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Radiance (Riley Bloom Series #1)

Radiance (Riley Bloom Series #1)

4.2 493
by Alyson Noël

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Riley has crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. She has picked up life where she left off when she was alive, living with her parents and dog in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. When she's summoned before The Council, she learns that the afterlife isn't just an eternity of leisure. She's been assigned a job,


Riley has crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. She has picked up life where she left off when she was alive, living with her parents and dog in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. When she's summoned before The Council, she learns that the afterlife isn't just an eternity of leisure. She's been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a possibly cute, seemingly nerdy boy who's definitely hiding something. They return to earth together for Riley's first assignment, a Radiant Boy who's been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But all of that was before he met Riley . . .

Radiance is the first book in the Riley Bloom series from bestselling author Alyson Noël.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Riley, who appeared in ghost form to her older sister, Ever, in Noël's bestselling Evermore, takes center stage in this middle-grade spinoff, first in a planned series. Having recently crossed over into the afterworld, Riley has reunited with her parents, who were killed in the same accident, but is having trouble adjusting. "I'd do anything to go back home," she admits. When she gets assigned to be a Soul Catcher, persuading dead people to "cross the bridge and move on," she is thrilled to return to Earth in spirit form, even if it means traveling with Bodhi, a "dorky" teenage guide. As she and Bodhi help the deceased cross over (at one point, they are sucked into the grieving soul of a mother wrongly executed for her children's murders), the assignments help her, too. If Riley is bratty--a fact she realizes after viewing video recaps of her brief life ("Are these like--edited--or maybe even, um, you know, Photoshopped, or something?")--her wit, attitude, and maturation should have readers gladly following her into the second installment. Ages 9–12. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Michele C. Hughes
In this spinoff of the "Immortals" series, the reader joins Ever's younger sister, Riley, in the afterlife. Not unlike the awkward first days at a new school, Riley's new life includes navigating an ethereal world called Here with far different rules than the home she left. For one thing, all one has to do is "manifest" something to make it real—clothes, housing, food, anything. And some people at school have an enviable glow that piques Riley's interest. But the biggest surprise is the day she stands before a council to review scenes from her life on a big screen. Riley receives a mission as Soul Catcher: persuade a reluctant ghost called Radiant Boy to leave the castle he is terrorizing on earth and enter the afterlife where he belongs. Accompanied by a "dorky guy" named Bodhi as a teacher and guide, Riley blithely pursues her mission with the confidence of the ignorant. Dealing with Radiant Boy proves a more daunting task than she imagined, with some truly frightening moments, and Bodhi's mission proves more daunting still. It's their cooperation and mutual support that sees them through, deepening their relationship and hinting at what might transpire between them in future volumes. Although Riley's voice is authentic for a middle schooler, she fails to evoke the reader's empathy. Fortunately some of her character's growth takes the edge off her bratty tendencies, giving the reader hope that Riley could eventually be someone worth knowing. Reviewer: Michele C. Hughes
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Riley Bloom, 12, has crossed the bridge to "Here," the afterlife, leaving behind her teenage sister, Ever, in the Earth plane. In Here, the time is always Now, and Riley can manifest anything she wants by just imagining it. She is forced to take an honest look at her past life, find her new place, and learn her purpose. Bodhi, a "dorky guy," has been assigned as her guide to teach her everything she needs to reach the next level. Her yellow Lab will travel with her. She is assigned the duty of Soul Catcher and is responsible for making Earth-bound souls move on and cross the bridge to Here. Her first subject is Radiant Boy, a 10-year-old who has been haunting an English castle for years. Other Soul Catchers have tried and failed, but now it's time for Bodhi and Riley to help him. This new series is by the author of The Immortals (St Martin's Griffin, 2010), where readers first meet Ever and Riley. Narrating in a contemporary voice with an honest and comfortable cadence, Riley is imperfect, but always likable as she sweeps readers to her faraway land where she makes herself and readers assess their behaviors and, quite possibly, make adjustments. In the midst of this wildly fanciful setting, Noël is able to capture with nail-on-the-head accuracy common worries and concerns of today's tweens.—Helen Foster James, University of California at San Diego
Kirkus Reviews

