Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Review: Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler

Title: Afterparty
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Release date: December 31st 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: eARC
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss

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.

I'll start this off by saying I wanted to like this book. I really did. It seemed intriguing and thrilling, but unfortunately it was nothing like that for me. The characters fell flat, and I pretty much hated most of them... In fact the only reason I finished this book is because I wanted to know what happens at the end. That disappointed me, too! Afterparty has a cool concept, and I feel like it could have been carried out a lot better.

Emma is used to moving city constantly with her dad, and going to several new schools. But when she gets to California, she knows she wants to stay. She's always been a good girl, and her father is really overprotective. Frankly, he smothers her. When Emma meets Siobhan, she finds someone she can aspire to be like. Emma can finally stop being the good girl, and Siobhan can help her do that. But Emma soon realizes Siobhan isn't what she expected, and things start to go really wrong in their friendship, leading to a huge climax at the Afterparty.

I'll admit, I skimmed this novel for the most part. Why? Because the beginning was okay, but the pace got even slower and I found myself getting bored. Which doesn't usually happen to me while reading. I contemplated not finishing it, but I've rarely ever done that and I really try not to.  Though the writing was good, it was too descriptive at times. Plus, a major part of the novel seemed unnecessary to me as it wasn't helping the plot in any way and seemed like a filler.

I can't help that this review is negative, because it's honestly hard for me to find anything positive about my reading of this book. The characters were largely unlikeable. Emma got on my nerves so much. I can't believe a girl like her becomes best friends with Siobhan and ignores all her scary craziness until it's too late. Also, Emma is too much of a pushover. She'll do anything Siobhan tells her no matter how ridiculous it is.

Don't even get me started on Siobhan. I honestly hated her with a passion. And that's the deepest emotion I have for any character in the book. Siobhan is honestly really screwed up, and her bipolar tendencies didn't help me understand her at all. One second she'd be mellow, and the next she'd start yelling and getting mad at Emma for no good reason. She acted like a little child most of the time. And the other times, she portrayed herself as the worst influence anyone could possibly be. She makes a list of things she wants Emma to do - the Afterparty prep list. Which Siobhan says Emma has to do before Afterparty. And what does that include? Doing drugs (Ecstasy and LSD), having a threesome (what even), flashing someone... I could go on, but you get the point.

I thought Dylan was okay, at least compared to the other two. What I didn't like is that he jumps to conclusions way too fast, gets jealous, and basically is kind of immoral. But like I said, he's tolerable compared to the others. I really liked his best friend, Arif. He was funny and sweet and basically the only normal character in the book.

Spoiler alert - In the end, Siobhan doesn't even die. She ends up living, and then she and Emma have a huge fight in her hospital room and then never talk to each other again. Which is good, of course, but I think it defeated the purpose. The book does get a bit better in the last quarter, though in my opinion it's a little too late for a reader to start liking a book. Not to mention that the end kinda threw me off.

The climax was done really well though, and the scene of the Afterparty is definitely quite intriguing. You're left on the edge of your seat wondering what's going to happen. There are also a couple of twists I never saw coming, and that made the book a little more interesting. But unfortunately not enough for me to enjoy it. The pettiness, the crazy drama, the jealousy and betrayal... this book definitely wasn't for me. I know a lot of people have enjoyed it, but I'd say only people who read and love YA contemporary should give this a try.

*Thank you to Simon Pulse for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 1/5

1 comment:

  1. Oh I'm sorry you didn't like this one! It sounds so interesting, but I hate when the characters are flat and unlikable. It really can ruin a book for me as well, especially if the plot doesn't bring the book up :(

    Pavan @ Keep it Fictional


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