4.2 491
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

School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—In the first book (Square Fish, 2010) in a new series by Alyson Noël, the author of "The Immortals" series, 12-year-old Riley has died and crossed the bridge to join her parents and her dog, Buttercup, in the Here and Now—the Afterlife. In her new environment, Riley can manifest whatever she wants by just imagining it, such as living in her old house in her old neighborhood. It's a comfortable existence until she is called before the Council and her life on Earth is reviewed. She is assigned the job of soul-catcher to encourage and guide souls still attached to Earth across the bridge to the Afterlife. Bodhi, a boy Riley describes as a nerdy type, is assigned to be her guide. Together with Buttercup, the trio goes back to the Earth plane to perform her first task: convince a 10-year-old boy known as the Radiant One to cross the bridge to the Here and Now—a task other soul-catchers have failed. They undertake this assignment, followed by another equally dramatic and terrifying one. Narrator Kathleen McInerney does a good job of depicting a wonderfully spunky, funny, curious, sarcastic girl who thinks she knows it all. In a few instances, especially during periods of introspection, Riley sounds a little older than 12. This exciting story includes a great mix of likeable characters, witty dialogue, humor, a developing boy-girl friendship, scary ghosts, danger, and a most satisfying conclusion.—Mary Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH

Product Details

Square Fish
Publication date:
Riley Bloom Series , #1
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Sales rank:
1120L (what's this?)
File size:
560 KB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

