Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway – Ascenders by C.L. Gaber

Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s Ascenders blog tour stop! This tour is hosted by YA Bound Book Tours!


Title: Ascenders

Author: C.L. Gaber

Published: April 20th, 2015 by Big Picture Media

Length: 372 pages (eBook)

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance

Source: Publisher via YA Bound Book Tours (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

book blurb

(from Goodreads)

Walker Callaghan doesn’t know what happened to her. One minute she was living her teenage life in suburban Chicago…and the next minute, she was in a strange place and in a brand new school with absolutely no homework, no rules, and no consequences.

Walker Callaghan, 17, is dead.

She doesn’t go to heaven or hell. She lands at The Academy, a middle realm where teenagers have one thing in common: They were the morning announcement at their high schools because they died young.

These high school kids are now caught in a strange “in-between” zone where life hasn’t changed very much. In fact, this special teen limbo looks a lot like life in a quaint Michigan town complete with jocks, popular girls and cliques. “There are even cheerleaders in death,” Walker observes. It’s not a coincidence that the music teacher is a guy named Kurt who “used to have this band.” The drama teacher, Heath, is crush worthy because back in his life, he starred in some superhero movie.

Principal King explains the rules — there are none. Why? You can’t die twice.

There is no homework.
No tests.
You’re just there to learn because the human brain isn’t fully formed until you’re 24.

By the way, you can’t get hurt physically, so race your Harley off that hillside. But falling in love is the most dangerous thing you can do …because no one knows how long you’ll stay in this realm or what’s next.

“Losing someone you love would be like dying twice,” Walker says.

* * * * * *
Walker Callaghan has just arrived at the Academy after a tragic car accident. “Is this heaven or is this high school?” she asks.

She finds out her new life is a bit of both as she falls in love with tat-covered, bad boy Daniel Reid who is about to break the only sacred rule of this place. He’s looking for a portal to return back to the living realm.

He needs just one hour to retrieve his younger brother who strangely never arrived at The Academy. Bobby is an Earth Bound Spirit, stuck at a plane crash site that took both of their lives as their rich father piloted his private jet nose-first into a cornfield on Christmas Eve.

Walker loves Daniel and risks it all to go with him.

Have they learned enough to outsmart dangerous forces while transporting a young child with them? Can their love survive the fragmented evil parts of themselves that are now hunting them down as they try to find a way back to the middle?

At the Academy, you learn the lessons of an after-lifetime.

my review


I saw the cover and was immediately intrigued. It’s mysterious and creepy. I love it. Then I read on the bottom of the cover: “High school for the recently departed.” I was hooked. I have definitely never read anything about high schools for dead kids. I had to read this. Plus, it looks like a bit of a romance. Count me in!


The romance. Walker and Daniel. I absolutely loved their relationship. It starts out rocky because Daniel clearly likes to be left alone and doesn’t want anything to do with Walker. But Walker is persistent, and they end up being sort of friends, which eventually turns into something more. I love the gradual growth of their relationship. I love that he slowly lets her in. I love that they need each other, even when they don’t realize it. I just LOVED them. And I want to see more!

Unique plot. First you got the main part of the story: everyone at this school is dead, and they’re caught in between, like a limbo-sort-of place. Then, you have Walker, who meets Daniel, who is trying to get back to life to save his younger brother. Awesome. Love, love, loved it. It’s probably the happiest I’ve ever been to read about dead people. This is so unlike anything I have ever read, so I was on the edge of my seat.

The family bonds. This had me feeling all the feels. Walker’s relationship with her mom. Daniel’s relationship with his siblings. It was all so heartbreakingly wonderful. In a world where there could be so much heartache and sadness, the love that these people have for each other is incredible. Sorry, I don’t mean to get all sappy, but it got to me. C.L. Gaber did an awesome job.

The deceased celebrities! Ahh! Can you imagine going to a school where Kurt Cobain is your music teacher, Heath Ledger is your drama teacher, and Walter Payton is your coach?! Being dead may not be so bad after all! Of course, it got me a little teary-eyed reading about all of them, especially Heath. He was one of my favorite actors, and his death still gets to me. But, it was really nice to see him and the rest as characters in this book. Plus, it was done so well. I loved it.


Hmm. I didn’t give this book 5 hearts because there was just something that bugged me, and I just can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it was the high school stereotypes or the constant references to a particular character’s weight or everyone making fun of Walker’s name (which got old). These were all very minor issues and did not ruin the book for me, but I guess it kept me from feeling that “OMG” feeling.


Really good book! I want more. Like right now. It ended perfectly, but there was also a bit of a cliffhanger, and I just HAVE to know more. I’m so curious as to where this story is going to go. And now that I have heard that there are two more books in the series, I’m so upset that I have to wait, but at the same time, I’m ecstatic that I get to read more about these awesome people! I will be impatiently waiting for books 2 and 3!!!

four hearts

4 out of 5 Hearts!

buy links




about the author

C.L. Gaber is the author of the ASCENDERS SAGA and co author of Jex Malone. A well known entertainment journalist, she lives in Nevada with her husband Ron, bonus daughter Sabrina and two unruly dogs. ASCENDERS 2 is due out in early 2016.

author links






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Reading Challenges Met:

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

Around the World

Chapter Break Bookish Bingo

The Color Coded Reading Challenge

Full House Reading Challenge

Literary Pickers Challenge

The Mad Reviewer Reading Challenge

Story Sprites

7 thoughts on “Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway – Ascenders by C.L. Gaber

  1. This sounds like a very unique story, Cheryl. I like the sound of the slow-building romance, the family dynamics, and the dead celebrities! *ha* I’m glad you really enjoyed even if you had a few minor issues with it. I have to admit I thought ‘boy’ when I read Walker…but that’s terrible of me considering both my daughters have names that are typically used for boys.
    Very nice review! 😀
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