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The afterlife of Holly Chase
First edition.
New York, NY : HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2017.
Physical Description:
389 pages ; 22 cm
After being visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve, Holly Chase chooses not to mend her spoiled ways. Upon her death Holly discovers her selfishness has caused her to work for eternity as a ghost of Christmas past. Every year Project Scrooge saves another miserly grouch, and Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. But this year, everything is about to change ...
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 4.5.


Call Number
TEEN Hand, C.
TEEN Hand, C.

On Order



Before I Fall meets "bah, humbug" in this contemporary YA reimagining of A Christmas Carol from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand.

On Christmas Eve five years ago, seventeen-year-old Holly Chase was visited by three Ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she'd become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways. She didn't. And then she died.

Now she's stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge--as their latest Ghost of Christmas Past. So far, Holly's afterlife has been miserable. But this year's Scrooge is different. This year's Scrooge might change everything...

The Afterlife of Holly Chase is a witty, poignant, and insightful novel about life, love, and seizing second (or third) chances, perfect for readers who loved Before I Fall or Dash & Lily's Book of Dares.

Author Notes

Cynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of the Unearthly series with HarperTeen: Unearthly, Hallowed, Radiant (an enovella) and Boundless, and the NYT bestselling contemporary, The Last Time We Say Goodbye. She teaches courses in creative writing at Boise State University. Her book, My Lady Jane, (cowritten with Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows) made The New York Times Best Sellers List in 2016.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Holly Chase, the spoiled daughter of a Hollywood director, was visited by three spirits in an attempt to save her soul, but she failed to repent and died soon after. Now Holly is in her fifth year as the Ghost of Christmas Past at Project Scrooge, a company devoted to redeeming "one person who has gone astray in life" each year through Christmas Carol-style interventions. Holly is resigned to her life in corporate limbo until she spots this year's Scrooge: a 17-year-old hottie who reminds her of her former self. Going off script, Holly secretly befriends Ethan, kicking off a screwball romance. Hand (the Unearthly trilogy) puts a quirky contemporary spin on the Dickens classic. If the story occasionally gets muddled by the mix of paranormal elements, time travel, and gadgetry, Holly's sharp-edged narration entertains throughout. Ages 13-up. Agent: Katherine Fausset, Curtis Brown. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

After cynical, materialistic Holly scoffs at her own Christmas Eve spectral visitation, she dies and must work as a ghost for a secret company called Project Scrooge to redeem other "Scrooges." This is A Christmas Carol meets Dead like Me; Hand balances sly humor (e.g., the tedium of a first job in the afterlife) with romance and holiday spirit. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A spunky, modern take on A Christmas Carol. A huge perk of having a wealthy, movie-director father who lives in Malibu, California, and a fashionable yet recently deceased stepmother? Raiding your stepmother's closet, of course. And after Holly Chase goes on a power trip on the family maid on Christmas Eve, it's no surprise that she's visited by Christmas ghosts, all warning her of her selfish ways. Unlike Ebenezer, who heeded the ghosts, the white 16-year-old promptly dies but awakens in New York City, where she becomes part of Project Scrooge, serving as the Ghost of Christmas Past. The story then fast-forwards five years as the diverse Project Scrooge team is preparing for Scrooge 173. Hand's detailed descriptions of their secret processes, from surveillance to time-traveling tunnels, are amusing and clever. But Holly is still self-absorbed and lonely until Stephanie (who's alive and can fetch coffee!) arrives to assist her. When Holly discovers that the next Scrooge is Ethan Jonathan Winters III, WASP-y heir to one of the biggest real estate dynasties in New York (and hot!), Holly takes an interest in her job and her past for the first time. Both enjoyment and soul-searching ensue as the teen develops friendship and a covert romance. While it's clear where the story is headed, Hand leaves several avenues open to keep readers guessing until the very end. A spirited tale, indeed. (Fiction. 13-17) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Never the nicest of girls, 17-year-old Holly Chase, daughter of a successful film director, laughed in the face of the ghosts that came to warn her to change her ways one Christmas Eve, Dickens-style. But her scorn didn't stop her from dying soon after. Five years later, Holly's spending her afterlife as a perpetual 17-year-old, working as the resident Ghost of Christmas Past for the same Project Scrooge that tried to save her. But this year, the Scrooge they're trying to save seems different: he's a 17-year-old boy named Ethan, and Holly finds herself drawn to him. But as she delves into his memories, she's forced to relive her own, and for the first time, confronts the life she took for granted. Hand, who coauthored My Lady Jane (2016), brings a similar wit and whimsy to this solo endeavor. Bratty, pragmatic Holly is given surprising depth over the course of the story, and the clever use of tropes from A Christmas Carol never feel heavy-handed. A good-spirited story from beyond the grave.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2017 Booklist