The Afterlife of Mal Caldera by Nadi Reed Perez (Gifted)

Hello Readers,

I would like to say thank you to Olivia, and Titan for sending me a physical copy of The Afterlife of Mal Caldera by Nadi Reed Perez for free in exchange for an honest review. As this is a publication day post my post will be spoiler free.
Happy Publication Day
 
Title: The Afterlife of Mal Caldera
Author: Nadi Reed Perez
Genre: Romantic fantasy, Contemporary fantasy, LGBTQIA+
Pages: 464
Cover Image:
Synopsis: Mal Caldera a former rockstar, retired wild-child and excommunicated black sheep of her Catholic family is dead. Not that she cares. She only feels bad that her younger sister, Cris, has been left alone with their religious zealot of a mother, picking up the pieces Mal has left behind. While her fellow ghosts party their afterlives away at an abandoned mansion they call the Haunt, Mal is determined to make contact with Cris from beyond the grave.
She manages to enlist the help of reluctant local medium Ren, and together, they concoct a plan to pass on a message to Cris. But the more time they spend together, the more both begin to wonder what might have been if they'd met before Mal died.
 
Miniature Review
 
This is a magnificent debut book from Nadi Reed Perez, and I am delighted I was lucky enough to get an ARC from Titan. Nadi doesn't shy away from heavy topics in this book and mentions mental health, grief and suicide.
 
 I wholeheartedly feel in love with this story and with Mal, she is incredibly complex. Mal is just the right amount of humanly messy to make her believable. When Mal was alive, she was a famous musician who struggled with her mental health. Now she’s coming to terms with the fact, she’s dead and what that means for her family.
 
Mal must learn to navigate not only her new world of the dead but how she can still navigate the world of the living that she left behind. I was with Mal every step of this journey and I loved every second of it. This book is emotional but delightful while tackling the idea of loss and complicated family dynamics.
 
This book reminds me of “Under the Whispering Door” by TJ Klune it might be because both books are emotionally charged, both made me cry and both books have a found family element. I loved this take on ghosts and what happened to us after death, and I loved the found family element in this book. I will admit I am a sucker for both these tropes and can’t seem to get enough. This book is an emotional roller coaster, but it’s worth every second.

L x

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