Monday, December 23, 2013

Book Review: "Afterparty" by Ann Redisch Stampler



Title: Afterparty
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary 
Release Date: December 31st, 2013
Other Books Author: Where it Began 
Published by: Simon Pulse

With thanks to Simon Pulse for the copy of this novel! As always, my reviews are non-bias and fair.

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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.

 After having Afterparty featured as my "Waiting on Wednesday" post a few weeks ago, everyone seemed to adore the summary and that beautiful cover just as much as I did. And I was so lucky enough to get a copy through Edelweiss and Simon Pulse thanks to Ann to read before it's release, so that was my lucky Wednesday! I was excited to get started reading Afterparty right away.

I was intrigued right from the first page. I mean, when on the first page when it starts with an ending one-liner as enthralling as that, I think everyone is going to turn that page and keep going. 
The book opens and introduces Emma and her father to us. They're moving from Canada to California and right away the difference in lifestyle is a big change for both of them, but people tell them that they'll love California, so they keep that in mind. Emma is and has always been the "good girl" stereotype that she prides herself on being, and knows that if she gets good grades and follows the rules, life will work out great for her. She's started quite a lot of new schools before, and knows the drill and the motions like it's second nature.
Within a short time of starting her new school, Emma meets a girl called Siobhan, who is noticeably the opposite of everything Emma prides herself on; she doesn't follow all the rules, and does what she wants, when she wants to. But to Emma, this doesn't matter at first, and they become really fast friends, quite close right away. 
 The plot for Afterparty was striking and unique. Not only did it have the power to hold my attention, but it surprised me and threw me into a roller-coaster of complex situations, the fear of rebelling and not being accepted, and being in a self-destructive, yet fragile friendship. The thing I loved the most was the way that Ann had written that makes stopping reading almost impossible. It's a tie between the characters and the overall plot that kept me reading for hours and countless chapters in just one sitting. Both were immensely addictive and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I connected and could reflect upon the story in a ton of aspects.
Emma was a very reliable and relateable main character. I feel that I could relate to a ton of things she was going through and the situations she was put in by Siobhan and the places she put herself in by changing and slowly breaking away from that "perfect" girl she always thought she should be. Changing for her was a huge thing, because she was tearing that reputation of hers away, but I think that being herself was something she had never completely done and maybe Siobhan brought that out in her for the better.
Siobhan...well, she was like a firecracker. Some would even say she was the star of the story. She was so unexpected and when she came into Emma's life, she changed everything for the bad and the good. I've read a lot of novels with characters like Siobhan, but none as great as she was in Afterparty. There was always an alluring and intense atmosphere about the moments when Siobhan's wild side came out, which really set the tone for the book. 
Emma and Siobhan's friendship is a really tight-knit thing that is very rocky and at the same time, so strong and vulnerable, and a small hint at the future and conclusion was how much keeping promises or pacts, actually meant to them. And importantly, if a person were to come between them, how that could potentially break them.
Afterparty was a huge hit for me. I can't even put into words how much I loved it or even pin-point the amazing parts, because it was literally the whole thing. Before you've had a chance to take in one surprise, another comes in and takes your breath. It was gripping, one-of-a-kind and incomparable. A must for everyone's book shelf.

You can read the first three chapters at the moment here.



Have you read Afterparty?

What did you think? 

Tell me in the comments or at @LittleMemoirs on twitter!

happy reading!
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