The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

The Afterlife of Holly Chase

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...

Title:The Afterlife of Holly Chase
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Edition Language:English

The Afterlife of Holly Chase Reviews

  • Cynthia Hand

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  • Erin

    God Bless us, every one!

    Confession time: I love Christmas! I love everything about Christmas, the music, the movies, the books, the lights, the food, not to mention the reason for the season Jesus.

    I know some people think Christmas doesn't start until after Thanksgiving but....

    Fuck them!

    I've been listening to Christmas music since the second week of October.

    Now on to the review.

    The Afterlife of Holly Chase is an irreverent new take on the Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol. Our main char

    God Bless us, every one!

    Confession time: I love Christmas! I love everything about Christmas, the music, the movies, the books, the lights, the food, not to mention the reason for the season Jesus.

    I know some people think Christmas doesn't start until after Thanksgiving but....

    Fuck them!

    I've been listening to Christmas music since the second week of October.

    Now on to the review.

    The Afterlife of Holly Chase is an irreverent new take on the Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol. Our main character is Holly Chase a selfish spoiled brat who was visited by three ghosts who tried to get her to change her ways but failed. She then died and instead of burning in hell she was instead taken to work at the top secret company Project Scrooge as the ghost of Christmas past. She hates it and after six years she is still just as selfish and spoiled as ever. That is until this year.

    I kinda wanted to hate this book. I mean we've all read or watched a million Christmas Carol retellings and we pretty much know it ends with a happily ever after.

    But that's the whole point of Christmas movies and books. I read a lot of dark and twisted shit. At Christmastime I want a happy ending ( wink, wink) and this book did not disappoint. This book is funny and heartwarming. I kept rooting for Holly Chase to get her happily ever after and she does but not in the way you would think.

    I recommend this book to all my fellow Christmas/ holiday lovers.

    #1 For Read-A-Thin November Challenge.

  • Dania

    A Christmas Carol retelling done beautifully! I couldn't expect anything less from Cynthia Hand. After reading My Dear Jane, I fell in love with her style of writing, and The Afterlife of Holly Chase was no different. It was unlike anything I have ever read before. It was a little bizarre reading this book in May, but I definitely can't wait for Christmas!

  • Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner

    I honestly don't know a single person who doesn't speak highly of Cynthia Hand. I've been her fan ever since Unearthly, Tucker is one of my favorite book boyfriends and I've read all of her books.

    I'm also really liking her new approach to ya literature. She always comes up with something unique and really out there. Her work still has her signature charm.

    Even though The Afterlife of Holly Chase is her shortest book yet, I didn't think it was lacking in any way.

  • Karen Barber

    Seems weird reading this in May, when the book isn't due until October, but I must thank edelweiss for giving me the opportunity to read this early.

    There's very few people that will not be familiar with the story of Scrooge and his shot at redemption. With untold students having to study 'A Christmas Carol for GCSE I can see this being an interesting companion piece.

    So, in this story we begin with Holly Chase showing us - in full glory - why she's so deeply unpleasant. The knowing nods to Dicken

    Seems weird reading this in May, when the book isn't due until October, but I must thank edelweiss for giving me the opportunity to read this early.

    There's very few people that will not be familiar with the story of Scrooge and his shot at redemption. With untold students having to study 'A Christmas Carol for GCSE I can see this being an interesting companion piece.

    So, in this story we begin with Holly Chase showing us - in full glory - why she's so deeply unpleasant. The knowing nods to Dickens come very quickly, and then we get a deviation. For this is not a straightforward retelling.

    In this version Holly dies and is then taken to work on Project Scrooge, a secretive set-up where once a year the crew attempt to save the life of one Scrooge (or the modern equivalent). We watch as Holly and her team prepare to help out seventeen year old Ethan, a rich boy who's lost his softer side.

    From the off we can see Holly - our ghost of Christmas Past - has a lot more invested in this case than others she's worked on. Though things aren't done conventionally here, we root for Holly as she tries to change someone's future.

    As the book progresses there's hints that things are not quite as we were led to believe. However, it all ties together nicely.

    This must be the only book I've read where I'm actually happy that the romance I was hoping for all along didn't quite go to plan. When you read it, you'll know why.

    Aside from the modern setting and the easily identifiable characters, I loved the way Hand updates the source for a modern reader. And the geeky English teacher in me loved all the Dickens references and quotes.

    What's not to love?

  • Lisa

    Holly Chase is the very definition of a Scrooge and every Scrooge deserves a second chance. Fun YA retelling of the classic Christmas Carol with a few great plot twists that I never expected.

  • Lola  Reviewer

    I cannot believe Cynthia Hand wrote this book. Someone please tell me it’s actually a ghostwriter, because I can’t bring myself to imagine the author of the magnificent Unearthly series and co-author of hilarious My Lady Jane really writing this book full of clichés.

    You’d think there wouldn’t be this many, given the original premise of a secret Christmas organization with the goal of ridding the planet of Scrooges. But oh, the characters are so stereotypical.

    Actually, I expected Holly Chase to

    I cannot believe Cynthia Hand wrote this book. Someone please tell me it’s actually a ghostwriter, because I can’t bring myself to imagine the author of the magnificent Unearthly series and co-author of hilarious My Lady Jane really writing this book full of clichés.

