Thursday, December 9, 2010

[Review] Radiance by Alyson Noël (#1)

Title: Radiance
Author: Alyson Noël
Publication: 1st August 2010 (AU)
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Source: PB, For Review (Thanks Pan Macmillan!)
Pages: 210
Series: Yes
My Rating:

From the author of the bestselling Evermore - a brilliant, moving and uplifting new series about one girl's adventures in the afterlife.

Riley Bloom died, aged twelve, in a car crash with her parents and her beloved dog Buttercup. Her sister Ever survived - but that's another story. Riley must let go of Ever and all the things that tied her to life - and discover what she's meant to be in the afterlife. Riley is a soul catcher. That means helping the unhappy lost souls who stick around in the human realm to move on - and find their own place, over the bridge, in the great hereafter. With her spirit guide, Bodhi, and Buttercup by her side, Riley embarks on an adventure that will take her around the world - sending ghosts back where they belong, until she can finally make it there herself.
My thoughts: 

Radiance is a short read, and was both cute and fun. It was exactly what I expected of it. Radiance is the kind of book that I would have loved to have read back in my primary school days. The main character, Riley, is straight-forward with her thoughts, just like a young child.

I have always struggled with writing reviews of MG books; this one is no exception. I have not read any of Alyson's previous novels, and it is possible that fans of her Immortals series may achieve more of a connection to Riley and her family. I felt as though I missed out on feeling much of anything for her family and herself. There was no real emotional connection with any of the characters, which is why I felt the book fell a little flat.

However, that said, I did like the concept, that there is a Here & Now, which is "Heaven". And that in the Here & Now, people who have died can manifest anything they so should desire. The storyline is straight-forward and thereby easy to follow. I was not flipping the pages quickly, but it still was a quick read.

I'm hoping that there will be more development in the second book. I will probably read it, Shimmer.



I pressed my lips together to keep them from quivering in an embarrassing, visible way. Crossing my arms tightly across a chest that, now, thanks to the fact that I was sent Here, would stay stubbornly flat for, well, for eternity as far as I could tell. And when my eyes started to sting, and my throat went all hot and tight, it just made it all seem that much worse. I mean, the one thing I ever really wanted was to be a teenager--and these people had yanked it right out from under me.
(pg 38)

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I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.


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