Twelve-year-old Riley is dead, and she isn't particularly happy about it. It took her quite a while to finally accept her fate and cross the bridge to the other side, and she still misses her earthly life, particularly her adored older sister (Ever, of Noël's Immortals series for teens). In the afterlife, Riley is given the job of Soul Catcher and assigned a guide to help her. She immediately clashes with her 14-year-old guide, Bodhi, who dresses badly and hides his handsome face behind oversized glasses. As first Riley and then Bodhi set out to complete their less-than-suspenseful assignments, they gain confidence and skill as well as an appreciation of each other. The overall tone is humorous, though the conclusion—Riley's realization that the dead are soon forgotten by the living yet can still go on to heights of glory in another plane—is bittersweet. This is a tale for lovers of the genre only; it doesn't generate enough reality to sustain an outsider's interest. But for those preteens who like a mild supernatural adventure with romantic overtones, you go, ghost. (Paranormal. 9-12)

From the Publisher

“…Noel uses a light hand and fills her story with humor and liveliness…the 4-hour audiobook is read by Kathleen McInerney in a youthful, endearing style that meshes well with the author's words. This is a good choice for interested pre-teens and up.” —Parents' Choice, winner of the Parents' Choice Approved Award

“Kathleen McInerney takes on the job of portraying Riley beautifully. She has a young, inquisitive quality to her voice that truly brings Riley to life…Listening to Riley's trials and errors is definitely a treat for the ears.” —TeensReadToo.com

“Narrator Kathleen McInerney is perfectly cast as Riley Bloom…A brief and enjoyable audio that will leave listeners wanting more of Riley.” —SoundCommentary.com

“Young listeners will surely enjoy exploring the afterlife through the eyes of Riley…This is a very promising first title in a new series.” —Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

“This audio version is excellent.” —5MinutesForBooks.com

“Narrator Kathleen McInerney does a good job of depicting a wonderfully spunky, funny curious, sarcastic girl who thinks she knows it all…This exciting story includes a great mix of likeable characters, witty dialogue, humor, a developing boy-girl relationship, scary ghosts, danger, and a most satisfying conclusion.” —School Library Journal

Product Details

Square Fish
Publication date:
Riley Bloom Series , #1
Edition description:
First Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.53(d)
1120L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

RADIANCE (Chapter 1)

Most people think that death is the end.

The end of life—of good times—the end of, well, pretty much everything.

But those people are wrong.

Dead wrong.

And I should know. I died almost a year ago.

RADIANCE. Copyright 2010 by Alyson Nol


Meet the Author

Alyson Noël is the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of the Riley Bloom series, including Dreamland and Shimmer, the Immortals series including Evermore, Blue Moon, Shadowland, Dark Flame, and Night Star, as well as the young adult books Faking 19, Art Geeks and Prom Queens, Laguna Cove, Fly Me to the Moon, Kiss & Blog, Saving Zoë, and Cruel Summer. With over 2 million copies in print in the US alone, her books have been published in 35 countries and have won awards including the National Reader's Choice Award, NYLA Book of Winter Award, NYPL Stuff for the Teenage, TeenReads Best Books of 2007, and Reviewer's Choice 2007 Top Ten, and have been chosen for the CBS Early Show's "Give the Gift of Reading" segment, and selected for Seventeen Magazine's "Hot List" and Beach Book Club Pick. She lives in Laguna Beach, California.

Kathleen McInerney has narrated numerous audiobooks by bestselling authors such as Emily Giffin, Danielle Steel, Jeffrey Stepakoff, Mary Kay Andrews, and Linda Castillo. Her narration of Just One Day by Gayle Forman won an AudioFile Earphones Award. In reviewing Mary Kay Andrew's Ladies' Night, AudioFile magazine said, "McInerney makes each of the characters distinct and recognizable and gives each the perfect voice, accent, and vocal mannerisms. Most enjoyable and well performed."

