Ascenders: High School for the Recently Departed
by C.L. Gaber
Release Date: April 20th 2015
Walker Callaghan doesn’t know what happened to her. One minute she was living her teenage life in suburban Chicago…and the next minute, she was in a strange place and in a brand new school with absolutely no homework, no rules, and no consequences.
Walker Callaghan, 17, is dead.
She doesn’t go to heaven or hell. She lands at The Academy, a middle realm where teenagers have one thing in common: They were the morning announcement at their high schools because they died young.
These high school kids are now caught in a strange “in-between” zone where life hasn’t changed very much. In fact, this special teen limbo looks a lot like life in a quaint Michigan town complete with jocks, popular girls and cliques. “There are even cheerleaders in death,” Walker observes. It’s not a coincidence that the music teacher is a guy named Kurt who “used to have this band.” The drama teacher, Heath, is crush worthy because back in his life, he starred in some superhero movie.
Principal King explains the rules — there are none. Why? You can’t die twice.
There is no homework.
You’re just there to learn because the human brain isn’t fully formed until you’re 24.
By the way, you can’t get hurt physically, so race your Harley off that hillside. But falling in love is the most dangerous thing you can do …because no one knows how long you’ll stay in this realm or what’s next.
“Losing someone you love would be like dying twice,” Walker says.
* * * * * *
Walker Callaghan has just arrived at the Academy after a tragic car accident. “Is this heaven or is this high school?” she asks.
She finds out her new life is a bit of both as she falls in love with tat-covered, bad boy Daniel Reid who is about to break the only sacred rule of this place. He’s looking for a portal to return back to the living realm.
He needs just one hour to retrieve his younger brother who strangely never arrived at The Academy. Bobby is an Earth Bound Spirit, stuck at a plane crash site that took both of their lives as their rich father piloted his private jet nose-first into a cornfield on Christmas Eve.
Walker loves Daniel and risks it all to go with him.
Have they learned enough to outsmart dangerous forces while transporting a young child with them? Can their love survive the fragmented evil parts of themselves that are now hunting them down as they try to find a way back to the middle?
At the Academy, you learn the lessons of an after-lifetime.
My Review: This is a great start to a new series. I enjoyed unraveling the secrets of the school and the journey of trying to determine if they can go back to the living. Did they find it??? Well I am not going to tell you silly, but you should TOTALLY go read this book to find out for yourself 😉
Walker was a character we all knew in high school & heck we knew Daniel too. Their dynamic felt pretty legit and it brought back some memories of high school. Let’s be honest any book about high school will do that, right?
The pacing of the book started off slow, but I think that was because we knew Walker was dead but she did not… so I found myself constantly saying things like “wake up girl!” …. “UGH you are dead woman!!!!” but once she figured out her situation there was no putting this book down, which is why I think the slow build up was intention and not because of the author’s writing.
This book was a fantastic read and I really can’t wait for the next one!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book in exchange for review, as always the opinions are my own. Thank YA Bound Book Tours for allowing me to take part in this tour.