Thursday 7 October 2021

Book Review | Afterlove by Tanya Byrne | prettylittlewriter

 This is such a beautiful love story, that once I started it, I couldn’t put it down.


'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...’

I was hooked on this novel from the very beginning.

The fact that it had some paranormal elements to it drew me in, as I love a good supernatural story, but then when we get into the romance between Ash and Poppy, I just fell in love with their love.

Tanya has done an incredible job writing this beautiful, elegant and epic lesbian love story, and I genuinely think she is one of my new favourite authors.


Ash was such a relatable character, and I really felt a connection to her throughout the novel, with memories of my own teenage loves (albeit mine were not quite as epic as this). Poppy also seemed like such a lovely human being, never judging Ash for their difference in upbringing (Poppy has grown up very wealthy and Ash not so much) and she loves her for who she is completely.


I loved that Tanya separated the novel into two parts; Before, which allowed us to see the development of Ash and Poppy’s relationship, and then, After, which is once Ash has died, making the resulting grief all the more heart-breaking.


The supernatural side of things with the reapers was very clever, something I haven’t read before, and without going into too much detail as it would spoil it, there a certain aspects of being a reaper that create an edge of danger and uncertainty for Ash. The ending was very well established, and almost the perfect ending in my eyes.


The only negative thing I would say about this novel is that I would have liked to see more of Ash’s grief for her family and her best friend. She was very close with her parents and her sister, and we don't see a lot of grief displayed from Ash with the fact that she can never see them again. Obviously, as it’s a love story, the focus was on her relationship with Poppy, but it would have been nice to see more of a grieving process.


I must admit, I have never read a novel with any LGBTQ+ characters or relationships before, so I do not have anything to compare this novel to, except that I felt so much heartache and love for these characters, just as much as all the other love stories I have read before, so I think it is absolutely brilliant. I will definitely be looking to read more from Tanya!

5/5 stars 

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