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3.7 out of 5 stars77
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 May 2011
I am a self confessed chick lit (and indie author) addict and although I only found Jude Ryan's first book a bit so-so, I wanted to try this because I did think her first book showed a lot of promise. I'm really glad I bought this. I found it captivating and I read it in a day! It is essentially chick lit, but it doesn't read like a re-hash of the same old formula and at times it is very poignant. My only slight complaint, if I'm being really picky, is that I would have liked an epilogue(or maybe even a sequel?) as I felt the story ended a bit abruptly and I would like to know what happens next to all the characters we meet in the book. However, I highly recommend this to all- chick lit fans are bound to love it but people who look for 'deeper' books will also really enjoy it because it is just a bit different to your average girly beach read. I think the author has produced something really special here and I hope her future work continues in a similar vein to this rather than to her first book because this one really stands out from the crowd and makes you stand up and take notice of Jude Ryan. I'll definitely be looking out for more from her in the future!
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on 18 September 2011
I'm not going to write here what the story is about as that always spoils it for me when I read others reviews . Instead I'm just going to let u know that this was a really enjoyable read and I couldn't put it down . Excellent value for money , and I was very much surprised at how quickly I got into it and kept thinking about the story even when I wasn't reading it ! Would definately recommend to others
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on 24 May 2011
The Afterlife excellent read, I very much enjoyed this and I hope that Jude does continue with this theme now. I want to know more about this!!
The story held me to the very end, and I really wanted there to be more, I was quite surprised by the end, so I am not going to send out any 'spoilers' here, just go get this book if you like chit lit with a difference, thats all I am going to say!
One or two typos that I find annoying, why does this happen with Kindle books? the proof readers never seem to get it perfect, but it is only a few, and its a nice smooth read, its just me getting on my soap box Jude, dont worry!!
Off to buy the last book from Jude now, and will eagerly watch for more.
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on 21 January 2012
I'm afraid that after getting just over halfway through this book I've decided I can't face reading the rest.

What could have been a good read is for me spoiled by far too many mistakes that could have been rectified by a bit of careful editing.

For example when Ryan was talking to Mandy and she said she was sorry to hear about his wife the text reads "She moved her hand to his knee. He could feel the heat of it radiating through her jeans." It presumably should have read HIS jeans?

Then when Christine visited Ryan to ask him to sell the flat and he agreed we read, "She stood up, looking slightly disappointment". (Should that be slightly disappointed or even a look of slight disappointment?)

These are just a couple of examples I noted after realising that there were a lot of misplaced words. The final straw for me was when Frankie came into the hospital and Madeleine saw Frankie's small frame silhouetted in the door frame; "I gulped. I hadn't talked to Freddie since the outburst on my corner ages ago," Ok but who the heck is Freddie? I searched using the Kindle's search facility but this was the only mention of him I could find. Did I miss something?

I tried to read on after that but my heart just wasn't in it. When I read a book I want to be totally engrossed in the story not constantly reminded that I'm reading badly edited prose.
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on 17 April 2012
I really enjoyed this.

A quirky chit lit novel with an ending that was not totally predictable. Very imaginative. I couldn't help feeling both sorry for and irritated by the main character which is exactly what you are supposed to feel I think.

If you want a light hearted read then I would recommend this.
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on 5 December 2012
I 'looked inside' and liked what I saw and downloaded. Great start. And for a while it was a good read, despite a few howlers and typos (I sympathise!). And then the storyline went very saggy and I found myself skipping through the pages of The Afterlife Club where squabbles broke out between a handful of bikers who had died and were jack-booting around endless fields full of crippled bicycles. I found that very hard to visualise in my mind. Given that everybody dead still seemed to have bodies that did human things - like crying - how could you walk comfortably on a massive scrap yard? At times there never seemed to be anybody around and Maddie wandered about like, well, the lost soul that she was. But later there was a meeting in a hall which was full of clamouring dead departed people. Where did they all come from given that nobody much was there?! Maddie spent an awful lot of time in The Afterlife Club and frequently popped in and out of Earth checking on her father, who apparently spent months and months in hospital being stabilised for an operation which was too dangerous to otherwise undertake. And yet when the operation DID take place it was following a massive heart attack where he nearly died, had electric shock treatment to bring him back, and was immediately rushed into theatre...only to be operated on by a hungover Ryan who'd had about 2 hours sleep the night before. Dear Lord! This is where some tight editing would have been beneficial to flag up howlers like this. Generally passages of time didn't stack up. Another lesser example of this was with the conveyancing...Ryan sells his flat to the first viewer and moves out the following week. A little bit of research is needed in a situation like this. Also, despite being a heart surgeon with a degree of intelligence...he moves his little girl and self from posh Chelsea into a dive bedsit in Kilburn. Really? Why? He's a doctor earning a decent whack! I think the biggest disappointment was the ending which, after a prolonged build-up, happened in less than a page and I truly didn't see how that tallied with everything that had gone before. Had Maddie been unconscious and merely dreaming? Or had she truly died? The reader is told the which case there are major time issues again! All that aside, the author has a talent. She just needs to polish her craft before going to print.
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on 24 January 2012
The Afterlife Club tells the story of Madeleine who wakes up after she has died to discover that she is now part of the Afterlife Club - Cyclists Division and now has to protect other cyclists from meeting the same fate as her...

