January 15, 2014

Afterparty Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


Welcome to my stop on the official blog tour for Afterparty! Today I have my review of the book to share with you and don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway at the end of the post! To follow along with the rest of the tour, click on the banner above!

Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse


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.

Afterparty is a glaringly realistic young adult contemporary novel that shows what can come of lies, secrets, and unstable friendships. The book follows main character Emma as she adjusts to her new life in California with her overprotective but sweet dad. Emma doesn't expect things to be any different here than they were before, but then she meets Siobhan - another transfer student who is everything Emma wishes she could be. Where Emma is an honest "good girl," Siobhan is a snarky wild girl who likes to play and party. Soon Emma and Siobhan are inseparable and Emma's "good girl" attitude starts to slip away. With Siobhan at her side and their increasingly crazy pacts between them, Emma begins to become what she believes is a normal teenage girl. What she doesn't expect is how Siobhan will react to the new her that comes alive and what will happen on the epic night known as the Afterparty.

The description of the book immediately drew me to it, although I don't normally go for contemporary fiction. The premise sounded intriguing and kind of like a teen Lifetime movie, so I thought I'd give it a go. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. The characters were well written with distinct personalities and traits which made them incredibly realistic and easy to identify with. Emma's character reminded me of my teenage self - the Good Emma with the overprotective dad and the "good girl" who always did what she was supposed to. I easily got inside of Emma's head and was able to really empathize with her throughout the novel. The plot was fantastic - full of drama, teen angst, mean girls, and crushes - it was a perfect image of life as a teenager. There were definitely some deeper themes mixed in such as friendship, family, love, and becoming comfortable with who you are - which I thought gave the book an extra depth and meaning. The writing was well done with lots of details and vivid descriptions so that I felt like I was right beside Emma throughout the entire story. The only thing that got me was the pacing of the book. It seemed slow, even sluggish, at times. I had a really hard time focusing because I felt like it was dragging along, which meant I couldn't fully immerse myself into the story like I normally do - which is why I believe I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have. There's absolutely nothing wrong with anything in the book and I'm sure tons of contemporary fictions fans will love it, but the pacing was just off for me and I couldn't get into it. Overall, it was an incredibly realistic and honest look at teenage life with a bit of drama thrown in for good measure. Definitely recommended!
Where it Began marks the YA debut of Ann Redisch Stampler. She is the author of several picture books, including The Rooster Prince of Breslov. Her books have been an Aesop Accolade winner, Sydney Taylor notable books and an honor book, a National Jewish Book Awards finalist and winner, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year. Ann has two adult children and lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband.

 You can purchase Afterparty at the following Retailers:
(3) Winners will receive a Copy of Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler

 (1) Winner will receive a Complete Afterparty Swag pictured above! 

1.) Emma’s Bob Marley tee shirt that her dad doesn’t approve of. 
2.) Dylan’s Curt Cobain tee shirt that Emma’s dad would approve of even less if he knew where it ended up — and when…  
3.) Siobhan’s gold nail polish — with a couple of other colors thrown in.  
4.) Mara’s bakelite bracelets.  
5.) Emma’s Roman Holiday movie poster  
6.) The mother-of-pearl barrette that Siobhan takes out of Emma’s hair  
7.) Emma’s Chicago snow globe  
8.) Emma’s entire stash of Stila makeup
(5) Winners will receive a Surprise ART Bookmark by James Vallesteros.  

Must be 13+ to Enter / International Giveaway

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