She has appeared onstage in New York and around the United States in both classical and contemporary theater. Her credits also include television commercials, daytime drama, radio plays, and animation voice-overs.

Customer Reviews

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Radiance (Riley Bloom Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 493 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Radiance is a great book for ages 11-13. The whole series infact. It is a great book with suspenceful moments. I would suggest it to anyone. I can't wait to read the rest of the series. Allyson Noel is a great author. She has many other books and series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book at the beginnig was a little boring but after a few chapters its really good. I had to read it for 7th grade junior high and i usually hate reading but i finished this book early because of it being so good. I hope my teacher doesnt make me read another because i usually dont finish at all or finish really late. So if you get bored at the beginning keep reading and i promise at the end you wil have loved it. Then read the next book shimmer which im also reading for school. Bye bye. :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its about a girl who died so she is talking about how it is in heaven and how she misses home
Trebble More than 1 year ago
This book is a fun MG read. It is told completely from a first person POV. Even though she has no contact with Ever, it is Riley's own story learning her place and purpose in this after-life. She is spunky, a bit bratty, and finds herself in the end a bit wiser than she thought she could become. Buttercup is adorable and although Bodhi is a bit one dimensional (probably due to seeing him through only on POV) he is interesting enough to see where the story takes him. The beginning of the story is a big slow, but really picks up in the middle of the book. At the end, you are met with Riley's epiphanies and the book feels complete with only being 178 pages. You do get a teaser with the next book, but I warn you... you will be left wondering or demanding what happens next if you read the excerpt. I give this book 4 stars. Remember this is a MG read and those that are expecting YA would be disappointed.
Cariblogs More than 1 year ago
Radiance is such a touching story that it's bound to be a hit with new readers and long time fans of The Immortals. In Radiance we follow Ever's little sister Riley into the afterlife. For those not familiar with Riley at twelve she lost her life in a car crash that also killed her parents and dog. The Immortals tells the story of her sister Ever who is the sole survivor of the accident. From the moment I read about Riley in Evermore, book one of The Immortals, I knew she would be a favorite of mine. She drives Ever insane, but bottom line she loves her sister. Reading about Riley in The Immortals would make me cry and a character who can pull at your emotions is a winner. Ever eventually convinces Riley to crossover and Riley finds out that she has a job to do that will bring her back to earth. In the afterlife she is reunited with her dog buttercup who will be allowed to travel with her. She is also assigned a guide, Bodhi is few years older than her, but Riley doesn't make his job very easy. Riley is funny, sarcastic, and an overall lovable character! I can't wait for more books to come. Also don't let the death part fool you this is a lighthearted, sweet, and happy story.
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
This is a spin off from The Immortal Series and a great spin off it is. Riley is now in Here, a place where people are after death. Riley meets up with the council to be placed where she belongs. After meeting with the council Riley is placed as a Soul Catcher, one who travel to the earth plane to help bring soul who linger for too long. Riley is placed with Bodhi. A super geeky, with no fashion sense is Riley boss. From the very beginning they did not get along. Riley was always defying him always doing want she wanted. Her first task as a Soul Catcher was to help The Radiant Boy. A boy who has haunted a castle for years with no Soul Catcher able to ever bring him over. Will Riley be able to help The Radiant Boy? Alyson did a great job writing Radiance. It was what I expected and more. I loved that I finally got to see an insight into Riley's point of view. Now, this book is for a younger age group, but nonetheless, this book was awesome. Riley's is a great character and had me hooked. Her quick wittiness and sarcastic comebacks had me laughing. I also like that this book was written appropriately for the age group. There was no cursing, bad scene, etc. Just great teenage-drama without all the bad junk. Alyson Noel's transitioning from writing older teen books to this one, I think she did a great job. She was able to catch that young voice and portray is beautifully. Radiance is a great summer read. It had a great plot and was a short,easy to read book. I really wish there was a little more for me to read. If you love The Immortal Series, then you will like this book. I would suggest that you read The Immortal series first, at least the first one, Evermore, so you can fully understand what happens in the the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book and its about this girl who died and is trying to settle in to her new after life and she becomes a soul catcher.this book was good because it was very detailed and interesting but whats bad about this is its very short and the story kind of went too fast like at one part she has to make a boy to go to the after life.she convinces him too go but it wasnt really convincing to me because she just talked to him and done he is going to the after life.so l give it 3 stars
