By Ann Redisch Stampler
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Source: PublisherEmma 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.
Review: I have such mixed feelings about this book. I've never read anything by Ann Redisch Stampler before, so I wasn't prepared for her unique writing style. While Afterparty was definitely unlike anything I've ever read, I couldn't fully immerse myself into the story.
Emma has always been the good girl, following her father from one school to another as he teaches at different universities around the world. Now, though, Emma has the chance of finishing out her high school years in California, and she's more than ready to take on a different life, especially when she meets eccentric Siobhan who decides they just have to be best friends. But with her overprotective father, Emma has to orchestrate how she can be the bad girl she's never been while keeping up her good girl facade.
Like I said, the writing style of this book is very unique. While it was definitely a breath of fresh air, I found it hard throughout the book to follow the story and focus on the characters. At times, it seemed like the witty banter between Emma and Dylan or Emma's thoughts wouldn't really be said that way in real life, and the way Emma described things was jumbled up with her thoughts and emotions, so it was hard to fully grasp exactly what was going on.
This entire book is a lead up to Afterparty, and Emma is supposed to learn to be a "bad girl" before she goes all out at Afterparty. That being said, there wasn't really a tangible plot, but rather a bunch of things that happened just to pass the time before this ultimate party at the end of the year. And when Afterpary finally arrived after 350 pages, I wasn't all that impressed. Everything was so hazy and jumbled (again, the writing style), that I was lost in everything going on. I guess that's the kind of atmosphere you would have at such a renowned party, but I wasn't a fan of having to experience it that way.
The characters were definitely complex and likable enough, but they got lost in a story that was hard to follow. I loved Emma and Dylan's relationship, and the roller coaster relationship Emma has with Siobhan. Siobhan is definitely a crazy character, but she has one of those personalities that always draws people back to her. But while the story and characters are mesmerizing and draw you in, the writing style makes it hard to really get into the lives Afterparty is trying to capture.