Review: The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

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Title: The Afterlife of Holly Chase
Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: October 24, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): 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. . . .

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The Afterlife of Holly Chase truly surprised me. This is an original story based on the classic A Christmas Carol where the main character works for a company trying to save Scrooges every year. I found the main character to be likeable, even though she is intended to be dislikable, and I loved reading about the secrets at Project Scrooge. This is such a festive book that will definitely get the reader in the Christmas spirit.

This book has such an original concept! Basically, a spoiled rich girl is killed and wakes up to learn that she is the new Ghost of Christmas Past. Frozen in time, she must work for an organization dedicated to changing the ways of modern Scrooges for the better. I really enjoyed the complexity of Holly’s afterlife and how believable Project Scrooge is. The book is also witty, making it more fun than a typical retelling of A Christmas Carol.

Normally, I am not a fan of dislikable characters, purposeful or not, but I actually really enjoyed Holly’s character. She starts off pretty snobby, and is actually a failed Scrooge, but she really transforms as the story progresses. Holly’s snarky attitude and witty retorts are hilarious, and I loved her sass. She is also pretty daring and willing to do whatever it takes to follow her heart, which is such a nice characteristic.

What I most enjoyed about The Afterlife of Holly Chase is the fact that it isn’t a generic retelling of A Christmas Carol. It takes the idea of the original story and creates something entirely new. Every character assumes the role of one of the classic characters for the mission every year, and the book focuses more on the behind the scenes work at Project Scrooge. Also, the main character isn’t actually Scrooge, which I thought was a nice twist. This book is unlike any A Christmas Carol retelling you will ever read, and I would definitely recommend it this holiday season.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase is an inventive story based on A Christmas Carol. I loved the sassy main character and the various twists on the original story. If you are looking for something different to read this winter, this is the perfect book to pick up.

 

17 thoughts on “Review: The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

  1. Kelly says:

    I was actually about to start this one next! I love that you pointed out that this isn’t a generic retelling – if readers were after a generic retelling, we might as well read the original! I’m interested in seeing what the main character is like – you mentioned that she has a sassy attitude so I think that could be a lot of fun. Great review!

  2. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    I have this one on my Christmas TBR so I was really happy you reviewed it (and actually enjoyed it!)
    I usually love unlikable characters so I’m hoping Holly steals my heart <3 The premise is definitely unique and sounds like the perfect story for this time of year.
    Awesome review 🙂

  3. Helena Reads says:

    Oh! I have been keeping an eye out for this one! I wanted to read holiday-themed books this month and this was one of them. I love sassy and fun characters so this review really speaks to me. Thank you for such an amazing review. Happy reading 💋 xoxo.

  4. Reese says:

    A friend has this book, but I never knew if I should pick it up or not because the blurb wasn’t informative enough and I didn’t know what to expect, but now that I’ve read your review I’m thinking I’ll give it a go (not generic? a main character that is not meant to be super-likeable but has sass? yep, sounds good)

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