Review: Radiance by Alyson Noël
Release Date: August 31st
Received from publisher
Riley Bloom left her sister, Ever, in the world of the living and crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always No…more Riley Bloom left her sister, Ever, in the world of the living and crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. Riley and her dog, Buttercup, have been reunited with her parents and are just settling into a nice, relaxing death when she’s summoned before The Council. They let her in on a secret—the afterlife isn’t just an eternity of leisure; Riley has to work. She’s been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a curious boy she can’t quite figure out.
Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup return to earth for her first assignment, a Radiant Boy who’s been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But he’s never met Riley…
Radiance is the first book in a spin-off of the immortals series. Although I enjoy the immortals series, I have to admit that I was a little skeptical starting out with this book, as I thought Riley’s voice would be too young for me. Boy, was I sure proved wrong by little miss Riley!
I absolutely loved her voice and her inner monologue. She regrets the fact that she died so young but slowly realizes that there is even more to experience after death. Bodhi, her 14 year old guide, is pretty swoon worthy! He’s not the nerd that he dresses like, far from it actually! There is a lot of chemistry between Riley and Bodhi that makes the book that much more enjoyable! I loved their bickering with each other! It was great when Riley finally earned Bodhi’s respect.
I really enjoyed reading about the Here and Now from Riley’s perspective. The descriptions were vivid and I could imagine exactly what the Here and Now would look like. It sounds like the afterlife would be a great time, even better than real life!
I loved reading about Riley discovering who she is and finding her way through the afterlife as a Soul Catcher. Riley still has a lot of growing up to be but she was off to a great start in this book. She finds that she doesn’t have to be a replica of her sister, but to just be herself. I think this teaches a good lesson to younger siblings out there who struggle to mold themselves into their older siblings. I know that I struggled with the same problem and wanted to be exactly like my older sister. It only took me until I was 13 to realize that it was better to just be myself and that I would be accepted for whoever I was. Thank you, Ms. Noël for putting a lesson like this in the story.
Overall, this was a light, fun read and I would recommend it to any tweens and young teens that love paranormal books! I am eagerly anticipating the next Riley book and I hope it will be just as good as Radiance.