with the geekiest, most annoying boy in the history of the world, ever.
In a school where the geeks are popular and just about everything is wrong, Riley has become an outcast. She begins a desperate quest to get back home, but her once-perfect life starts to unravel into something not nearly as great as she thought it was. And maybe death isn’t really that bad after all…
Welcome to Afterlife Academy, where horns are the norm, the microwave is more intelligent than the teachers, and the pumpkins have a taste for blood.
Afterlife Academy is told from the perspective of Riley Richardson, who is, in fact, a very different kind of girl (the popular kind). Instead of being the popular girl with the perfect life like she’s used to, she is ridiculed at the academy because of the fact that she looks a lot different than everyone else. And to be honest, I think that Riley deserves it for the awful things she did to everyone while she was alive. Afterlife Academy is that kind of book that’s sort of funny but also sort of annoying. Although I like the story, I think that it’s lacking in a lot of areas.
For the most part, the writing in this is really awkward. It sort of stops and goes, with very short three word sentences ending when they should not have ended. Another thing I don’t like about this is that there is so much repetition In almost every chapter, Riley explains to us how everything is either grey or very, very wrong. An example of the repetition is:
“The canteen looks exactly the same as it always has. Apart from the greyness, obviously. Grey lino flooring, grey tables and black chairs, grey counters.”
In the example above, it shows that saying everything is grey ins’t enough, but telling us everything in the room that is grey is the best way to get the image across. Because of this, it makes the story harder to read since I’m being constantly reminded just how grey everything is and just how colourful Riley is. A very hard thing for authors to accomplish is to make their readers hate their main character and then quickly fall in love with them. This is very tough to do because it requires the right amount of emotions. Unfortunately, Afterlife Academy doesn’t his its mark. I can see where Jaimie Admans is trying to go with Riley, making her seem like the mean girl who finds her way and stuff like that. But throughout the whole story I felt very little sympathy for her. Instead of falling in love with her and rooting for Riley to have her ‘happy ending’ I felt more annoyed with her then anything. She keeps whining about how everyone is mean to her when she actually deserves it. The relationship between Riley and Anthony feels very forced and a bit on the random side as well. I couldn’t relate to it because I didn’t understand how anyone would like Riley after all the crap they put them through.
With that being said, there actually are a few things that I like about the book. The character of Anthony is so amazing and sweet. He’s a very caring person who I honestly think makes the story rather than Riley. He’s still kind to those (Riley) who have made fun of him and made his life a living hell for several years when he has every reason to be rude and hate them for it. For as far as humour goes, my favourite part has to be the group therapy session. This part made me laugh because it’s so realistic when you put a bunch of teenagers together. They snap at each other and defend one another and tease them.I also like all the sneaking around. It creates a somewhat mysterious setting.
Overall, not a bad read. I like the second half a lot more than the first because that’s mostly where all the action is. Most of the characters are lacking emotion and a personality and feel like ink on a page but I did enjoy the karmatic things that the author put in the novel. They made me smile. I recommend this to anyone who likes after-world novels. Especially if you love romances that just randomly happen.