Blog Tour & Giveaway: After Always by Barbara J. Hancock
Book Blurb:After Always by Barbara J. Hancock
Genre: YA Mystery & Suspense
Release Date: October 1st 2018
Lydia’s life felt like it ended when Tristan died. Sure, they had their problems and he could be a little…intense at times. But he’d promised to love her forever…
When her parents propose a summer across the country with a music teacher who runs an inn, Lydia agrees. But it’s different from what she expected. There’s a presence there she can’t quite reconcile—and it feels like it’s hunting her. It seems Tristan’s promise followed her…and may have graver consequences than she could have known.
Then there’s Michael Malone, the one light spot in an otherwise dark existence. Lydia can’t help but be drawn to him, and as they try to uncover the evil plaguing the inn, they grow closer. But guilt over Tristan’s death still consumes her. Can she and Michael uncover what evil lurks in the inn before it takes another victim?
Genre: Ghosts, Heart-Wrenching, Mystery, Romance, Scary, Supernatural, Teen--
“‘… when he shall die, Take him and cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of heaven so fine, That all the world will be in love with night, And pay no worship to the garish sun.’”
Before, Lydia was in an all consuming relationship with Tristan, quietly abusive which she refused to see when he was lost at sea and declared dead. After, Lydia has no desire to move on or attempt normal, instead she has given up everything she loved to only do they things that Tristan would have wanted her to do or loved himself. In a last ditch effort, her parents have sent her to an old friend's for the summer, hoping for her to have a chance to heal and to get back in touch with her music. But there is something about the old house that calls to Lydia...
Look at that cover!! I had to have this when I saw the prettiness that made up the cover. I read the synopsis and figured this was going to be an angsty teen romance that dealt with the loss of love and how to love again. And this kinda was... but it was so much better than that! I feel like I might be a little dense, but there was a supernatural component I never saw coming and it made the story that much better. The writing had a kind of lyrical feel to it, as if this was poetry or a Gothic novel, where words and transitions flow more smoothly together- all while being a contemporary story. It was very easy to sit down and read huge chunks of this book in a single sitting.
This was a complicated, at times painful journey. Lydia basically wants to fade away since Tristan died, since she does not know how to be her own person without his demands. Her emotions are all over the place- even joy to be free and then guilt for being happy. And then we have calm, quiet Michael who just wants to help and support in any way he can- but is rejected at every turn. I did find it interesting that Lydia knew Michael was interested in her, no coy girl here who could not read signs. It was very interesting to get into the mindset of Lydia, such a damaged lost girl who did her best to get through each day- her pain was so real and tangible it made my heart hurt for her. That is not to say there were so many times I wanted to shake some sense into her, but still I understood her whys.
Side note here (or trigger warning and/or spoiler)- this book really made me think about how many young girls get into terrible relationship situations like this, where they are being abused emotionally and or physically and have no idea it is going on or how to escape?? Now this, this is a scary topic way more terrifying than any ghost story!
Overall this was a very interesting story written in such a pretty way. I am glad I got to experience the tale and I highly recommend it to mystery, romance, paranormal and classic Gothic style fans.
I reviewed a complimentary copy of this title.
Barbara J. Hancock lives in a cabin in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her many rescued pets and the guy who lured her into the wilderness with promises of lots of peace and quiet for writing. To this day, the Appalachian wildwood is the best gift she’s ever been given. Her favorite pastime (besides animal rescue) is bringing darkly romantic stories to life by firefly light.