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The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker – Lauren James

Book Review

Thank you to the publisher for gifting me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

When Harriet Stoker dies after falling from a height in a long-abandoned building, she discovers a world of ghosts with magical powers – shape-shifiting, hypnosis and even the ability to posses the living. Felix, Kasper, Rima and Leah all welcome Harriet into their world, eager to make friends with the new arrival. Yet, Harriet is more interested in unleashing her own power, even if it means destroying everyone around her. But, when all of eternity is at stake, the afterlife can be a dangerous place to make an enemy!

Lauren James has in my opinion the most skill of any author that I’ve read to continuously write intriguing, twisty and wild YA stories. They keep you on the edge of your seat and keep you guessing and The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker is no different!

Having been in lockdown/quarantine for over 4 months now, this was the perfect book to pick up and devour in a few hours. Why you ask? Because, all of the characters are trapped in one place and it just felt normal! When reading, sometimes I really struggle with world building and figuring out how a world works. Lauren James does this perfectly though and shows the rules of Mulcture Hall and the ghost world in such an understandable way! Lauren James has created a very convincing and real feeling world for this story!

This book has an incredible cast of main and supporting characters. Harriet our main character is the perfect anti-hero. You can’t help but dislike her but also at the same time like her as well. Alongside Harriet we have, Felix who has been hiding (badly) his decades-long feelings for sweet, cool and anxious Kasper. You also have the wonderful Leah and baby Claudia and my personal favourite Rima and her adorable fox spirit Cody. Every single character and I mean every single character in The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker is well-rounded and developed with stories of their own to tell.

This book is written from multiple perspectives with potentially the most important being the mysterious narrator. Lauren James makes each characters characters voices distinctive and unique despite the number of characters. The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker is full of twists and turns and as always with Lauren’s books we as readers are kept guessing!

Lauren James continues to be my favourite author whose books have me stopping absolutely anything I am doing as soon as they are in my hand and have me reading them in one sitting. If you are looking for a page-turning, flawlessly written and exiting book then The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker is for you! It has murderous ghosts, queer pining, found family and horror and I adored it!

Overall, The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker is a fantastically twisty, cleverly written and original story that keeps you guessing. It has you on the edge of your seat and makes you feel a little unsettled whilst reading. I cannot recommend this book to you enough!

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