Book Review: Radiance by Alyson Noel

This week's book review:

Radiance (Riley Bloom, #1)Radiance by Alyson Noel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Twelve year old Riley Bloom (younger sister of Ever Bloom from the "The Immortals" series) is dead. She's been dead for awhile now, but has only recently decided to fully embrace it. Before she was spending time in Summerland and occasionally haunting her older sister for kicks. It's time for her to go the school in Here & Now to learn about being a spirit.

In the Radiance world spirits have jobs, or callings. After Riley's disconcerting introduction to the school she is put in front of a council who is to decide where to place her. She's to become a Soul Catcher and a geeky guy named Bodhi is to be her guide/teacher/leader.

This book covers Riley's first assignment. Bodhi isn't everything he seems to be and being a Soul Catcher is much harder than just leading souls over the bridge to Summerland.

I really enjoyed reading Radiance. I consider it more Mid Grade than Young Adult, because of the writing, age, and material of the book. However, it's written in first person. First person is more common for YA than MG. I think I would've enjoyed it more if it was in third.

I liked Alyson Noel's take on the Afterlife. Fresh and different. Fun. Not so scary. I think this book would be great for a child who's recently lost a loved one. It would help to envision them somewhere like the Here & Now.

I thought Riley was a bit spoiled, and not always likable, but a pretty true character. I loved her in the Immortals books and it was fun to read her own story. I very much liked Buttercup (the dog) and Bodhi who has the potential to be very cool! I'll eventually pick up the next in the series, Shimmer.

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