Radiance Review

Monday, September 6, 2010

Riley Bloom left her sister, Ever, in the world of the living and crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. Riley and her dog, Buttercup, have been reunited with her parents and are just settling into a nice, relaxing death when she's summoned before The Council. They let her in on a secret—the afterlife isn't just an eternity of leisure; Riley has to work. She's been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a curious boy she can't quite figure out.

Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup return to earth for her first assignment, a Radiant Boy who's been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But he's never met Riley...
Taken from GoodReads.

Radiance follows the story of perpetually twelve-year-old Riley Bloom as she enters the afterlife, or Here, after the car crash that only her sister, Ever, walked away from. Reunited in the afterlife with her mother, father, and her her beloved dog Buttercup, Riley learns she must work Here, and she must figure out her place in the Now.

Now, I never read Evermore, or any of that series, for that matter. It just never struck me as the type of read that I just had to push to the top of my pile, so I never did. Radiance, however, intrigued me with the idea of the afterlife being more than just a peaceful place of rest. I also thought Riley was sweet. She was definitely a tween, but she was a sweet main character and, for the most part, I enjoyed her voice.

I do, however, have a few issues with Radiance. First of all, as much as I loved Riley's character, I found that her voice was somewhat inconsistent. For the most part, she had a perfectly middle-grade voice with appropriate phrases, then she would suddenly lapse into what I can only assume is Alyson Noel's voice with words like "vicariously," or phrases way beyond her maturity level. Perhaps I read too much into it, but that was my biggest qualm. For the most part though, Alyson Noel does a great job of creating a likeable and friendly main character that you'll want to get to know.

Radiance is a quick read and uses a lot of fragmented sentences to get into Riley's head, which was a useful tool, though began to weigh on me a bit. It's a sweet and enjoyable book with an original story, but it's definitely more middle-grade than I had expected. I give this book a 3.5 out of 5 simply because I think it's more suited to those who particularly loved Middle-Grade. I would also recommend it to those who enjoy Fantasy and Paranormal.


  1. I also enjoyed it for what it is- middle grades. Great review :)

  2. I had contemplated reading this because I love the cover and it sounds interesting, but I've never read any of the Evermore series and I thought I might be a bit lost. I've seen a few reviews that do say it's more MG than YA, so I probably won't get around to reading it anytime soon.

    Thanks for the review :D

  3. I have read and stopped reading the Evermore series and while I liked Riley's character, have never really cared too much about reading Radiance. I think it is cool though that you read Radiance without read the Evermore series. Based on your review though I am thinking I will be finishing all my other TBR books before I go out and by this one.

  4. Yeah, not too fond when kids start saying words that are too big, or when the authors try too much to talk like kids

  5. Excellent review. Sounds like I should skip this one but I totally enjoyed your review.

  6. Darn. I remember starting Evermore and almost immediately putting it down. I was hoping Noel would redeem herself...but maybe not. :( I'll probably read it anyway because of the concept. Great review!

  7. I must say, that's a pretty cover! I'm not sure if this is the book for me, though. I'm not a huge fan of middle grade. Lovely review!

  8. Oddly enough, your issues with Radiance are some of the same issues that I had with EVermore.
    I might still have to check it out, though.

  9. Sounds like a sweet MG book, very cool plot too. I'm not too sure if I'd like it though. Thanks for the nice review :)

  10. I kind of think this is a little too younger for me but...i might try it :D

  11. hmmm... I haven't read anything by this author yet, but this book sounds so much like The Lovely Bones.

    I do have to say, sometimes kids can really surprise you by using big words. I've witnessed it with my little cousins. It always freaks me out! LOL

  12. I agree with you. It does need to be seen as an MG read. As long as that was in my mind, I did enjoy the book. :)

  13. Excellent review---and you are right---it's great middle grade: lots of fun but not super satisfying. The Immortals series is quite good, I think you would like it.


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