The Afterlife Of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand | Book Review

I love when authors add a new spin to classic stories. Of course, the ultimate holiday classic A Christmas Carol receives the YA treatment in The Afterlife Of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand. I have held off on reading this book – saving it for a particular holiday season. Hand is one of my favorite young adult authors and I thought this book would come in clutch at just the right time. Maybe I held off for a little too long and have grown past. However, this story did not quite hit as hard as I had hoped it would. There’s a lot to recommend this book – but to an audience that isn’t me. I will get into those particulars.

We all know the plot of A Christmas Carol. Scrooge is visited by his business partner, Marley, who warns him about the three ghosts to come. He then is visited by three ghosts – the ghost of Christmas Past, the ghost of Christmas present, and the ghost of Christmas future. Scrooge then has a change of heart, treats his employee better, and becomes charitable. What if Scrooge didn’t have the change of heart? Well, that is the premise behind The Afterlife Of Holly Chase. Holly Chase is a seventeen year old influencer – the daughter of a movie director and her step mom is a famous stylist. When Holly is visited first by her stepmother’s ghost, relives the past, and then is visited by several other ghosts, Holly does not take it seriously.

Instead of a change in heart, Holly remains stuck in her ways. So, she dies. Instead of going to heaven or hell, she goes to work at a company called Project Scrooge as the Ghost of Christmas Past. Usually the Scrooges tend to be old people — at least in the five years Holly has been the ghost. This year, however, is different. The Scrooge is a seventeen year old boy named Ethan. Holly is quite drawn to him. Will she be able to redeem him?

This book did not entirely click for me. Holly’s character was so awful at times. I know that is the whole point – but my review is SUBJECTIVE and for ME it got a little old. Parts of the book kind of seemed to drag too. I think I was expecting this to become one of my favorite Christmas reads which set me up for disappointment. Yet, the concept is really a creative and unique one. I loved how Project Scrooge operated and the details of putting together each year’s project. Plus the ending of The Afterlife Of Holly Chase is wonderful. Overall though, I would recommend this for the younger set. If you are looking for a YA retelling of A Christmas Carol, with a twist, pick this book up. It might just be right up your alley.


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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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