The Everafter

The Everafter

4.3 60
by Amy Huntley
     
 

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Madison Stanton doesn't know where she is or how she got there. But she does know this—she is dead. And alone, in a vast, dark space. The only company she has in this place are luminescent objects that turn out to be all the things Maddy lost while she was alive. And soon she discovers that with these artifacts, she can reexperience—and sometimes even

Overview

Madison Stanton doesn't know where she is or how she got there. But she does know this—she is dead. And alone, in a vast, dark space. The only company she has in this place are luminescent objects that turn out to be all the things Maddy lost while she was alive. And soon she discovers that with these artifacts, she can reexperience—and sometimes even change—moments from her life.

Her first kiss.

A trip to Disney World.

Her sister's wedding.

A disastrous sleepover.

In reliving these moments, Maddy learns illuminating and sometimes frightening truths about her life—and death.

Editorial Reviews

Gabrielle Zevin
“A mystery about life’s greatest mysteries, a love story that transcends death, a ghost story with real substance, and an altogether fascinating novel about the redemptive possibilities in lost things.”
Jay Asher
“In The Everafter, Maddy relives moments from her life which broke her heart, made her laugh uncontrollably, and forced her to grow. Amy Huntley’s book will do the same for you.”
Publishers Weekly
The story of Madison Stanton, dead of unknown causes at age 17, showcases debut author Huntley's skill at writing believable scenes of high school life. Floating in an oblivion she refers to as “is,” Madison bounces from scene to scene in her life, trying to understand how she died and figure out what “the Universe wants me to understand.” She is hampered by the fact that it is only through touching various objects she finds floating with her (her boyfriend's sweatshirt, a baby rattle, a hair clip) that she can connect with her past. The objects are items she lost in life, and she discovers that other spirits are also using the same means to revisit their lives. The premise feels somewhat contrived, and there's a random snapshot quality to the narrative as Madison gets sucked into and wrenched away from moments in her life, which can grow tedious. Nevertheless, Madison is an engaging protagonist, and the author builds a strong sense of tension; much of her story works well as slice-of-life realism. Huntley is an author worth watching. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
VOYA - Beth Karpas
This book might need to be sold to readers one at a time (the first line is "I'm dead"), but it will be well worth the effort. Huntley's writing is as lovely as the photograph on the book's cover and as poetic as the Emily Dickinson quotes sprinkled throughout. The nonlinear tale tells Maddy's life story, ranging from babyhood to her senior year and then back to toddlerhood. Readers learn along with Maddy about her family, her best friend, her boyfriend, and even her frenemies. Inspired by a friend's question, "Wouldn't it be funny if all those things you lost turned up after you were dead, just when you didn't need them anymore?" Huntley creates an entirely new version of the human experience after death. She pulls in some quantum physics but not so much as to scare off the unscientific, and intersperses the aforementioned Dickinson, but the world and the interactions between the spirits that inhabit it and the real world are as fascinating as the question of how Maddy died. This book is one where people who like to read the last page first will need a friend to cover it, so that there are no spoilers. It is also a book that will stick with readers, making them think not only about Maddy but also about the nature of life and death, time, possessions, and the interactions with both people and things that make us, us. Reviewer: Beth Karpas
Children's Literature - Stephanie Dawley
