‘Sometimes you need a second chance, because you weren’t quite ready for the first.’

We all have such moments where we soulfully wish for a second chance, because we weren’t quite alert when the first one knocked at our door. They are awful times when a person truly regrets his/her mistakes for neglecting the first opportunity and is so desperate to prove oneself again, if only they get the second chance.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand is one such book where we appreciate the positive outcomes of second chances. Published on October 24, 2017, this beautiful retelling of Christmas Carol took me by surprise and blew me away with quite an intriguing plot and a fresh, realistic protagonist.

This book starts with the story of a seventeen-year-old girl, Holly Chase who is selfish, rude, and obsessed with wealth and fame. She is least bothered about others and is terribly mean to everyone around her, resembling the character of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. On Christmas Eve, Holly is visited by the ghosts of her present, past, and future who try to show her how she has grown up to be a spoilt and selfish person. They try to convince her on mending her mean ways, but our dear Holly brushes off the first opportunity and ends up dead. The book continues with the life of Holly Chase after her death, where she works for a top-secret company Project Scrooge as the latest ghost of Christmas Past. This company aims at reforming people who are ill-mannered for the betterment of the world. The story takes us on a beautiful, hilarious journey with the selfish Holly Chase on her road to redemption. Does she actually have a second chance is what the book is about. It is a light read and makes us root for Holly’s happiness even though she is a very selfish, mean person. It was like reading a modern version of A Christmas Carol and I am so very glad that I picked this book up.

I loved the way the book dealt with a serious theme in a subtle, and humorous way. It gives us an insight into how desperate at times we can get for the second chances that is no way round the corner. It amazingly showcases the changes that second chances can bring about, while temporarily hovering around the consequences of a failed first chance. The last page of this book brings a satisfying smile on the reader’s face and definitely changes our perspectives on many minor things that go easily unnoticed in our everyday life.

Please do pick this book up. I assure, you would not regret it. If you have read it already, I would love to hear your thoughts. Also, please do let me know if you think any other book that you have read portrays reinvention and second chances. I would love to hear them all.

Good day to you all!

- Oviya Raj