Friday, November 21, 2014

The After Girls by Leah Konen [Review]

The After Girls3.5 out of 5 Robots!

The After Girls by Leah Konen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release: April 18, 2013
Hardcover:  304 Pages
Publisher: Merit Press
My Copy: Publisher
Reviewer: Shannon

Book Summary:
Ella, Astrid, and Sydney were planning the perfect summer after high school graduation. But when Astrid commits suicide in a lonely cabin, the other girls' worlds are shattered. How could their best friend have done this--to herself and to them? They knew everything about Astrid. Shouldn't they have seen this coming? Couldn't they have saved her?

As Ella hunts for the truth, and Sydney tries to dull the pain, a chilling message from Astrid leaves them wondering whether their beloved friend is communicating from the after life. The girls embark on a journey to uncover Astrid's dark secrets. The answers to those questions--questions they never dreamed of asking--will change their lives forever.
(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
This book is fairly divided in my mind.  There are parts I really liked and found compelling and then there were parts that I felt were unnecessary or didn't really fit with the parts of the story I was interested in.

What I Liked:
- How Ella and Sydney dealt with their grief.  This was the most compelling part of the story to me.  How do you go from being a threesome to a twosome?  Can you understand how someone else deals with their grief?  How can you be there for someone when you are grieving too?  I really liked how raw their feelings were and how strained their friendship became as a result.  But they really try to be there for each other and I really felt for them.
- Ella and Sydney's journey to understand why Astrid committed suicide.  Both girls try really hard to piece together their memories of Astrid and deal with a lot of guilt about not being able to prevent her from committing suicide.  I think their feeling were very realistic, especially as they realize that Astrid had been keeping a lot of things from them.
- I liked Ella and Jake's relationship, although he was probably a little too perfect and understanding.  But whatever, I liked it anyways.

What I Didn't Like:
- The "mystery" aspect of it.  The book makes a suggestion of a ghost story, but never really goes there.  I wish the book had committed one or the other.  Either commit to the mystery aspect, or get rid of it.  I was especially ambivalent about the whole thing once the mystery is revealed.  Meh.
- I wished that Astrid's reasons for committing suicide were more fleshed out.  Or that more was revealed earlier on instead of just at the end.  It felt a little rushed.

Overall, it was a decent read.  The things I disliked might not bother other people as much.  I would definitely read another book by the author.

Disclosure:  I reviewed a copy free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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