Even being dead isn’t enough to get you out of maths class.
Dying wasn’t on sixteen-year-old Riley Richardson’s to-do list. And now, not only is she dead, but she’s stuck in a perpetual high school nightmare. Worse still, she’s stuck there with the geekiest, most annoying boy in the history of the world, ever.
In a school where the geeks are popular and just about everything is wrong, Riley has become an outcast. She begins a desperate quest to get back home, but her once-perfect life starts to unravel into something not nearly as great as she thought it was. And maybe death isn’t really that bad after all…
Welcome to Afterlife Academy, where horns are the norm, the microwave is more intelligent than the teachers, and the pumpkins have a taste for blood.
This was the very first book I read for my readathon and I was so excited about reading it because I love Jaimie’s books. As expected, I wasn’t disappointed and like her other work I’ve read, it was charming, witty and completely bonkers. Afterlife Academy is about a girl called Riley who quite unfortunately, dies in a car accident. Along with Anthony, the geekiest boy in her school who was also a victim in the accident, they end up at the Afterlife Academy – a school for the dead. This bizarre world is completely upside down – Riley is the outcast whereas she was the most popular girl in school whilst alive but whilst her perfect life unravels she makes some new friends, is redeemed for her past and realises that her perfect life wasn’t so perfect after all and the Afterlife Academy isn’t as bad as it seems.
Although an ultimately morbid concept, Jaimie manages to make it fun and enjoyable. I loved the idea of this book – it’s very original and I like that although at first glance it’s a bit weird and wacky, it does skim the surface of some very real issues for example when one of the girls from the school says to Riley, “Some of us chose to be here… This is the best thing that’s ever happened to some of us.” I had a good sense of the characters – especially Riley who came across as ignorant, naïve and stuck-up despite how much she tried to convince us otherwise. She did annoy me a bit what with being so uptight and obsessed with her boyfriend, Wade who not only cheated on her, killed her as well but by the end of the book I was glad to see that she came to her senses and changed from the girl she started off as. Anthony was the cutest character I’ve read about in a long time – the ultimate school geek. I felt for him so much and I just wanted to jump into the pages and give him a massive hug.
Jaimie really is one to look out for in YA literature however I feel her books would appeal to a wider audience beyond young adults as they’re so light-hearted and fun. We all need one of those kind of books every now and again don’t we? It has a straight-forward, to the point and an easy to read narrative which allowed the chapters to flow nicely along from one another. Jaimie’s done it again – provided us with another one of her classically quirky, wonderfully weird and utterly enjoyable books that reels you in from the very first page.
You can find Jaimie and Afterlife Academy on the following links: