My So-Called Afterlife - Tamsyn Murray

Title: My So-Called Afterlife

Author: Tamsyn Murray

Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Category: YA
Release Date: 2010
Source: Bought it during an author event + book signing
Paperback : 184 pages

"I knew it was time to move on when a tramp peed on my Uggs..." Meet Lucy Shaw. She's not your average fifteen year old - for a start, she's dead. And as if being a ghost wasn't bad enough, she's also trapped haunting the men's toilets on Carnaby Street. So when a lighting engineer called Jeremy walks in and she realises he can see and hear her, she isn't about to let him walk out of her afterlife. Not least until he's updated her on what's happening in her beloved soaps. With Jeremy's help, Lucy escapes the toilet and is soon meeting up with other ghosts, including the perpetually enraged Hep and the snogtastic Ryan. But when Jeremy suggests Lucy track down the man who murdered her, things go down hill. Can Lucy face up to the events of that terrible night? And what will it cost her if she does?


No, you are not suffering from déjà-vu, I have just reviewed Tamsyn Murray's book for younger readers about Harriet Houdini the Stunt Bunny, and I loved it so much that I immediately picked up Tamsyn's debut YA novel!

Needless to say that, yet again, I have looked like a crazy person laughing out loud on the tube... I love this book!

What I love the most is that Tamsyn Murray takes a situation - the ghost of a girl brutally murdered in a toilet on Carnaby Street - and creates a very unexpected story out of it. When I read the summary, I assumed different things about Lucy's murderer, her family and what she would want to do with the help of Jeremy.

But this is not actually what happens, Lucy's death marks the beginning of a new existence and the only thing she wants from her old life is to be kept up to date with soap operas. She discovers, with the help of Jeremy, all the tricks to her new existence (yes, I've read Twilight  too many times and have just changed "life" to "existence" everywhere). She meets friendly ghosts like Hep and slightly less friendly ones like Kimberly. And she obviously meets a cute boy: Ryan is handsome *and* he has many things in common with Lucy. Ghost romance rules!

I loved the relationship Lucy and Jeremy have: they are very unique characters and get along really well (without it looking weird because she's a teen and he's an adult). Though they are different and sometimes don't understand each other, they form a very strong bond. I liked all the characters and it was interesting to read about the stories of the other ghosts and why they might be ghosts. I particularly enjoyed reading Hep's story. 

Serious issues are talked about but the story doesn't heavily linger on them. In the sense that yes horrible things happen to people and they're always unfair, but it's the same for everyone, so what do we do now instead of lamenting on them. I find Lucy's character very interesting, she has this fighting spirit in her that just makes her even more adorable. 

But the most important thing is Tamsyn Murray's writing. The book is so funny and surprising that when you look back at your entire bookcase (hidden ones, unconfessed book crushes and long-time favorites included), it will just stand-out as a unique story with an even more exceptional writing.

This book is such a treat that I would advise it to everyone and I absolutely can't wait to read My So-Called Haunting (which isn't a sequel per se, just a story coming from the same world) which will come out in September 2010!


  1. Yay! I really enjoyed this one too and am really looking forward to My So Called Haunting! Great review:)

  2. I loved this as well so I'm really looking foward to My So-Called Haunting. Great review!

  3. Awww... what a super sweet review! I am so glad you loved it. The humour rocked and like you say it mellowed an otherwise serious story about death.

    I hope you are a having a super day today!

  4. Thanks girls!!!
    I had soo much fun reading this book!

  5. ooo, this sounds like loads of fun.

  6. @vvb32: It is extremely fun, you should totally give it a try!!

  7. Thanks for the great review!! :]

  8. Lol I love reading your reviews. I can just see you on the tube (I've never used that word before! It's "train" or "subway" over here in LA :)), laughing out loud to yourself while others give you the Look, but you care not. This sounds like such a cute book! I love that all she cares about from her previous "existence" is her soap operas! I can relate; they are addicting! Great review Caroline!!

  9. Thanks Kris!!
    It is an amazing book, I'm sure you'll find it hilarious!!
    For the tube situation, I can assure you it is waaay worse when I'm crying reading the book since it's a bit rare... It's not like I'm going to see these people again anyway!!

  10. Fab review! I loved this one too, and I'm so psyched to hear that My So-Called Haunting is out in September because that's actually pretty soon.

    I can totally relate to the laughing-on-the-tube thing. (Although, why do we say 'on the tube' instead of 'in the tube'? It makes no sense.) I laugh on the bus at books all the time and I definitely laughed a lot at this one.