    You’d think there wouldn’t be this many, given the original premise of a secret Christmas organization with the goal of ridding the planet of Scrooges. But oh, the characters are so stereotypical.

    Actually, I expected Holly Chase to be a brat, seeing that that’s exactly why she became the Ghost of Christmas Past. She was selfish, spoiled and inconsiderate. That right there is the catastrophic recipe for a one-dimensional and stereotypical character.

    While we are presented indeed with different facets of Holly Chase’s personality, now that she has learned her lesson and became an overall better (dead) human being, we never saw her change. We were only told she changed, and frankly, she is still arrogant as hell.

    Then there’s Ethan, the love interest and the new Scrooge, who is super handsome, super rich and super spoiled also. That’s where I stopped reading. I many have only read 1/5 of the book, but that’s more than enough for me. Having read more than a thousand books in my life, I have learned a few things about myself and can now very early on determine whether a book is a winner or not.

    The Afterlife of Holly Chase makes me feel embarrassed for Cynthia Hand who we know is an author of great talent. So what happened? Oh dear, what happened?

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  • Jennifer

    Give me a Christmas book any time of year! This is my first time reading a book by Hand, though she seems to be well known based on other reviews of this book. Can't wait to read more from her. Anyway, this book was a pretty neat YA take on a classic Christmas story. If that's your thing, I recommend it! Note: I won this in a goodreads giveaway.

  • Carly Aikin

    This is now MY FAVORITE BOOK, and I didn't think I could love it more than Cynthia Hand's Unearthly series. Had to check this out from a friend who got an early copy.

    I cried my eyes out!!! Loved the love story at the heart of this supernatural and often really funny book. It starts out so much fun and builds to this beautifully heartbreaking conclusion.

    Holly Chase is your classic LA bitchy girl who on Christmas Eve is given the chance to repent but tells the ghost to take a hike. Then she dies.

    This is now MY FAVORITE BOOK, and I didn't think I could love it more than Cynthia Hand's Unearthly series. Had to check this out from a friend who got an early copy.

    I cried my eyes out!!! Loved the love story at the heart of this supernatural and often really funny book. It starts out so much fun and builds to this beautifully heartbreaking conclusion.

    Holly Chase is your classic LA bitchy girl who on Christmas Eve is given the chance to repent but tells the ghost to take a hike. Then she dies. Her only chance at redemption is as a zombie helping to save a boy as evil as she was from becoming a zombie like her. But she falls in love with him. I'm not gonna do the spoiler alert here. You just have to read it.

    It's so sweet and a great Christmas lesson for all of us who have misplaced values. It really is the most creative and lovely romance I've ever read. Fault in Our Stars is obviously a very real drama, but I had the same final reaction here as I did with Fault. Could not stop crying!!!

  • Emily May

    I actually

    enjoyed this. I went into it expecting a classic Scrooge story: a deep, meaningful tale about learning the error of your ways and becoming a better person through love of your fellow man (i.e. in this case, hot dude), but you should know - this is actually a

    .

    I definitely didn’t expect to like this as much as I

    I actually

    enjoyed this. I went into it expecting a classic Scrooge story: a deep, meaningful tale about learning the error of your ways and becoming a better person through love of your fellow man (i.e. in this case, hot dude), but you should know - this is actually a

    .

    I definitely didn’t expect to like this as much as I did. I’ve watched so many different versions of

    and Cynthia Hand’s books have elicited mixed reactions from me in the past. AND I’m not one of those “Christmas people” who takes huge joy from the holidays (my favourite Christmas song is

    because drunk Irish people are everything).

    BUT I think I just really liked the exceptionally unlikeable Holly Chase. I've seen others complaining how she didn't learn from her Scrooge experience and was still a bitch, but hell, I liked it. She starts off as the kind of

    . After she is visited by her three ghosts on Christmas Eve (technically early Christmas morning) - unlike the original Ebenezer Scrooge - she decides to shrug and get on with being a horrible person. So she dies and wakes up in her own personal version of hell: working for Project Scrooge as their newest Ghost of Christmas Past.

    Five years later, she's still there. Then the latest Scrooge is picked - a teenage guy who Holly discovers she has a lot in common with - and things start to change. Can Holly save him and finally put some things right?

    Expect a fairly light story. It's not quite

    level silliness, but it edges toward there in parts. The whole project Scrooge set-up of sneaking into the Scrooge's rooms and sifting through their memories feels like a comical version of Monsters Inc. Holly's narrative, especially in the beginning, is of someone who knows she's a horrible person and doesn't feel bad about it.

    Predictably, a romance develops, but even that was okay here because I just find Holly so ridiculously funny:

    I like her blunt self-awareness. And I always appreciate romance with humour over starcrossed destiny.

    It's not difficult to see some things coming, but the book doesn't hang everything on its conclusion and I enjoyed the ending anyway. I can't deny that

    for me. Everything is wrapped up well and the ending suggests it will be a standalone. But, whether alone or with the

    crew, I really hope Hand continues to write light, funny books. I enjoy them so much more than her

    .

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