Afterlove by Tanya Byrne on a wooden background
Reviews

Afterlove – Tanya Byrne

Ash Persaud is about to become a reaper in the afterlife, but she is determined to see her first love Poppy Morgan again, the only thing that separates them is death.

Car headlights. The last thing Ash hears is the snap of breaking glass as the windscreen hits her and breaks into a million pieces like stars.

But she made it, she’s still here. Or is she? This New Year’s Eve, Ash is gets an RSVP from the afterlife she can’t decline: to join a clan of fierce girl reapers who take the souls of the city’s dead to await their fate. But Ash can’t forget her first love, Poppy, and she will do anything to see her again… even if it means they only get a few more days together. Dead or alive…

NOT EVEN DEATH CAN TEAR THEM APART.

***

A halloween read that wasnt scary but was perfectly formed. Afterlove was devoured in a matter of days because I loved it so much. But that isnt surprising when you take a look at the author. Tanya Byrne never disappoints me, and though Afterlove was different to her other books, it was just as awesome.

Afterlove is a love story that breaks the boundries of life and death. We meet Ash when shes alive and experiencing life how she never experienced it before – in love. Then the worst happens. I was so sad when Ash died as she really was so happy and it happens so suddenly that she doesn’t even realise it’s happened. The idea of the grim reapers was cool and I really enjoyed that side of the story, but it also seemed really lonely, and hard to stay away from those that you love. The other reapers who were part of her group made sure to be there for her from the start, even Esen in her own way.

The book is split into a before and after format which I really enjoyed as you got to know the living Ash, Poppy and her family and friends well. However I didnt expect as much “before” as we got. It wasnt a bad thing but I felt like I was waiting for Ash to die for a while as I knew that was the main premise of the story. I did prefer the “after” section of the book, maybe because I’m super morbid! But i felt like it went really quickly. The time period of the “after” was quite short, only a few weeks at most until right towards the end of the book. So it felt like it went a lot quicker than the months we get before it.

As an LGBTQ+ book, this book is perfect. Its not a coming out tale. Its just a love story. A grief stricken love story about two girls. There are elements of “coming out” in it but only in the sense that that is unfortunately still something that happens in our society. I also really liked the way that Tanya made it clear that some of the main characters were people of colour with subtle nods to their clothing or other aspects of their life. Tanya built the characters really wee and allowed me to really see them in my head as I was reading about them.

I think my favourite thing about this book was the fact that when I was reading it, Spike saw the cover and acted like such a prude “Do you know what they are doing mummy?” when she saw they were kissing. And when I answered “yes” I got… “I can’t believe you are reading about people kissing”. She then looked again and asked if they were girls and when I said yes she wasn’t phased in the slightest. I’m obviously doing some of my parenting right if the fact they are girls doesnt bother her but the kissing does. I remember kissing being totally gross at 6 though too haha.

Like I say, I devoured this book and I loved every minute. There was tears and there was laughter and I really feel like I experienced every second of the love that the characters shared. Its the perfect love story and I would recommend it to anyone.

Afterlove was published in July 2021 by Hodder Children’s Books. My copy was purchased at my local Waterstones.

For more information or to buy the book, please visit:

Amazon (Affiliate Link) | Hive | Goodreads | Tanya Byrne’s Website

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