Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: Beyond (The Academy) (Afterlife #1) by T.P.Boje

Synopsis (Goodreads)
Have you ever wondered where you go when you die?

Meghan is 16 when it happens to her. She wakes up on a flying steamboat on her way to a school run by Angels in a white marble castle. It is a school everybody has to go to before they are let into Heaven. On the boat she meets Mick who has been dead for more than a hundred years but still looks like a teenager. He helps her past the difficult beginning at the new school in a new world. One day some of Meghan's roommates find a mirror in the cellar of the school and they persuade her to go through it with them - well knowing it is strictly against the rules of the school. Meghan ends up back on earth where she meets Jason. But Jason is in danger and Meghan know something important. Something that is a matter of life and death. Soon she is forced to choose between the two worlds. The one she belongs to now and the one she left.
My Thoughts: I'm a little torn on this book. I like the idea of a school for the recently deceased that teaches them how to let go of their mortal way of thinking and learn the ins and outs of being a spirit. That said, while the book feels geared toward a younger audience (it's definitely in the young adult category in my head) I had a hard time with some of the dialogue. I found myself stumbling over some of the phrasing and it did slow down my reading a bit. Beyond that, there were a couple of references to rape that took me by surprise and left me blinking in confusion. While I can understand why the topic was brought up - it was relevant to one of the characters - I had been viewing this book as a middle grade book up until that point and I really wasn't expecting it.

Now, upon occasion I'm a big fan of books that give us a non-standard ending and I did like that this one wasn't a pat happily ever after. It was left open-ended enough that there are a lot of ways the next story arc can go and it seemed necessary to Meghan's overall character development. Am I thrilled by the position one of the characters was left in? No. I can't even say what I didn't like about it without giving away something major. So, there's that.

Interesting, but I have to say that I think it was written with a younger audience in mind. The talk of rape may be off-putting for some and I was disappointed in Meghan's reaction to the revelation that one of her classmates had been raped. Honestly, that one scene is a small drop in the bucket but I was slightly put off by it.

More books by T.P. Boje

Reading challenges: Ebook Challenge
Beyond was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


  1. One scene can be enough to ruin or maim a book, I think.

  2. I've had a copy of another of this author's books for review and really couldn't read it, sadly, because of the language. Though it sounds as if her English has improved a little by this book?
    Interesting premise, indeed, but you aren't the only person I've heard mention this being a problem for them. :(

    1. The dialogue felt a bit awkward to me. Not terribly so, but enough that I stumbled over some of the phrasing. As for the rape mention, I would have been okay with it if I had been viewing it as an older book. I simply wasn't expecting it and it made me do a double take.