Christmas Is Over, but The Afterlife of Holly Chase Lingers | Review: The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

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The Afterlife of Holly Chase is still a holiday favourite. And, yes, it took me two freaking years to finally review it. I'm awful. It's fine.


On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly 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 the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.

Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly's afterlife has been miserable.

But this year, everything is about to change. . . .


The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand 
Rating:  ★★★★★

“Stories let us see and hear and feel what someone else does,” she explained. “They build bridges to the other islands. That’s why stories are so important. They create true empathy.”

Did I wait over a year (see also: nearly two years) to finally gather my thoughts, reread and take the plunge to write a review on The Afterlife of Holly Chase? Uh! Well! Yeah. I know, I know, I'm awful, but this story is so wonderfully warm and unique and exactly what I want from a retelling of A Christmas Carol. If you like strikingly imaginative, Christmas reads to indulge in on chilly nights, then this book is for you. Say hello to your new holiday tradition.

When I first read it, I was baking snickerdoodles and sipping hot chocolate. The second time I read it, I found myself doing the same. No, it wasn't intentional, but next year, it will be. And the year after that. And the year after that. The Afterlife of Holly Chase begs to be read during the holiday season; begs to surround yourself in the merry and bright--lights twinkling around you. It is a comfort read, if ever there were one.

Cynthia Hand beautifully crafts a story from one of my favourite holiday classics; each page and twist surprising readers with an enthralling and fun take on Dickens archetypes. Sprinkled within The Afterlife of Holly Chase are modern elements that will appeal to a younger audience and classic Charles Dickens references. If you love a good spin on A Christmas Carol you will love this ghostly story of life, second chances, love and accepting your flaws.

While this novel is best read in the days leading up to Christmas, it isn't mutually exclusive to its holiday. It just so happens that its magic, and Hand's writing, really elevate your holidays. So, curl up with a warm blanket and an even warmer heart--and dive into The Afterlife of Holly Chase for a major mood booster. 

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