This story is definitely a very different and interesting premise which makes for a unique plot. It's very easy to read - Madeleine's narrative flows well and the changes in perspective to Ryan which happen towards the middle is a nice touch to keep the story fresh. I had a couple of issues with the way the afterlife was portrayed however, just things like Madeleine picking up and interacting with objects in the world - she knocks over flower buckets causing a mess in the street, picks up a medical chart in a room full of people (wouldn't it float?) and then there are places where she can't connect with things at all. She also eats a piece of chocolate and is able to spit it out as it becomes a 'gooey mess' which was rather confusing. The story was quite heart-warming at times though and the ending I thought was quite an interesting touch although makes the rest of the novel rather redundant!

Overall it was alright as a quick read but probably best not analysed too deeply!

*Got for free on Amazon Kindle*
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on 15 January 2013
I wish I'd read the negative reviews for this book before purchasing. I was too distracted by the spelling mistakes, bad grammar and the general mess that was The Afterlife Club. The main character had two friends, Hannah and Julia, although throughout the book, it changed from Hannah and Julie, it was like she forgot her characters. Couldn't find a Frankie anywhere previously in the book but he popped up out of nowhere. This book obviously wasn't proof-read or if it was, it was done by a five year old. Maybe the mistakes were made from print to kindle, I don't know, I certainly wouldn't want to spend more time checking the paperback version to see if this is the case. I couldn't be bothered getting to the end of the book, I spent most of my time back-tracking, checking and cross-referencing. I wanted a light-hearted, easy read but felt like I was swatting for an exam. I kept looking at the bottom of my kindle to see how much longer it would take to finish the book. I want a book that I can think 'Oh no, i don't want it to end'. Awful, I would not recommend and am not a fan. I will never ride my bike again either, depressing!
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on 13 April 2013
I loved the premise of the book. The thing that I enjoyed reading most were the descriptive passages about the afterlife and the bike workshop, which were beautifully done. The writer obviously has a vivid imagination and is good at conveying her creative vision to the reader. There were also some great characters and I really enjoyed the sub-plot with the doctor and her parents, which all linked together at a nice pace. This should have gotten a four star at least. However, I was very disappointed by the ending, as it felt very rushed and a bit cliche. Sad as it sounds, I would have liked to see Madeleine move on in the afterlife, after seeing her family all sorted out, leaving the reader with a sad, but fulfilled ending that would leave us wanting more. The writer is obviously good and has a lot of talent for descriptive work and characterisation. If you are reading, Jude, please rewrite the ending, and I will be the first to come back and do a four/five star review!
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on 23 January 2012
I enjoyed the beginning and the middle of this book. It was an interesting concept and different. In the beginning it was witty and quite fast paced. I thought I'm going to really enjoy this chick-lit. I did until about 2/3rds of the way through then I don't know if the author ran out of ideas or needed to get it finished for a deadline? Whatever the reason I thought the last couple of chapters were dire. I really got annoyed with it in the end. It was all over the place and I found myself losing interest pretty quickly. I'm still trying to fathom out where the book was going. I couldn't get to grips with one or two of the characters and felt that it didn't explain the whys and wherefores enough. I did like the main character and felt for her at first then she drove me bananas. This could easily have been a great book instead it was mediocre at best. Won't be reading anymore of this author's books unless they're free.
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