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.
The weirdest part about dying is that nothing really changed.
I mean, you’d expect a big change, right? Because dying—well, let’s face it, it’s pretty dramatic stuff. They write songs about it, books and screenplays too. Heck, it’s even a major theme on Saturday morning cartoons. But the thing is, it’s nothing like you see on TV.
Nothing at all.
Take me for instance. I’m living, er, make that dead proof that it really isn’t so different. Or at least not at first. And at least not in a bad way like you probably think.
Because the truth is, the moment I died I actually felt more alive than ever. I could jump higher—run faster—I could even walk through walls if I wanted. And that’s pretty much what gave it away.
The walking-through-walls part.
Since it’s not like I could do that sort of thing before, so that’s how I knew something was up.
Something serious.
But up until then, it all just seemed like a really cool side trip. Like my dad just decided to take a sudden turn none of us were expecting.
One moment he was cruising down a curving highway, while I was singing along to my iPod with my dog Buttercup resting his head on my lap, doing my best to tune out my bossy older sister Ever who practically lived to torment me. And the next thing I knew, we were somewhere else entirely.
No longer on the highway, no longer in Oregon, we’d somehow landed smack dab in the middle of this beautiful shimmering field full of pulsating trees and flowers that shivered. And when my parents went one way and my sister went another, I just stood there, head swiveling like crazy, unsure who to follow.
Part of me urging, “Cross the bridge with Mom and Dad and Buttercup—they know what’s best!”
While the other part insisted, “Don’t be such a goody-good—if Ever sees something awesome and you miss out, you’ll regret it forever!”
And by the time I finally decided to go after my sister, I’d taken so long she was already gone.
Straight into the shimmering mist.
Right back to the earth plane.
And that’s how I ended up stuck. Stuck between worlds.
Until I found my way Here.
That’s what they call it, “Here.”
And if you’re dumb enough to ask what time it is, they’ll say, “Now.”
Probably because there’s no time Here, which means everything happens, well, in the moment it happens, which is always just—Now.
So, I guess you could say I live in the Here & Now.
Which, strangely, isn’t so different from where I lived before back in Eugene, Oregon.
Aside from there being no time. And of course, that bit about being able to walk through walls and stuff.
But other than that, and the fact that I can manifest anything I want—stuff like houses and cars and clothes, even animals and beaches, simply by imagining it—it’s all pretty much the same.
My parents are Here. My grandparents too. Even my sweet yellow Lab Buttercup made it. And even though we can live anywhere we could ever conceivably want, in any kind of house we could ever truly desire, the funny thing is that my new neighborhood is pretty much an exact replica of my old neighborhood back in Oregon.
Everything identical, all the way down to the clothes that hang in my closet, the socks that are stuffed in my drawers, and the posters that are taped to my walls. The only thing that’s different, the only thing that kind of bugs me, is all the other houses around us are empty. Mostly due to the fact that all my old neighbors and friends are alive and well and back in the earth plane (well, for now anyway!). But still, other than that, it’s exactly like I remember it.
Exactly like I wished it.
I just wish I had some friends to enjoy it with.
When I woke up this morning—oh, that’s another thing—you probably thought I didn’t need to sleep, right? Well, at first, that’s what I thought too. But as my parents explained it to me, we are, in a sense, more alive than ever, made up of energy in its purest form. And after a long day of creating and manifesting and, well, what ever else people choose to do Here, the energy requires a little downtime, a little shut-eye, in order to rest, recuperate, and regenerate—which, again, is no different from life on the earth plane.
So anyway, when I woke up this morning with Buttercup wagging his tail and licking my face, despite the fact that it’s a pretty nice way to wake, that didn’t stop me from pushing him away, pulling the blanket over my head, and rolling over so that my back was facing him. My eyelids squinched together as tightly as they would go, and I tried to find my way back to my dream as Buttercup continued to whimper and whine and paw at me.
And just as I was about to push him away yet again, that’s when I remembered:
Buttercup was excited for me.
Everyone was excited for me.
From the moment I got Here, I’d pretty much kept myself busy with getting adjusted to my new life, getting reacquainted with my family, and basically trying to learn how things are done in this place. And now that I was settled, it was time for my first day of school (yes, we have school Here—it’s not all cloud lounging and harp playing, you know), and since everyone was acting so excited about it, it became my job to act excited too.
Excited enough to get out of bed, get myself ready, and take the time to manifest something cool to wear, so I could, well, according to my parents anyway, head off to a place where I’d:
“Meet some new friends, learn some new things, and in no time at all find myself picking up right smack where I left off back home!”
And no matter how much I doubted that, no matter how much I was willing to bet just about anything that there was no way that would turn out to be even remotely true, I just smiled and went along with it. Wanting them to think I was as eager for the moment as they clearly were.
Not wanting them to know just how much I missed my old life back home. Missed it so much it was like a constant ache in my middle. And how I was pretty dang sure that this school, no matter how cool they claimed it to be, could never compete with the one I’d left behind.
So after enjoying a little breakfast with my mom and dad (and no, we don’t really need to eat anymore, but would you give up the taste of Lucky Charms if you didn’t have to?), I set off. At first dressed in a typical private-school uniform of white blouse, plaid skirt, blue blazer, white socks, and cool shoes, since I always wanted to go to a school that required that, but then halfway there I changed my mind and swapped it for some skinny jeans, ballet flats, and a soft, fuzzy blue cardigan I wore over a white tank top featuring the logo of my favorite band.
Seriously, manifesting is really that easy—or at least it is Here. You just think of anything you want, anything at all, picture it really clearly in your head—et voilà—just like that, it’s yours!
So anyway, I kept going like that, switching back and forth, forth and back, between the two looks. Taking two steps forward as a private-school girl, and another two dressed as an extremely stylish twelve-year-old girl. Figuring I’d stick with what ever ensemble I was wearing by the time I reached campus, knowing I could always change it in an instant if it turned out to be the wrong choice.
But then, somewhere along the way, I saw it.
The Viewing Room.
The place my parents had warned me about.
Insisting it would lead to no good. That I would only become obsessed yet again just when I needed to focus my energies on moving on, settling in, and accepting the fact that, like it or not, I am now an official resident of the Here & Now. Claiming it was high time I turn my back on my old life and concentrate on embracing my afterlife.
“You lingered on the earth plane long enough,” my dad said, giving me his usual compassionate yet concerned look.
While my mom looked on, eyes narrowed, arms crossed, not fooled by my claims of mere mild curiosity for a second. “Your sister has her own lessons to learn, her own destiny to fulfill, and it’s not your place to interfere,” she’d said, refusing to budge or even try to see my side of things.
But even though their intentions were good, the thing is, they didn’t know my sister nearly as well as I did. Didn’t realize she needed me in a way they could never even begin to comprehend. Besides, if it’s true that there’s no time, then it’s not like I could be late for school, right? So really, what’s the worst that could happen?
With my mind fully made up, I took a little detour and ducked inside, snatching a ticket from the dispenser on the wall before taking my place in a very long line. Surrounded by a whole gang of gray hairs gushing on and on about the grandkids they couldn’t wait to look in on, until my number finally flashed on the overhead screen and I marched straight into the recently vacated cubicle, closed the curtain behind me, settled onto the hard, metal stool, and punched in my desired location, carefully scanning the screen until I found her.
Excerpted from Radiance by Alyson Noël.
Copyright © 2010 by Alyson Noël.
Published in 2010 by St. Martin’s Griffin.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Meet the Author

Alyson Noël is the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of Faking 19, Art Geeks and Prom Queens, Laguna Cove, Fly Me to the Moon, Kiss&Blog, Saving Zoë, Cruel Summer, and The Immortals series including Evermore, Blue Moon, Shadowland, Dark Flame, and Night Star, as well as the Immortals spin-off series beginning with Radiance. 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.
Alyson Noël is the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of Faking 19, Art Geeks and Prom Queens, Laguna Cove, Fly Me to the Moon, Kiss&Blog, Saving Zoë, Cruel Summer, and the Immortals series including Evermore, Blue Moon, Shadowland, Dark Flame, and Night Star, as well as the Immortals spin-off series beginning with Radiance. 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.

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Radiance (Riley Bloom Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 491 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