Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published December 31st 2013 by Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: ARC from Publisher
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.
Afterparty is a tough book to write a review on without just spoiling everything. A lot happens in this story. A LOT! It’s kind of one of those books that you just have to experience for yourself. The book starts out by teasing you with a flash into the future of the story and then it backtracks and you get to read the whole rest of it to see how it happens. (but even the ending has some surprises up it’s sleeve.) Afterparty is not a happy go lucky book. I felt like it explored kind of a darker side to friendship, and peer pressure.
The characters really took center stage in this story. Ann Redisch Stampler did such an amazing job portraying the kinds of inner conflict that a person goes through, especially where friends are involved. Emma is the main character of this story, and for the most part I really liked her. She is a good person at her core, and because of that you could really see her inner struggle with some of the things Siobhan was pushing her into doing. Siobhan is a whirlwind, by the way. And not a good one. Even though she was technically a secondary character, she demanded a lot of the attention throughout the story. She is a manipulative little brat, that’s for sure. At least, that was my take on her. Throw in a boy and you know the story is going to get crazy.
Afterparty deals with all sorts of things that teens go through on a daily basis. Lies, betrayal, peer pressure, doing things to please friends, growing and figuring out who you are going to be as a person. Afterparty is something that I could easily see happening. The book just has a very realistic feel to it. Sometimes the characters are over dramatic, sometimes they make bad decisions, and sometimes they are indecisive. But they are 100% teens.
A few times I wanted to shake Emma and get her to see just what kind of person Siobhan was. That was the frustrating part of the story for me. A few times Emma seemed to be too much of a pushover for her own good. I wanted her to grow into her own person. And she does do some growing on her journey, but not always in the ways you would expect. Even though I was frustrated with Emma and Siobhan sometimes (well Siobhan pretty much all the time) the saving grace was the realistic-ness of it all. This is how teens are, especially nowadays. It is something that I have seen happen all too often. Afterparty is an intense and dramatic journey. No matter whether I was loving what was happening or frustrated by the characters, I still could not put the book down. The twists and turns are crazy. This book totally took me by surprise.
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.Author Links:
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