Monday, March 31, 2014

Afterparty by @AnnStampler

Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Title: Afterparty
Publication: January 7th 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Author/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.

I love the cover for this book and I think it ties in well with the story. The story begins when Emma and her over protective father move to California. Emma hopes that this will finally be her chance to live and experience being a teenager. She meets Siobhan, who is also a new student at school and they become instant friends. Emma never expects the wild roller coaster ride that her new bestie Siobhan has planned for her. Siobhan is a train wreck, completely uncontrolled and dysfunctional young woman. She never really grasps true friendship because everything is extreme for her. There is no balance to her levels of chaos. She's manipulative and cruel but Emma's still drawn to her, no matter the hurt or the embarrassment. Emma's tired of being a good girl and Siobhan is the key to adventure. This makes her the perfect puppet for Siobhan, who loves to have control of her relationship with Emma.  

Both girls have strenuous relationships with their parents. Emma's father has her wound so tight because in a sense he's transferring his fears of her becoming like her mother. He also let his family treat her unkindly. Siobhan's mom seems to think only of herself and her behavior influences how her daughter exhibits herself. She lives by her own set of rules and regulates them as she pleases, which usually isn't good for the recipient. While reading this book, I had several moments where I just couldn't understand why she stayed friends with Siobhan, especially after a situation with a boy Emma likes named Dylan. 

Overall, this book is as addictive as reality TV. I don't think Siobhan ever really grows from the situation because she believes her way is right. Emma gradually becomes a different person, which changes her relationship with her father.  I couldn't stop reading it because Siobhan's actions are just so out there. The fact that she made a pact with Emma to commit suicide, if they didn't have the best year ever by Afterparty is insane. The pace is fast, the relationships chaotic but loaded with setups, backstabbing, and lies. I think readers that enjoyed books that remind them of movies such as Mean Girls and Clueless will like this one. 

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