!! NEW RELEASE !!
by C.L. Gaber
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, and SciFi. 430 pages.
Price: $0.99 ebook (at time of post)
**Be sure to check out the Book Trailer: Link Here**
Walker Callaghan doesn't know what happened to her. One minute she was living her teenage life in suburban Chicago...and the next minute, she was in a strange place and in a brand new school with absolutely no homework, no rules, and no consequences.
Walker Callaghan, 17, is dead.
She doesn't go to heaven or hell. She lands at The Academy, a middle realm where teenagers have one thing in common: They were the morning announcement at their high schools because they died young.
These high school kids are now caught in a strange “in-between” zone where life hasn’t changed very much. In fact, this special teen limbo looks a lot like life in a quaint Michigan town complete with jocks, popular girls and cliques. "There are even cheerleaders in death," Walker observes. It's not a coincidence that the music teacher is a guy named Kurt who "used to have this band." The drama teacher, Heath, is crush worthy because back in his life, he starred in some superhero movie.
Principal King explains the rules -- there are none. Why? You can't die twice.
There is no homework.
You're just there to learn because the human brain isn't fully formed until you're 24.
By the way, you can't get hurt physically, so race your Harley off that hillside. But falling in love is the most dangerous thing you can do ...because no one knows how long you'll stay in this realm or what's next.
"Losing someone you love would be like dying twice," Walker says.
* * * * * * * * * *
Walker Callaghan has just arrived at the Academy after a tragic car accident. “Is this heaven or is this high school?” she asks.
She finds out her new life is a bit of both as she falls in love with tat- covered, bad boy Daniel Reid who is about to break the only sacred rule of this place. He's looking for a portal to return back to the living realm.
He needs just one hour to retrieve his younger brother who strangely never arrived at The Academy. Bobby is an Earth Bound Spirit, stuck at a plane crash site that took both of their lives as their rich father piloted his private jet nose-first into a cornfield on Christmas Eve.
Walker loves Daniel and risks it all to go with him.
Have they learned enough to outsmart dangerous forces while transporting a young child with them? Can their love survive the fragmented evil parts of themselves that are now hunting them down as they try to find a way back to the middle?
At the Academy, you learn the lessons of an after-lifetime.
My Thoughts: Fascinating Concept But Long-Winded
In reading the book blurb I was intrigued, but found the book rather tedious to read. The story itself was interesting at points but was too long to keep my interest in one sitting. The characters were likable but at times they seemed dry, most-likely due to the focus being on the world they lived in rather than the characters.
Awakening in a perfect house in a new city, Walker Callaghan, finds herself unpacking but confused on how her and her mom moved somewhere new overnight. Walker is shown to her new school called the Academy where there are no tests, homework, rules or chance of death again thanks to the constant reset. This is a dream come true, except for one thing, all who attend this special school are dead. Walker with her dead pupils are children who are still developing till they ascend Up. While trying to adjust to her new circumstances Walker becomes entwined in the Reid family. Daniel Reid is the hot boy on campus but doesn't socialize, he takes care of his siblings and that's it. Walker is the only one who he talks to and she's able to get him to spill what secret he's been keeping. Daniel wants to go back to his moment of death to retrieve something and Walker has the brains to help, but insists its her way or no way. The problem is they have to face many obstacles to find the portal or even enter it, and there is a huge chance once through they may not ever make it back to the realm of Academy.
Overall, it was okay. I thought the author had a great concept but the book was too long. There were parts that repeated already mentioned points, which only made the scenes drag on. The fact the author chose to expound on the scenery and realm, basically the rules of the books universe, which was obviously necessary but it all added to making the story longer. I kept hoping for more school scenes and definitely more Walker and Daniel moments. The couple scenes were definitely small and considering how "advanced" their relationship grows, i.e. Walker moves in as a pseudo mom, I wish we were given more of just them talking, flirting and interacting. So in the end if you want a paranormal dimensional story about children living out their time of development in a "school" while encouraged to explore but told never seek to return back to life but kids being kids do the ONE thing they are told not to, than this book may interest you but I probably won't follow the series.
Author's Links: Amazon Page, Facebook, Twitter, Website.
As Cindy Pearlman (her maiden name), Cindy is a well known senior entertainment journalist for the New York Times Syndicate, with stories appearing worldwide, and the Chicago Sun Times. A pop culture expert, her work has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, People, TV Guide, Elle and National Geographic, and many other publications. Cindy has co-written over 40 books for actors, musicians, athletes and wellness experts including several New York Times best sellers. She is the author of her own film anthology book "You Gotta See This." A native of Chicago, Cindy lives outside of Las Vegas.
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