Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review: Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler

Genre: YA Contemporary
Paperback: 384  pages
Release Date: January 7th, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository 
Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother -- whose name her dad won't even say out loud. That's why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her...and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she's everything Emma is not.

And it may be more than Emma can handle. 

Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It's more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop... 

This explosive, sexy, and harrowing follow-up to Ann Redisch Stampler's spectacular teen debut, Where It Began, reveals how those who know us best can hurt us most.


First things first, I would like to point out the beautiful cover. I usually remind myself not to judge a book by its cover and it wouldn’t hurt to say that the first thing that caught my attention was itWell, it’s the first thing that you will notice on a book so it must leave an impressionLook at the colors, the lights, and the silhouette of a girl in a dress carrying her shoes which gave an intriguing and fascinating feeling. It is exactly the kind of cover that best describes the title, Afterparty.

The story is divided into three parts and it was told from Emma’s point of view following her and Siobhan’s life (Emma’s newfound friend) in a private High School in California. Emma describes herself between two personalities, a Goody two shoes Emma and a bad Emma. Ha! It might a tad confusing but when you read the book she’s just as confuse on herself because while trying to be good for herself and for her Dad, whom she is afraid to disappoint, she also feels like a part of her is destined to become somebody like her Mom. Her Mom didn’t appear in the story but it is observable that she has a huge effect on Emma. Well, to give a summary of what her Mom did that made her father quite strict to her was her Mom’s addiction to vices (Drugs, Drinking, et al.) so her father is just trying his best for her not to wind up like her Mom although it would seem that on some level her father had been too strict. I don’t mean to say that he should have let her loose or anything like that but I think that because of it Emma learned to lie and she learned to keep secrets from her father. I don’t support Emma’s character in the book not because I hate her…Well, annoyed perhaps but not hate. I’m annoyed on her bad decisions, Yeah…nobody’s perfect but she keeps on coming back on the same mistakes because when she decides on a thing either she’s drunk or she’s emotionally unstable which ruffle my feathers though one thing I admire about her is her loyalty.

On the other hand we have Siobhan, a total opposite of Emma in all aspects. She’s carefree, wild, and unpredictable but she had become friends with her since the first day. She’s the person who made the prep Afterparty check list for her that contain debauchery that Emma wouldn’t imagine her father would let her do. I can’t say that she’s a completely bad friend because she had shown her good and bad side but there were times that when she fights Emma I don’t feel as if she were a real friend, friends fight but it doesn’t look like they’re fighting as friends. It was like she’s a new person and she’s trying to compete with her.  I hate her lies, her made up stories and the way she interferes on Emma’s life unaware or deliberately messing it up or just trying to fix it. I’m not a fan of Siobhan and she’s the type of person I wouldn’t mess with or have as a friend but beneath it all I know that drinking or doing drugs is just her way of coping up…a terrible and wrong path but who would tell her that when her mother is always away and she’s very secretive. A redeeming quality of her for me is keeping promises however her ability to keep promises may have been over the top that it became a bad thing too and it could’ve lead to death.

As for the romance in the story, if you are expecting a lot of swoon or cheesy scenes then I’m going to warn you that don’t expect too much on that department. There is romance; actually it is one of the problems that surfaced and it wasn’t instalove but ain’t the focus of the story. The book gives emphasis on Siobhan and Emma’s love and hate friendship. However, I assure you that Dylan Kahane is one hot guy that you wouldn’t wanna miss. Regarding its title, Afterparty, it fits the character and atmosphere of the book since it is all where it started and where should definitely end.

Afterparty is the story of two girls that is utterly different, two sides of the same coin, but has formed friendship despite their differences and it is despairing to see their friendship crumble into nothingness because of the string of lies and betrayals. Add to the mix the endless misunderstandings, mistakes, forgiveness, love and hate and you’ll have the type of book that is absolutely enticing and will keep you reading until you’ve read the conclusion. It is not the best read for me because I have my dull moments with this book too but not worst either so I’ll just stick with okay. This may not be the type of book for everyone but if you’re a contemporary reader looking for something fresh and YA (and if you aren’t afraid to hurl your copy across the room because some of the parts are so good therefore you are affected and hurt) then this book is definitely for you!

Afterparty is the first work of Ann Stampler I’ve read and I want to thank her for sending me an Advance Reader Copy of her book in exchange of honest review.

Author Bio
Where it Began marks the YA debut of Ann Redisch Stampler. She is the author of several picture books, including The Rooster Prince of Breslov. Her books have been an Aesop Accolade winner, Sydney Taylor notable books and an honor book, a National Jewish Book Awards finalist and winner, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year. Ann has two adult children and lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband.
Follow her on these sites: Website|| Goodreads || Twitter

1 comment:

  1. This sounds interesting! I love books with completely different people as best friends. And well, if you say that the love interest is hot then I'll have to take your word for it! Great review.


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