The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

Holly Chase is a spoiled 16-year-old Scrooge. Raised by her father, a Hollywood director, and her stepmother, a celebrity fashionista, Holly always gets everything she wants. If she doesn't, there's hell to pay for anyone who stands in her way. After her stepmother passes away from a freak plastic surgery accident, Holly is determined to follow in her selfish footsteps and become Hollywood's leading fashion mogul. But on Christmas Eve, Holly is visited by three ghosts—the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. They try to convince her to mend her ways before something terrible happens, but Holly chooses not to. She thinks the spontaneous and frightening visits are a load of bull.

Then, she dies.

Now Holly is stuck in a limbo, working for a top-secret Christmas Carol-style operation called Project Scrooge—the same operation that tried to save her but failed. Year after year, Holly has to play the Ghost of Christmas Past, trying to convince the chosen Scrooges that they need to mend their ways before it's too late. After all, she's living—actually undead—proof that bad choices lead to consequences. Holly stays frozen at 16, living isolated, as her family and friends thrive without her.

But this year, things will be different. This year, the Scrooged picked is a 17-year-old boy named Ethan, whose life has gone astray from moral values. Holly quickly finds herself attracted to him, despite his flaws, and must confront the ghosts of her own past. Will she be able to mend her ways and take back the life she took for granted?

The Afterlife of Holly Chase is a modern telling of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. As we dive into Holly's existence, alive and undead, we realize that it is easy to take things in your life for granted. Deep down, perhaps we are all Holly Chase in someway, indulging in material objects instead of the simple things. But there is a chance at redemption. This light-hearted, good-spirited Christmas story from the Beyond is a bold, contemporary spin on a timeless classic.

For another title like The Afterlife of Holly Chase, check out Marly's Ghost: A Remix of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, by David Levithan.