Book review: Ascenders: High School for the Recently Departed

High School for the Recently Departed (Ascenders #1)

Book Blurb from Goodreads:

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. 
No tests. 
No SATS. 
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




Book Review:

Thank you to the author for letting me read and review your book. This is my honest opinion.

The book blurb gives a very thorough and accurate summary of the book. Doesn't it sound good? Don't you want to try it?

I wanted to after reading the blurb. This story is a YA, and sometimes I find YA adult books to be predictable. This one had some predictable parts and some unexpected twists. Overall, I enjoyed my time reading this book.

CL Gaber is a talented writer. She gets right in there and makes the reader feel what Walker is feeling. The sense of loss, confusion, and heartbreak just seep off the page when Walker finds herself in a new place to start high school. I love how she changed and developed along with the story.

I also enjoyed the little love interest between Walker and Daniel. It is so innocent and pure. She strings the reader along as they grow closer together. I mean after all they are still in high school. We don't need any explicit details, right?

What I found the most enjoyable, was the action. For being a good girl, Walker sure does seem to get herself into one pickle after another. It was fun and unexpected!

I found myself devouring this work and being disappointed when I turned the last page that there wasn't more.

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