In this unconventional love story, 82-year-old Evie passes away peacefully, surrounded by her beloved family. But when she reaches the door to her Heaven, her heart is too heavy to pass through. To gain access, Evie must return to the other side and unburden herself of three secrets she’s kept her whole life. A magical and romantic exploration of the power of the heart.
On the Other Side is an incredibly… umm, creative love story. It was quite an enjoyable read, and is pretty well-written, but I did have some problems with it. Two big problems.
Number one: it is vain. The author is a well-known youtube star (who I do quite like), so her appearance and personality is no secret. For this reason, the similarities between Evie and the author are much too obvious. The character’s curly ‘caramel’ hair and ‘chocolate brown eyes’ are mentioned too often, and her generous and ‘hopeful’ (yes, she does mention the name of her online fanbase in the book) traits are features that the author clearly sees in herself. This, on it’s own, I don’t have a problem with, but a character so clearly based on the author in every positive aspect does come across as somewhat narcissistic. It got on my nerves.
Number two: the magic. The majority of this book comes across as a realistic, real-world romance. (The afterlife aspects are obviously not based on reality but still read as quite believable.) However, the magical aspects in the “real-world” (paper turning to glass, drawings coming to life, literally taking out a heart, writing on a bird?) didn’t really fit into the story and I really struggled to get my head around it.
Other, more overlookable issues include the clichéd characters, silly character names (Snow, Winter, Autumn, Frost, etc.) and the complete lack of any grey area between good and bad. If you can get past the clichés, vanity, and poorly integrated magical-realism, then On the Other Side is quite a sweet and light hearted romance novel and the actual writing quality is quite good.
Give it a go, but don’t expect too much.