Life, A.D. is really one of the most unique books that I have ever read. Within the pages, we are introduced to Desiree, or Dez as she calls herself. Dez has died in a car crash, and is sent to Atman, a place of limbo. There, she is subject to rules and regulations in order to help her transition from the life that she knew to the death she must get used to.
Dez is pretty resistant for the entire novel. She refuses to believe that what has happened to her is real, and refuses to accept any of the help she is offered. Whilst I can understand why she acted the way she did, I just couldn’t really connect with her as a character. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed reading about her, but I just didn’t feel the kind of things I should have felt for a girl in her position.
I loved the intricacy of the world that Reed created in Life, A.D. It’s unique, and kind of mind blowing. Trains take you to where you’re supposed to go after your life has ended, and if you’re ‘flagged’, you have to stay in Atman. If you’re flagged and under eighteen, you have to stay in these towers reserved for people from age thirteen to seventeen. Dez is flagged, and because she is seventeen, is sent to one of these towers.
There, she meets Hannah and Charlie (and a few other people, as well). Hannah has been there for two years, and the staff believe that she can help Dez come to terms with her death, and assist her in moving up the levels, in order to leave limbo and Atman behind. Charlie is the love interest. I really liked him, and I thought he was the perfect mix of protective, and yet not overbearing in the slightest. He cares for Dez, but doesn’t push anything, and I really admired him for that. Hannah was a bit iffy at times, with her jealousy of Charlie and Dez’s relationship, but overall she was a likeable character.
I liked how the plot wasn’t too fast moving. We were given ample information regarding the world of Atman and the afterlife, and all the details of what it involved. I was never left confused by anything, and I wholeheartedly appreciated it. There is nothing worse than reading an intricate novel and being confused. But Reed presented all the information in a timely manner, and in such a way that you never felt as if it was an info-dump.
Whilst the novel is focussed solely on Dez’s reactions and experiences in limbo, I did not feel as if the book was slow. I think the timing of events was excellent, and I liked that fact that Dez didn’t adjust straight away. Who would? It would have been unbelievable if she had immediately accepted her state of afterlife. So, we were given a step by step of how she slowly adjusted to live in Atman, and slowly opened up to the people who were willing to help her.
That being said, there was enough action to keep the story interesting, and some pretty surprising reveals along the way, as well.
I sincerely hope that Life, A.D. is the first in a series about Dez, because the ending was left very open, and not a lot was resolved. If there is a series planned, I will most definitely be reading it.
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