This first novel by high school teacher, Amy Huntley, packs a powerful, if somewhat surreal, punch. The story begins with 17-year-old Madison Stanton realizing that she is dead, or at least she assumes she is dead since she cannot feel her body or see much of anything but darkness around her. The problem is that she cannot remember how she died. Slowly, Madison realizes that she is not completely alone, but is surrounded by objects that represent things she lost during her lifetime. Each object takes her back to the moment it was lost and allows her to re-experience the surrounding events. She can even change the outcome of these events, but she discovers that then she can never return to that moment again. Unfortunately, the pull of wanting to return to her family, best friend, and boyfriend is stronger than anything else, which seems to be blocking her ability to progress to "the after." The surreal feeling of this novel is pervasive, as Maddy desperately tries to solve the mystery of her death, while simultaneously learning about existing in the after-life. Death is a difficult subject, but the realistic characters and honest, thoughtful observations make this a satisfying and enjoyable read. Reviewer: Stephanie Dawley
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Seventeen-year-old Madison (Maddy) Stanton is confused, lonely, and dead in this novel (Balzer & Bray, 2009) by Amy Huntley. Where she is and how she got there is unknown, but in the expansive darkness that surrounds her, she discovers floating, luminescent objects she lost in her previous life. Maddy sees these items and feels that her "life is lying in a heap of memories piled on top of one another." Each object allows her (and listeners) to skip through her past life, proving that even seemingly insignificant items—a bracelet, a pine cone, a piece of popcorn—elicit memories. During her soul searching, Madison also discovers clues to her mysterious and sudden death. Tavia Gilbert is amazing in her ability to transition between numerous characters, from a silky, Southern drawl to a soused father to a complicated, contemplative teenager. This is as close as you can get to a full-cast narration with a solo voice. Huntley's fabulous, haunting debut novel is a ghost story, a mystery, and a love story that creates a unique twist on one of life's ponderables: what happens after we die? A compelling addition to teen collections.—Cheryl Preisendorfer, Twinsburg City Schools, OH
Kirkus Reviews
Death is the new life. Stories about dead teens used to be mainly weepers about beautiful young girls with tragic diseases. Now along with vampires and zombies there are explorations of just what life after death might look like. First-time author Huntley's take on the topic is cleverly constructed and compelling. Madison, the 17-year-old narrator, recognizes the objects floating around her as ones she owned during her lifetime. Some experimentation leads her to realize that she can use them to re-experience and/or observe specific portions of her existence. Doing so helps her to answer the central question-how she died-as well as to reconnect with others in this formless void. Weaving concepts from physics and the poetry of Emily Dickinson into a series of (not chronological) vignettes from Madison's life works surprisingly well and presents a clear picture of relationships, choices and consequences. Refreshingly, Madison's death resulted from her effort to take care of a friend, not bad choices about drugs or alcohol. Intriguing and thought-provoking. (Fiction. YA)
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review)
[The Everafter is] a book that will stick with readers, making them think no only about Maddy but also about the nature of life and death, time, possessions, and the interactions with both people and things that make us, us.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061776816
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/24/2010
Pages:
244
Sales rank:
770,870
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
13 Years

