Thursday, August 24, 2017

Review: Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler

Title: Afterparty
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Format: Paperback ARC
Pub. Date: January 7th 2014
Source: Won

Book Description:

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 follow-up to Ann Redisch Stampler's Where It Began, reveals how those who know us best can hurt us most.



Sometimes, every once in a while, there comes a book that feels like a case of "it's not you, it's me". I believe that this is one of those times. I'm glad a lot of other people seem to have enjoyed it, but it wasn't for me. This review will be vague, because there's a lot of potential spoilers.

The writing style wasn't one that I found enjoyable. It was full of long, flowery sentences that seemed extra detailed just for the sake of a word count. I thought maybe I'd warm up to it as the book went on, but alas I did not. The pacing was also rough. Sometimes the book jumped forward a day, sometimes a week. It was jagged and awkward and hard to keep up.

And then there's the characters. 99% of the time when I don't like a book, it's because of the characters, and this isn't the 1% for me. I didn't care for any of them. Not like "oh, I connect and understand these characters but I dislike them" but as in, I don't care at all what happens in your lives. For me it was a hyper-dramatic version of the 2003 film Thirteen. There's a good girl who doesn't want to be so good. Enter the super crazy, abusive, manipulative cool bad girl who is her downfall. There wasn't anything about her that made her unique, or someone that I could understand being friends with in the first place, let alone the friendship that follows. Think of all the things parents think are the end of the world: drugs, sex, and alcohol, and multiply the drama by 100, and that's what Siobhan gets them into. The main character is generic and forgettable, and doesn't really grow that much by the end of the novel . So, it felt largely predictable in parts.

And the end? What a let down. It didn't make up for my other issues with the book, so I was just left frustrated.

I will say that though it has nothing to do with the story, the cover is gorgeous.

As I said, I think this is a case of it's not you, it's me. So, if you like teenage drama type stories like Pretty Little Liars or Gossip Girl or things like that, go for it. Maybe you'll have a better time.


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