If you like ghosts and love stories, then take a look at Beyond which is written by Catina Haverlock and Angela Larkin and is published by Cedar Fort Publishing. In this story, a dead boy and a living girl fall in love despite all odds, but there are other forces at play which may cause the couple’s destruction.
“One girl, one heart— two guys. And who would believe that one of those guys was a ghost?”
Landon has been dead for several months. He finally decides to take his guide’s advice and move on to the afterlife when Presley, the new girl at school, sees him when no other living person has. Presley doesn’t know who the cute guy is or why he won’t take her phone number, but her attraction to him is sure. So begins a story of love between the living and the dead. Landon and Presley would do anything for each other, but they soon learn that the watching dead is keeping an eye on them, and the couple’s decision to stay together may not be worth the cost.
“And though James said the dead don’t get a second chance, I had to take issue with that because I had Presley. If she wasn’t a second chance, what was?”
I received a digital copy of Beyond from Cedar Fort Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
I’m really conflicted about my review of this book because there were several sections that were incredible and there were many other parts that really weren’t. I disliked the first half of the book, but the second half of the book improved significantly and showed some really gems.
I’ll start by tackling the first half of the book. I felt that if Presley and Landon had started interacting sooner, it would have improved the story overall. Up until then, you had very little tension and conflict. All you really had was Presley’s lousy life. Another problem I had with this book was that the characters often acted and spoke in a way that made absolutely no sense to their personality or situation. I felt they were doing things because the plot asked them to, not because it was something they would actually do. The flow of the text was good, but the story of the book felt purposeless and didn’t make sense for a large part of it.
“Love means doing what’s best for the one you love, even if it’s not what’s best for you.”
That being said, the last half of the book was excellent. Though I still felt frustrated because many characters weren’t likeable and did things that made little sense, there was some real conflict that caught my interest. The authors also kept building up the story with unexpected reveals. I finally started to feel an honest connection between Landon and Presley, and his reasons for staying began to make more sense. I also really liked the path of Landon’s development, of how his infatuation became love when he realized the sacrifice he needed to make. As for the ending, it was unexpected, but I’m not really sure it was the best one since it broke several established rules for the world. Overall, I’m still conflicted about my review. The good parts of the story really drew me in, but I’m not sure they outweighed the many less-than-stellar moments.