Thursday, 6 February 2014

Review: Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler

Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 31st December 2013.
My rating: 3.5 stars


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...

Afterparty was a read which was an uphill sort of struggle read, there were aspects which were fantastic and I found myself really caught up in the lives of these characters and concerned about what could happen to them. But then there were parts which left me with a bewildered look on my face or parts which were just put in which seemed to me for no reason. But the mind funks and slower scenes in the end were worth it, as Afterparty was a really dark and gritty read than I was expecting it to be.

Emma’s the new girl at school she quickly makes friends in Siobhan and Dylan, but feels as if she’s missing out on a lot because her social life is really limited to her dad’s restrictions. Once you read further into the story, you kind of begin to understand the way he is, but at first you kind of find yourself rooting for Emma to go out and have a good time. And that she does. It was interesting seeing the inner struggles that Emma has in her head about what she’s doing and what she shouldn’t be. And only because Siobhan is the only person who wants to hang with her, she agrees to everything she says.

Emma was really a good friend to Siobhan, probably too much of a good friend, early on it did seem that both girls were investing a lot into their friendship. Siobhan was helping Emma come out of her shell more and Emma was there for Siobhan when her life at home wasn’t too great or when she was missing friends. But at points I did get frustrated with Emma’s character for not being straight up with Siobhan, it could have saved her a lot of heartache. But this frustration does not compare to what Siobhan put me through, she kind of had me and Emma fooled for most of the book. This girl was seriously a piece of work, the devious plans she came up with just made me rage. But despite relentless damage inflicted upon Emma’s relationship with her boyfriend Dylan by Siobhan, Emma would still try to look out for Siobhan. I know she was totally losing it as the book progressed, but I just wanted Emma to let her go.        

And then there was Emma’s relationship with Dylan, from the beginning I knew they would make a great couple. Yes there was a particular person who tried to ruin this several times and of course and both Dylan and Emma had kept their own secrets from one another. This was actually something I didn’t like. We’re told of all the things Emma is keeping from Dylan, but of course Emma just can’t bring herself to tell him the truth *rage* and of course everything later blows up *sigh*. But Dylan isn’t an innocent party either; some of his secrets were hugely surprising too. But I always appreciate when a couple who were both put through their fair amount of crap, still find themselves there for each other no matter what. And of course Dylan did provide some really dreamy scenes.

Afterparty is a great read, once you are able to get through the initial sluggish start and get used to the different narrative. The narrative sometimes still didn’t flow well with me in later parts, but Stampler provided a really dark novel in Afterparty which dealt with a lot of issues really well, that I was able to overlook some of the earlier issues I had and find a decent read in this book.



19 comments:

  1. I'm not sure if I'm up for another dark, issue book contemporary any time soon but I'm glad you found aspects of this story to love. Withholding information for the sake of creating a problem in the plot is a device that always grates on me, so I can understand your frustrations, Jasprit. I might win up just skipping this one after all, but thanks for such an honest and beautifully written review, dear! :)

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  2. Hmm... I've been debating whether I wanted to read this one, but I'm still not sure. It seems really interesting but then I think I would be annoyed with Emma for keeping her secrets from her new friends for so long. It would lead to me being very frustrated.
    I'm glad you enjoyed it overall, Jasprit. Lovely review.

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  3. I have a hard time when characters lie and deceive one another when they're supposed to be friends. While the premise sounds interesting, I don't know if this one is getting added to my pile. Great review, of course!

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  4. Hmmmm... I'm a little worried this will end up being something I wouldn't completely enjoy. Some of the negatives you brought up would bother me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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  5. " but of course Emma just can’t bring herself to tell him the truth *rage* and of course everything later blows up *sigh*"

    *Joins you in sighing* Nothing frustrates me more than the situation you just described above Jasprit, a lack of communication and secret keeping just makes me want to through a book across the room. I get that drama keeps people flipping the pages, but this particular type of drama is just not for me. I know I'll get so mad that it will color my reaction to the rest of the story. Glad you were able to enjoy this one overall, despite the mind funk moments:):)

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  6. I was so iffy on starting this one for the longest time, Jasprit. For many reasons, really. But I think you convinced me to give it at least a try :) I think I can buck up during the sluggish beginning and the frustrations (creating a problem for the sake of it bothers me though) to enjoy the rest of it! Lovely review as always!

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  7. Hey, DM me whether or not they did actually end up together. Dylan and Emma, I mean. Siobhan sounds like a bitch, to be honest. The best kind--the one you just love to hate, but would never want to meet and bump heads with in real life. I feel like this could be for me, but then there are these DNF reviews and I again find myself shaking head at my thoughts on whether or not to read this. I'm glad you still liked it though I think I'd be extremely frustrated as well.

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  8. Sorry about the slower moments, but it sounds like it was still a relatively good read. I do like these type of books, so I think I'd enjoy it overall.

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  9. Her and Dylan do sound like a great couple. I still need to read the first.

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  10. Awesome review :D I don't think I could read it, since you mention they keep so many things from each other :\ Do not approve of that. But ohh. I do like dark and gritty books. Hmm. I'm glad you mostly enjoyed it :) Thank you for sharing. <3

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  11. Glad this finally ended up paying off after a tough beginning. I am not sure it is for me. Thanks for your honest opinion!

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  12. Seen a lot of mixed reviews for this one and it's a shame Siobhan drove you up the wall! I think the narrative might be a bit much for me but I'm happy you enjoyed it overall :)
    Great review, Jasprit!

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  13. Siobhan definitely doesn't sound like a good friend :/ The romance sounds great, though, and Dylan seems pretty awesome. I'm hoping to read this one soon. Great review :)

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  14. I've heard this one has a lot to overcome as far as frustrating character decisions. I'm glad you managed to enjoy Afterparty, Jasprit,
    Nice review!

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  15. Oh no! "Uphill struggle" doesn't sound like a very pleasant read. I've seen a lot of middling reviews for this one, so I don't think you're alone in your feelings, though.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  16. I think I can deal with sluggish parts at the beginning of the book as long as it's well worth it in the end. Happened before, thought it takes a while for me to get into it. Sounds like this one did pay off somewhat. I do like that it's dark and greedy and the characters seem interesting as well as their relationship.

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  17. huh, I'm not sure about this one. I normally end up DNFing books with slow starts but I like gritty reads.

    Lovely review! <33

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  18. I've been wanting to read this for a while - I was somewhat put off by the reviews I've seen but I think I might give it a go. The cover is gorgeous after all.

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  19. Okay, so I don't want to judge the Siobhan part because I haven't read this book but why there has to be so many secrets between couple? This secret with-holding thing really bothers me and I'm angry with both Dylan and Emma just by reading your review. I was really looking forward to this book, but now I"m not that excited. I'll give it a try, but atleast I'll be prepared. Thanks for sharing, Jasprit! Great review :)

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