The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker by Lauren James
Published by: Walker Books
Release date: 03/09/2020
Where to find: Goodreads | Waterstones
Summary: What if death is only the beginning?
When Harriet Stoker dies after falling from a balcony in a long-abandoned building, she discovers a group of ghosts, each with a special power.
Felix, Kasper, Rima and Leah welcome Harriet into their world, eager to make friends with the new arrival after decades alone. Yet Harriet is more interested in unleashing her own power, even if it means destroying everyone around her. But when all of eternity is at stake, the afterlife can be a dangerous place to make an enemy.
*I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own*
Okay, so I kind of don’t know how to feel about this book, but at the same time I think I kind of loved it. I think part of the reason I feel weird about it is because I was getting confused between this book and The Afterlife of Holly Chase, so I really wasn’t expecting the direction the story went in.
First thing I really didn’t expect is that Harriet is a really unlikable character, which I probably would have known if I had read the synopsis. I really liked the way it was done. I have read and not really enjoyed unlikable characters before, so I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I also liked her character arc.
Felix, Kasper, Rima and Leah were all really nice characters to read about. I really liked them all, and I really liked their friendship dynamic. They had a bit of banter, but it was also really obvious that they cared for each other and I just love reading about friendship groups.
I also really liked the way it was narrated, if that’s the right word. I was expecting it to be mostly, if not entirely, told from Harriet’s point of view, but that wasn’t the case. It is told from Harriet, Leah, Felix, Kasper and Rima’s points of view in 3rd person, and then there are parts that are in first person and from the point of view of a mysterious narrator (who I did NOT correctly guess the identity of.)
I wasn’t always sure about the writing style. It seemed a bit simple and straightforward at times, and some of the dialogue was a bit unrealistic, but overall I was fine with the writing. It was a nice easy writing style to read, so I was able to get through it really quickly.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker, and it really cemented Lauren James’s place on my auto-buy authors list.