I’m not a fan of A Christmas Carol, but I am a fan of My Lady Jane, so I went for this book for the author. In the end it wasn’t a spectacular book, but it does provide a unique take on the classic…something that is greatly needed when most adaptations end up feeling the same.
Holly Chase is a Scrooge for the modern age. Only, instead repenting following her ghostly visits, she continues in her humbug ways. This, of course, means she is doomed to die. When she dies, she is taken on as the new Ghost of Christmas Past for Project Scrooge, an organization that spends each year working for the redemption of a new Scrooge on Christmas Eve. It’s the same every year after the next, until this one. Not only does she have her first ever assistant, but the new Scrooge is her age. And that changes everything…
Complaints first. I didn’t really feel the romance in this book, which is unfortunate. The romance is pretty key to the plot.
Now for the good parts. I’m a sucker for clever twists. I’m a sucker for layered character development. I’m a sucker for points of view where even the oh-so-omniscient reader sees things from a perspective that hides what really happens. So yeah, this book didn’t quite “click” in a few key parts, but there was still a lot I enjoyed.
I also particularly enjoyed how different this is from the classic story, while still obviously being a representation of that story. It also answers an ages old question: was Ebenezer the only Scrooge visited by the ghosts? Or did the ghosts regularly visit people?
The concept of Project Scrooge, and the execution of their efforts, is wonderfully genius. And those few twists at the end? Wonderful. I didn’t see them coming, but im retrospect, the ending was perfect for both Holly and those around her.
It isn’t the best or most engaging book you’ll ever read, but what The Afterlife Holly Chase does well is done *really* well. It’s an excellent holiday read. And since the YA genre is surprisingly lacking in holiday books, I would definitely recommend this one to fill the Christmas tree shaped hole in your heart.