Ariana Freire More than 1 year ago
i have read this book over and over and as a kid who looooves to read i must reccommend it to ALL
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be a highly intriguing read, keeping me up past 3:00 A.M. to finish it. I just couldn't stop turning pages! Noel wrote this story like a spider weaving a web. It was stunning and interesting. She left many holes in the story to keep you on your toes, but in the end, it all came together beautifully. It's a marvelous blend of tragedy, confusion, joy, and comedy. This is a perfect book for all ages. I highly reccomend Radiance!
EllzReadz More than 1 year ago
My thoughts...This new series by Alyson Noel is a spinoff of the Evermore series geared toward middle grade readers. The heroine is Ever's deceased sister, Riley. Ever finds herself in a place called Here & Now and has to find her way and herself. Riley is mature for her age. While she is only 12 years old, her character is very smart, brave, and full of intuition. She thinks fast on her feet and is not afraid to prove herself. That being said, Noel keeps the character very believable with several childish behaviors and flaws. For example, she is quick to form opinions of others, she is a bit vain, and self-centered, but she is likable. Her character evolves nicely as the story progresses. Another interesting character is Bodhi, her guide. He looks like your typical geek: big glasses, slicked-back hair, but is he? I instantly liked this character and I hope to learn more about his past as the series progresses. Radiance is geared toward ages 9-12, however, I think it will appeal to older readers and fans of the Immortals Series. The writing is very vivid. Noel did a great job of capturing the emotion and beauty of the surroundings. There were not a large number of major events, but it is a solid start to the series. The ending did not leave you hanging, but left you wondering what other sort of adventures Riley is in for. I look forward to book two in the series, coming in Spring 2011.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Radiance to me is an amazing book; it has a lot of action, love, and a lot more things. I usually don’t read books but this got me reading. The author tells us how it is like to be a ghost right before you turns thirteen. The main character Riley Bloom died in a car crash at twelve almost thirteen. When she died she had to choose to go with her sister Ever or her mom, dad, and yellow lab Buttercup. After she crossed the bridge with her family and after they got settled in Riley had to go to ghost school. Then when she got to ghost school she was placed as a soul catcher by the council and her mentor was a nerdy guy named Bodhi. And after that they went on an amazing adventure together.I liked the book because it can relate to some people. In a way that they were the new kid and they had to find their way in. Then I also liked it because of its action and adventures. Riley would speak her mind if anything was bothering her and she was persistent to get what she wanted she didn’t give no for an answer. But the one thing I really liked about her that she was brave she stood up to her fears and never looked back. In conclusion I think if you read this book you will read the rest of the series. You will see what Riley Bloom has in store, because she will always surprise you. But in the end you will see that Bodhi will have his own little challenge he has to face on his own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very good book riley dies and doesnt now what to do her guide is a geek and she makes fun of him and they can read minds whats better than that ?????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I havent read this book yet but it is awesome i read the first chapter and part of the second and i love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm twelve and I love to read? Would this be a good choice? If not please throw so good titles out there. Any genre. Thanks!!!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have not yet read this book but i have heard great things about it and would like to know if i should add it to my wishlist.please let me know.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got bored
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very beautiful
keyana mahallati More than 1 year ago
It was confusing at first i had to reread it but then i got it . But at the end it was soo weird 4 woever is reading this and has not readthe book and wants too u will be so suprized at the end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The series was great. This book was fine. I was expecting a better book after i read the evermore series. This book is good for a one day read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Be honest, is my name....... ya know..... off?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it i know it might seem weird ( arent we all )but i loved the part where bodhi swims to the rock while in the moms mind ! Ps i am graduating elementary school tomorrow!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awsome book!!!!!!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago