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07 August 2021

Book Review: Afterlove by Tanya Byrne

I decided to review a book by a YALC author for each day of the event, and the second book is Afterlove by Tanya Byrne. Check out the You Had Me at Hello.: Falling in Love for the First Time panel today.

I have been putting off picking up Afterlove on the off chance that my request for the audiobook on NetGalley would be granted - but alas, I was unlucky. No worries, it was on my TBR anyway because of the excellent reviews (and it's Tanya Byrne) so I bought a copy once it released.

Afterlove by Tanya Byrne book cover

Ash Persaud is about to become a reaper in the afterlife, but she is determined to see her first love Poppy Morgan again, the only thing that separates them is death.

Car headlights. The last thing Ash hears is the snap of breaking glass as the windscreen hits her and breaks into a million pieces like stars. But she made it, she's still here. Or is she?

This New Year's Eve, Ash gets an invitation from the afterlife she can't decline: to join a clan of fierce girl reapers who take the souls of the city's dead to await their fate.

But Ash can't forget her first love, Poppy, and she will do anything to see her again... even if it means they only get a few more days together. Dead or alive...

Not even death can tear them apart.

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Source: Purchase

5 Word Review: Love, family, friendship, tragedy, death.

Grab the tissues, you will need them. And a blanket to combat the chills that this love story will give you.

I am struggling to review this, because I loved it so much. Basically: Good book. Book booked good. Read book.

I listened to the audiobook of Afterlove, and I think Aysha Kala did a wonderful job bringing the story to life and filling it with even more emotion.

Ash and Poppy are just... They're my OTP now, the one ship I will go down with. I loved their love, the way that even though their situations in life are so different it doesn't matter to them. Their hearts are full of love. And when Ash becomes a reaper, I have to be honest - it broke me.

Afterlove doesn't shy away from difficult topics - whether its homophobia, or racism, or class disparity, or religious beliefs in the face of your family. It was empathetically done, carefully done, and wasn't afraid to be ugly when it had to be. 

This book gently plays with the paranormal, and if I'm honest I barely realised it for what it was. I loved the lore behind it, and I thought it was very clever in the way it was executed.

The story is split into before and after and I think that was a clever way to play with the concepts of the words. It's not just Ash's death, but herself and how she experiences the world, her new role.

That ending though? Excuse me, I need more. I loved the ending, but it left me gasping. It wraps up beautifully but I'm aching for more. Afterlove is the romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet want to be.

Afterlove is a gloriously beautiful story that will fill your heart to bursting and then break it into a million pieces. You will never be ready, and you will never get over it, but you need to read this book.


  1. Oh this sounds amazing! i had this already on my radar as the synopsis intrigued me, but after this review I am pushing this up my list x

  2. This sounds like a great read. Your book reviews are some of my favourite! I love the idea of it being a total rollercoaster read


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