Mon, January 6, 2014

Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler Review

Afterpartybook cover

Afterpartybook cover

Afterparty
By Ann Redisch Stampler
Publication date: Dec. 31, 2013
Simon Pulse, 384 pages
Source: 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.

— Goodreads.com description

Oh my gosh — reading Afterparty made me feel like I was trapped in a nightmare. In a good way.

Afterparty is about “good girl” Emma, who has a kind but helicopter-parenting father. She moved to LA and meets Siobhan, an outcast with a wild streak. And things get wilder and wilder until they spiral out of control and you just want to, like, INTERVENE.

It’s a very difficult book to read (especially if you have Old Lady Syndrome, like me), because you can see so clearly all the things every single character does wrong. But it got my heart pounding as the stakes got higher and higher. And I really appreciate that when things hit the fan (which you know from the get-go that they totally do), you can’t completely blame one person, because every character has made mistakes and poor choices.

Some scenes got a little too wild for me to believe and took me out of the narrative, but the overall drama and the layers upon layers of lies and twists sucked me straight in. I definitely recommend this one to anyone who appreciates a story that takes the realistic, everyday mistakes any teen could make, but amplifies them tenfold in the form of a meaningful and exciting drama (think the feelings you get from Pretty Little Liars but heavier).

Anna Reads young adult book blog

PS: I saw a tweet from the author online that a lot was changed (something like 30 pages!) from the early version I read and reviewed…just FYI!

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: ann redisch stampler, friendship
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14 Comments

  1. Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader said:

    I can’t wait to read this book! It’s a shame that it was released on December 31, 2013 – I have a feeling it might end up flying under the radar because of it. It’s always difficult when you release a book over the holidays when people are less willing or able to keep up with that sort of thing. I must say that I’ve heard very little about it thus far and you review is the first I’ve seen. I’m thankful I was able to get a better understanding of whether or not it would be right choice for me based on your comments. While I’m not sure I like the idea that situations are magnified ten fold until they’re no longer believable or draw you out of the story, it does sound like this book might be a good teaching tool for teenagers about the consequences of one’s actions. Decisions we make in an instant hold the possibility to change our lives forever, and I appreciate that this novel explores that idea.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    I totally know what you mean — it’s a bit of an odd time for release and gets lost in the shuffle. I think it’s a good “lessons” story, even if it’s an extreme one!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, January 6, 2014

  2. Tara said:

    That Old Lady Syndrome can be a pain, especially with reading YA. Constant struggle for this girl…

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Seriously! In this one is was rough, but I sort of enjoyed that as everything spiraled out of control for these characters.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, January 6, 2014

  3. Ginger @ GReads! said:

    I am totally guilty of falling under the Old Lady Syndrome while reading YA, too. But you said it well in this review, if the story is well written, then the drama can suck you in & you are able to look past all that other old lady stuff lol.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Right! ACTUAL teens will read this one totally different — but even as an adult who was like “Whoa, there, children…get your acts together,” I still enjoyed it!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, January 6, 2014

  4. Christina @ Allodoxophobia said:

    I’m glad you liked this one! I found the darkness appealing, though it did feel at times like a cautionary tale for parents 🙂

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    HA! It totally felt like one at points, didn’t it? If I had a teen I’d be scared to death after reading this!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, January 6, 2014

  5. Kate said:

    “Old Lady Syndrome– I love it. I get that sometimes too

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    It’s an issue 😉

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, January 6, 2014

  6. Alexa S. said:

    I wonder what got changed in the book? I read an early review copy as well, so I’m a little intrigued.

    But you basically described the experience of reading this book. It’s crazy and thrilling and almost like a train wreck, but I just couldn’t look away.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Right? I’m super curious, but it sounds like a lot? But I have no clue.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, January 6, 2014

  7. Rebecca @ The Library Canary said:

    This one sounds so good! I feel like I’m totally going to be sitting there screaming at the characters in an old lady voice to stop being so stupid. But then I’m going to reflect on my teen years and be like yeah, I get it.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    This! Exactly!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, January 6, 2014

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