Book Review : Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler

December 16, 2013 Book review 6 ★★

I really wanted to love this!  The cover is so pretty, those lights just called out to my inner magpie and I wanted it so badly!  Plus I thought the good girl turns rebel plot sounded full of potential.  But it just didn’t work for me.

Book Review : Afterparty by Ann Redisch StamplerAfterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler
Published by Simon Pulse on 31 Dec 2013
Genres: YA Contemporary
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.

First Line of Afterparty :

“It was not the ending I expected.”

My Thoughts on Afterparty :

The first line seems funny on reflection as I feel that this was not the book I expected!  I knew pretty quickly that I wasn’t a fan of the writing style of this book.  It feels disjointed and a bit disorientating to me.  At times sentences are long and rambling and often take me a second to make sense of.  I do feel this is just a personal preference and others may love it but I had times of wondering was I missing pages as conversations and events just didn’t seem to run smoothly for me.  However the dramatic beginning intrigued me and I really wanted to see what exactly happened so I persevered.

Emma, the main character is stuck between wanting to be the good girl her father demands and the rebel friend that Siobhan wants her to be.  I really understood that due to their constant moving that she was lonely and was so eager for friendship that she just leapt headfirst into a friendship with Siobhan.  And it might have been exciting but Siobhan wrecked my head.  She was selfish, manipulative, a drama queen and never once put Emma first.  I hated Siobhan and couldn’t at stage feel any empathy for her.  I really wish Emma was a bit stronger and less pliable.  She was like a balloon that people around her twisted into whatever shape they wanted her to be.  And she allowed herself to be twisted.

Her on/off boyfriend Dylan was also very on/off for me.  He went from being a cool, lone wolf to being a jerk, to being ok and back to being a jerk again in my head. By the end of the book, he was back in my ok book but would never feature in any book boyfriend list that I would make.  He has lots of issues and his behaviour just feels hypocritical to me.  When things were good between Emma and Dylan, I enjoyed the romance.  There was a slow build with a few detours but I could feel that sparkle between them.  However my overall impression of it is that it is a bit of a minefield with both of them treading carefully but still causing explosions and not in a good way.

And finally Emma’s dad.  This drove me mad. How could a man who is a Psychiatrist make such bad calls in relation to his daughter.  How could he not see that forcing her to behave like a perfect daughter would only drive her in to a downward spiral. I wanted to bang my head on a wall or better still his head.  He has his moments of being great though and he really came through for Emma at the end of the book.

Overall, this book just wasn’t for me.  I wasn’t engaged and by the end I reading as fast as I could, not from anticipation but just because I wanted to be done.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: two-stars

Who would I recommend Afterparty to?

I’m sorry but I don’t know.  It just didn’t work for me and a lot of that was down to the writing style.  My recommendation is that if the plot appeals to you, try a sample.  You might get along much better with it than I did.

Thanks to Edelweiss and Simon Pulse for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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6 Responses to “Book Review : Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler”

    • trish

      Very purple Dani and it just didn’t appeal to me at all. If I liked the writing style more, it would have worked a lot better.

  1. CeCe

    I’m bummed to see you didn’t love this one. The cover and blurb definitely had me interested but I can understand your criticisms. I have trouble connecting to a character that I cannot respect and I think Siobhan’s weak will and ability to be manipulated by others would have bugged me too.
    CeCe recently posted…Book Review – Stripped by Jasinda Wilder

    • trish

      Exactly between wishing the main character would grow a spine and not being a fan of the writing style, it just fell flat for me.

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