Book Review: My So-Called Afterlife by Tamsyn Murray

“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?
A wonderful debut novel which, as well as being laugh-out-loud funny, is full of insights, compassion, and love. (From

As soon as I read the synopsis I knew I really wanted to read this book. From the catchy first line “I knew it was time to move on when a tramp peed on my Uggs…” to the rest of the fascinating premise, I was intrigued! When I was offered the chance to read this book, I jumped at it and I’m pleased to say I was not disappointed.

Lucy is a fantastic character; she is funny, feisty and witty. I can’t think of any other time I read a book about a ghost and thoroughly believed in it, but with Lucy I absolutely did. I also really liked the other characters too; in particular emo ghost Hep, who captured my heart completely.

Trapping Lucy’s spirit in the men’s toilet was a stroke of genius and allowed for an abundance of humour from the very first page. And it genuinely is laugh out loud funny, but at the same time it’s sweet, sad, and joyful. Tamsyn Murray tackles many teen issues throughout the book, including a blossoming romance, bullying, and suicide. I was a little worried how such dark and serious themes could be mixed with humour, but I needn’t have as I thought they were done sympathetically and balanced very well.

Stories about death and the afterlife seem to be a big thing in teen reading at the minute, with the publication of Lauren Oliver’s Before I fall and the movie of The Lovely Bones hitting the big screens, but My So-Called Afterlife definitely has something fresh and unique about it. I often say about a book I really enjoyed that ‘I couldn’t put it down’ – in this case, I actually didn’t! I wasn’t even intending to start it today but after a quick peek at the first page I was hooked. If I had one tiny complaint it would be that it could have been longer as it was over too quickly! However I think this book will appeal to teens who maybe don’t read an awful lot, as well as those who do, as the writing is quick paced and engrossing and the size isn’t daunting. It’s not only a book for teens though, I think anyone who likes a unique, witty and heartfelt story would enjoy My So-Called Afterlife. I loved it, and will be eagerly awaiting Tamsyn’s next book, My So-Called Haunting.

My Rating: 4.5

Want To Read My So Called Afterlife?

I’ll be giving away a signed copy very soon. For your chance to win…watch this space!

13 thoughts on “Book Review: My So-Called Afterlife by Tamsyn Murray

  1. I'm still not loving the cover (too blue, hehe), but this book sounds like a fun read so I'll definitely be entering the contest, can't wait! I agree that stories about the afterlife seem to be quite popular at the moment, but I have to say I find them quite fascinating!


  2. You're right, that first line totally caught my interest. And the whole premise of the story sounds really fun! Will go google the book now *lol*


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