by Gena Showalter
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Publication Date: February 23rd 2016
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
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NO SECOND CHANCE.
Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.
There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.
In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t home to the boy she’s falling for? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision… (Goodreads)
Afterlife is only the third book I've read so far by the talented Gena Showalter, and to be honest, based on how much I enjoyed the previous books I've read of hers, I was really looking forward to reading something new by her, especially since it was in the young adult genre.
The main character in the story, Tenley Lockwood. When we first meet Ten, she's been locked away in an asylum for months, all because she wouldn't make a choice on where she would spend her afterlife. This asylum was more like a prison, doling out punishments meant to break a person so that they would change their mind and just make a choice already. This was an awful, horrid place, and my heart broke for Ten to see what all she had experienced during her time there.
But that didn't stop her at all from being quite a badass. She was able to take care of herself and defend herself when needed, which, to be honest, was quite often. But she did what she had to do to survive, and you can't fault her for that. The only thing that drove me crazy about Ten was her indecisiveness throughout the story. Every time I would think that she'd made up her mind about something, something would happen and she would change it again. This was pretty frustrating, to say the least, but otherwise, she was a very strong-willed character.
There's a bit of a love triangle in the story as well, one in which I chose a side pretty early on. Unfortunately, I don't believe my ship will sail the way I want it to, as it went the completely opposite direction in the story, but there's always hope for the next book!
The storyline for the book was definitely creative, and felt very unique. I can't say that I've read anything like it before. The idea of having a second life after you die is interesting. There were a few parts in the novel that were a bit confusing at times, but after I went back and reread them, they made a bit more sense. The book ends with a pretty massive cliffhanger, and I'm super curious to know what's going to happen in the next book.
Overall; despite a few issues I had with the book, I still found Firstlife to be an interesting read. I'll definitely be picking up Lifeblood, the second book in the Everlife series, to find out what's going to happen next for Tenley and crew.