Author: Alyson Noel
Pages: 192 (paperback)
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication Date: August 31, 2011
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.Visionary and magical, Radiance is lighthearted- experiencing afterlife as an adventure. The ‘Here and Now ‘concepts was an interesting take on what happens after death.
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...
Here and Now is an attractively created world… anything is possible to happen. Noel sucks you in by its craziness and the originality. Though, the writing is obviously directed for middle graders… It came to get a bit choppy at times and it wasn’t as smooth as I wanted it to be. The pace changes often as well, it was boring at one point, and then exciting in another.
As a twelve year old, Riley’s personality traits was something I would have never guessed for that of an age. She needed to get what she wanted, she speaks as she speaks, and she was very sure of herself. Not to say, she’s very energetic and a bit blunt when it came to speaking to her mind. She was that somewhat irritating, but yet, fun, twelve year old. The other two characters, Bodhi and Buttercup were cut also cute and fun. Bodhi was not your average ‘dorky’ type of boy, instead, he was a likeable one and I did enjoy his adventures with Riley and Buttercup.
Radiance is really geared for middle grade… It’s entertaining, lively, and full of endearing action. A cute spin-off series!