“Beyond” by S.P. Van Der Lee

Death is only the first step…

Sixteen-year-old Raven desperately wants to fit in, but after using a Ouija Board, her already overwhelming hallucinations take a turn for the worse. A ghostly figure named Sam begins to haunt Raven and seems eager to kill her.

She’s saved by a reclusive biker named Damian who goes to the same school and appears to have an interest in her. Raven can’t help but feel drawn to him. Determined to uncover Damian’s connection to the ghost, Raven sets out to discover his secret and the reason Sam started haunting her. However, there’s more at stake than just her reputation. Raven’s choice between unveiling Damian’s true intentions, and living a normal life will put everyone she cares about at risk. To save them, she’ll have to go beyond.

Lives are ruined.
Hearts are shattered.
Death lurks at every corner.

I received this book from the Author, S.P. Van der Lee, in exchange for an honest review.

The Review

I don’t even know where to begin. The synopsis was awesome. It had the potential to be a great story.  This is the story of a girl who has faced hallucinations her entire life. However one night when her and her friends decide to use a Ouija and she starts seeing things worse than ever. There was a ghost that was haunting Raven, a boy that one day would save her.

I really wanted to like this book I had such high hopes. The plot is good but I think it could have been done better.  It is seriously fast paced…TOO fast paced!

I found at times it was difficult to really connect with some of the characters and then there were several inconsistencies, for example, Raven and her mom seem to have just moved into town, yet Raven already has a part time job and friends before she even starts her first day of school!?

In the beginning of the book it says that Raven watches Damian drive away on his red motorcycle from her bedroom window across the street.  But then towards the middle/end Joey gives Raven a ride home, then offers to drive over to Damian’s to go get her bike. If Damian lives across the street, Joey wouldn’t need to drive there to get it, he would just walk across the street.  So does Damian live across the street or down the block?

Another inconsistency happens when Raven is working one night with Simon.  She tells Simon she forgot her house keys so she can’t get into her house and she doesn’t know when her mother will be home. Simon invites her to come over to his house. Things are fine until he kisses her and she runs home. At her house she tries using a pin to get in. Damian shows up and uses a card to open the door, where she finds her mother waiting for her.  They argue for a minute and Raven runs to her room to avoid her mother’s questions. Yet the next morning she fights with her mom again about her not coming right home after work and in the middle of this, Raven asks her mother why was she  home at 8 pm and not 10? Yet I thought she didn’t know when her mom was getting home?

Raven is so needy and whiny. Most of the book is the thoughts in her head and it seems like she just repeats the same thing over and over. Her friends, Lillian and Emma. WOW! Can we say Mean Girls with snob plus! I could not understand why Raven was friends with them or even how they became friends.

“Beyond” is an interesting concept that I felt just fell flat.  It wasn’t until the end that I felt some questions were answered. I know there is a book 2 and yes I’m curious to read it to see if things get better. The idea of ghosts following her and good vs. bad ghosts is a new take on things and I am hopeful that book 2 is better at explaining.

Over all this was an ok read .

So, good idea, yet not so great on the execution.

~Tamera McIntosh, Individual Reviewer for Book Reads and Reviews



Grade Scale:

(Based upon the Book Reads and Reviews Rubric)

  • Plot – 4
  • Characterization – 4
  • Style – 6
  • Threshold Quality – 6
  • Addictiveness – 4

Total – 24

Rating – 3 Stars