Thursday, November 12, 2009

Review - After the Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr

After the Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr
published May, 2009
328 pages

Synopsis from publisher:

Maia Morland is pretty, only not pretty-pretty. She's smart. She's brave. Shes also a self-proclaimed train wreck.

Leigh Hunter is smart, popular, and extremely polite. He's also completely and forever in love with Maia Morland.

Their young love starts off like a romance novel - full of hope, strength, and passion. But life is not a romance novel and theirs will never become a true romance. For when Maia needs him the most, Leigh betrays both her trust and her love.

Told with compassion and true understanding, After the Moment is about what happens when a young man discovers that sometimes love fails us, and that, quite often, we fail love.

My thoughts:

I found this novel to be lovely and frustrating. I was impressed with the author's ability to get into the mind of a teenage boy - I think, for the first time, I feel like I understand the way their brains work. In a lot of ways, I could see my brother and cousins in Leigh - their basic goodness, their fascination with girls, the way they try to do the right thing, and the confusion that sometimes results when those impulses collide. I think Leigh might have been just a bit too perfect, but that made his resulting betrayal all the more poignant.

I loved the writing - it was subtle but powerful, and kept me engaged in the story throughout. The author tackles some hefty topics, but the book itself never feels heavy - it is filled with humor throughout, and Leigh has some great lines.

"As anyone who has grown up surrounded by romance novels could tell you, they all end on moments that are certain and right. In these stories, the hero and heroine, even before their moment arrives, are full of qualities that can only be described as right. As good...

As anyone who has survived one could tell you, love affairs, and the people who have them, tend to be a little less right than romances. The moments are more uncertain, and the people having a love affair are not required to be good."

Now, this next part will get a little spoilerish, so consider yourself warned.


This book also made me VERY angry. I am trying not to give too much away, but a VERY BAD THING happens. And eventually, we discover that one of Leigh's friends was involved in the VERY BAD THING. And everyone seems to know that this particular character was involved, and no one seems to be that upset about it, because HE SAID HE WAS SORRY. And boy, did that make me mad. Because I was NOT interested in absolution for this character. In fact, I was horrified, and I think Leigh's reaction was perfectly justified. I GET why Leigh did what he did, and I was STILL mad at that character.

And I realized that a book that can tick me off that much is probably pretty darn good. Because it completely involved me in the lives of its characters - so much so that I felt actual anger. At first I was even angry at the author for writing it that way, but I realize that was probably misplaced. What she wrote was, unfortunately, the way things would probably go. And THAT makes me even more angry. But, also thankful, that she was brave enough to write the story that was real.

I think this is a powerful novel that deals with important issues teens will likely have to face. Because some of the topics are sensitive, I would recommend reading it along with your teen, to be able to discuss the issues it raises. It stirred up lots of emotions in me, but ultimately I am glad to have had the opportunity to read it.

Finished: 10/25/09
Source: TLC Book Tours/the author
Rating: 8/10

Don't just take my word for it! Here are the rest of the stops on this tour:

Monday, October 19th – Books by Their Covers

Tuesday, October 20th – Eclectic Book Lover

Thursday, October 22nd – Cindy’s Love of Books

Tuesday, October 27th – The Brain Lair

Wednesday, October 28th – Luxury Reading

Thursday, October 29th – Pop Culture Junkie

Monday, November 2nd – Steph Su Reads

Wednesday, November 4th – Bart’s Bookshelf

Thursday, November 5th – A Striped Armchair

Tuesday, November 10th – The Bluestocking Society

Thursday, November 12th – As Usual, I Need More Bookshelves

Monday, November 16th – Starting Fresh

Tuesday, November 17th – Beth Fish Reads

Thursday, November 19th – Book Addiction

Monday, November 23rd – The Novel Bookworm

Tuesday, November 24th – All About {n}


Anna said...

Thanks for the great review! Sometimes when I finish a book that makes me angry, I think to myself how I didn't like it at all. But then I think about the fact that it triggered such an emotional reaction and I think about whether the author was true to the characters and the situation. That's usually, but not always, the sign of a good book for me.

Diary of an Eccentric

bermudaonion said...

Okay, you've made me very curious about this book and now I want to read it! Great review.

trish said...

Excellent review! I'm glad you were on this tour! I agree that a good book *will* make you feel really intense emotions, and while that's a good thing (!), sometimes it can be frustrating. :/

Zibilee said...

Sounds like a really interesting book, and anything that makes a teenage boy's mind more accessible seems like something that I could really get into. I'm glad that you liked the book, thanks for the insightful review!

Anonymous said...

I read your great review-spoilers and all-and now I have to read this book! Thanks :)

Bookshelves said...

I've read this book and totally agree with you. My bookshelves are full of similar books, since I love this style, this kind of book so much. It's a pleasure to spend your time reading them.

Beth F said...

Interesting. I didn't like what happened either, but I was not very emotionally engaged. Hummm.