What People are saying about this

Gabrielle Zevin
“A mystery about life’s greatest mysteries, a love story that transcends death, a ghost story with real substance, and an altogether fascinating novel about the redemptive possibilities in lost things.”
Jay Asher
“In The Everafter, Maddy relives moments from her life which broke her heart, made her laugh uncontrollably, and forced her to grow. Amy Huntley’s book will do the same for you.”

Meet the Author

Amy Huntley says that a colleague's musings were the spark that inspired The Everafter: "I've always had a tendency to attach myself to the objects of my life, so when one of my friends said something like, 'Wouldn't it be funny if all those things you lost turned up after you were dead, just when you didn't need them anymore?' it got me thinking. But I wanted to believe there would be a purpose to their reappearance. As the story evolved, I realized that Madison's quest to make peace with moving on to the Everafter is really the same battle that everyone goes through as they grow and become someone new."

Amy lives with her daughter in Michigan, where she is a teacher of high school English.

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Everafter 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Laurab68 More than 1 year ago
I've been dreading writing this review because I really did not like this story at all. I'm not sure if reading Before I Fall ruined this one for me, but the way this story played out was definitely a factor. Let me start out by telling you why I didn't like it. I couldn't get a read on Maddy. I couldn't like her or not like her. Like her character stuck in IS, I felt like I was stuck too. The whole psychobabble bullcrap about Heaven and Hell and Purgatory dragged this story down. The idea that certain objects that she lost in her lifetime could bring her back to that period in time just didn't jive with me. This could've been a great story, but the time spent in limbo just made me more frustrated. Gabriel. He was the amazingly beautiful boyfriend. Maddy questioned and still questioned why he was with her. This plot point in books is getting old. Really old. I'm going to call this the Bella-technique. Maddy was annoying in her jealousy of Gabriel's ex-girlfriend. Who is not so nice. Okay. The set up of the story seemed mashed together. And the final revelation? I was more like who cares. Please realize this is my opinion and I know others that have absolutely LOVED this story. Obviously this one wasn't my cup of tea.
Edyaline More than 1 year ago
Wow I honestly didn't expect to like this one much. But it was really really good. Maddy's quest to make peace with her life after death makes an intresting plot as she revisits moments from the past; from time she was a baby till the final moments before she died. Only to discover the shocking truth and a loved one that died with her. The book really keeps you guessing on how she died and the truth will shock you. So many lines from this book I fell in love with that really give you a new perspective on life. I recommend to anyone! MUST READ!!! <3
Courtney6 More than 1 year ago
I was kind of skeptical about reading this book when I read the discription and then just decided that I was going to read it. I was pretty muched hooked after reading the first page. I wanted to know how the story would play out with Madison being dead. This book made me think so much about the afterlife that I lost sleep because I couldn't stop thinking, what if this really does happen? What if all the objects you loose in your life come back and that's how you see your life again? I'm like Madison and am totally connected to objects, whenever I loose something I get really upset. Dosn't always matter what it is, either. And I seem to loose things all the time, too. I can't seem to keep anything from being lost at some point. The characters were really easy to relate with. I kept imagining myself in Madison's position and realizing that the way she handled some things is the same way I would. Books don't always get me really emotional, or I try to hide my emotion, but this book had me crying immensely for the last 30 pages at least. Just the way everything happens at the end was just heartbreaking. Although, I was crying tears of sadness and happiness, it was just the way she died was horrible. I recommend this book to everyone! It really makes you appriciate the things you have in life and really makes you think about life after death.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting point of view on death. Great story that sucks you right in and even gives the reader the feeling of finding piece in the Epilogue.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book over three and a half years ago and i can still remember most of the details in this book to this day and its still amazing. I picked this book up back then just for a quick read for my seventh grade SSR and now as a sophmore in high school im still glad that was the book i picked up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A surprising intriging story that will pull you in and make you think deeper. I loved it. Good for ages 13+
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Should I get this book or not
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing book. I loved it so much, I couldn't put it down! I had to read it non-stop; I stayed up for about 2-3 days straight! I would recommend it to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was amazed at Maddy's eagerness to find out how she died. I can admit, that yeah, i am attached to some things. I really didnt expect her to die that way. I couldnt imagine being killed that way. To me, my favorite part was when Maddy and Gabe admit that they still love each other in 'is'. Overall, this book was amazing. Its an easy read. I read it in 3 hours. So basiclly this book covers Maddy and her life. Well, not really her life, but her life as a kid, and before she died, and her life in between. And in 'is' she can go back to her life through the objects that she lost in her life. And she can go into her body in that period of time, and change it so it has a different outcome. Or, she can stay outside of her body as a spirit, and watch what happens as it unfolds. It has some confusing parts when she's 4 and then goes to age 17 without warning. Like i said, this book is an easy read. Read the other reviews, read the book for yourself, then write a review! Hope you enjoy(ed) the book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book always kept me interested. It seemed so realistic, like it could happen to anyone. This book will send chills down your spine and keep you wanting more and more. Definetely one of my favorites
Kimberly Placencia More than 1 year ago
I think its all right the last thrity pages were definetly greaaat! Howecver i get bored sometimes trough out the book . But over all it was very interesting and enjoy able
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Tammie Hall More than 1 year ago
My friend read the book and let me read some of it and oh my gosh its good!!! My friend's and my favorite part was when sherevisited her first kiss andhen she was in the girls bathroom with Tammy.
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Samantha Roberts More than 1 year ago
I love this book! It was amazing from beginning to end! I recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago