Hi, my name is Kim and I am addicted to books. See? I can admit it!!
This is Your Afterlife is the debut novel from Vanessa Barnevald and I can't wait to see more from her. I enjoyed the characters and the story line was rather engrossing, although there were moments that were perhaps a little slow in pacing.
There were so many things to like about the main character, Kiera. I love flawed characters, characters not created to be anything more than a real person. That is Kiera. She is not the popular girl. She has made mistakes. She has real problems. That makes her someone I can relate to and understand. Her character is grieving for her recently passed grandmother, something I can all too easily understand. Her grandmother had her own special gifts, gifts that Kiera herself may finally be inheriting.
Dan and Jimmy are brothers and a source of contention for Kiera. The two brothers could not have been more different and the contrast and how Kiera relates to each of them is interesting. In a bittersweet twist, it was death that brought the three of them together in the ways that it did. There was definitely a touch of irony in that.
Even the antagonist, though this is a person that you are predisposed to dislike, was an interesting character. There were some deep issues there and it made for an interesting twist.
This story had a great blend of themes... friendship, betrayal, loss, adjustment, family, love, forgiveness, loyalty, right along with a little bit of humor.
Barnevald's storytelling is quite nice and this is a story that touches on some very real issues without going overboard with the heavy emotional toll.