Published by Square Fish (MacMillan)
Date Published: August 31, 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.This book was cute! I loved the idea of a bratty girl who is taking on the afterlife after being taken from the "earth plane." It reminded me a little of the TV show Dead Like Me, which I loved! I mean, how would you react if you suddenly died at the age of twelve without getting to "live life" as they say? I'd be pretty mad myself. Radiance tells the story of Riley Bloom as she takes on the afterlife which is not all clouds and harps like some are led to believe. She carries on a normal life in a normal house with her parents and dog Buttercup. She also goes to school with many other kids. but one thing she wasn't expecting from the afterlife was a job. Riley had become a Soul Catcher, leading those who linger in between death and the afterlife across the bridge. Her guide is Bodhi who is a nerdy version of Zac Efron unless he takes off his glasses...then he becomes, well, heavenly. This book tells the story of Riley and her job as a Soul Catcher.
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..
I loved reading this book! Not only the fact that it was short and could be finished quickly, but also the idea of life after death and how those who have died may handle things. This read is perfect for any ages especially younger teens! It's beauty and simplicity blend perfectly with romance and humor. I'm sad that I must wait until next year for Shimmer, the sequel. I will definitely miss Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup! Also the cover is just beautiful!