Title: The Afterlife Of Holly Chase
Author: Cynthia Hand
On Christmas Eve five years ago, seventeen-year-old Holly Chase was visited by three Ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways. She didn’t. And then she died. Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge—as their latest Ghost of Christmas Past. So far, Holly’s afterlife has been miserable. But this year’s Scrooge is different. This year’s Scrooge might change everything.
I was very excited to read a YA version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. This is a story that has been told many different ways before, and for good reason. A Christmas Carol embodies not only the spirit of Christmas, but also teaches us that we should remember the past, live in the present, and hope for a good future. However, the story is always about an older depiction of Scrooge.
A book that follows a teenager, especially a girl, intrigued me. At first, Holly was an unlikable Scrooge who was too self involved to care about the lessons that the ghosts were trying to teach her. She had lost her mother, and grew distant from her father. She was raised by her bitchy stepmother, which turned Holly cold. However, as the story went on, we learned a lot about Holly. She was regretful, and truly lonely. You could see that there was a good person hidden with in her Scrooge-like exterior.
Because Holly ignores the ghost, she is forced to become the new ghost of Christmas past after her death. But when teenager, Ethan, is chosen as the newest Scrooge. Holly is instantly drawn to this younger, teenage version (as was I). The thing that made Ethan different than other Scrooges, even Holly, was that he still wasn’t all that heartless. True, he was stuck-up, self involved, and thought that money was all that mattered. But, he still managed to show kindness at times.
“My fortune read, ‘It’s never too late to become what one could have been’.”
There were moments throughout the story where I felt bad for Holly and Ethan. You want them to get a happy ending with each other. They both had been through things that contributed to their lack of compassion. But, their shared hardship doesn’t excuse their actions. Especially Holly’s, who was being a bit thoughtless in her communications with Ethan. She was being reckless because she found him cute and interesting. His journey wasn’t about her, but she somewhat made it about herself by only thinking about what she wanted and not focusing on thawing his cold heart.
Still, the love-story aspect was very cute. I understand why Holly and Ethan were attracted to one another. They were both unkind people that had a secret desire to change and be better people. But, they didn’t know how after all the mistakes they had made. Although, the love-story was a big part of the plot, it was the fact that isn’t was a real love-story that made this book so special. This was overall a great, heartwarming story.
The ending was incredible, shocking, and inspiring. It gave me all the feels of “A Christmas Carol”, while still managing to separate itself from the original story. However, from the beginning, the story has always begged the question, “Can people truly change?” I, for one, believe that changing yourself is a choice. One must decide if they want to make that choice.
Do you enjoy the story “A Christmas Carol”? What’s your favorite retelling of it? As always, don’t forget to like and share this review, and follow my little book blog for more content!
Until The Next Chapter,