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After the Moment Hardcover – May 18, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (May 18, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061860572X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618605729
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.2 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,368,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Leigh Hunter, 17, moves from New York to Washington, DC, to help his stepsister Millie cope with the death of her father. Maia Morland, a recovering anorexic and self-mutilator, eats her meals with the Hunters as part of her recovery. At first Leigh wants only to keep her safe but finds himself falling in love. He eats so that she will eat. She's raped (and filmed) by three prep-school classmates on his one night away from DC. In the background, bombs drop on Baghdad, and Leigh discovers that nations, like preppies, can justify anything. The author's feel for character and voice has never been better, and Leigh narrates with deep intelligence and heightened feeling. He's a complex and fully fleshed out protagonist. Millie is an especially vivid supporting character—precocious and hyper-verbal, wide-eyed yet cosmopolitan. Maia, however, around whom so much of the narrative revolves, sometimes seems too lightly drawn. She's clearly tortured and is ultimately unreachable. The author's prose is at once spare and sophisticated, and the resulting mood gentle and furious by turns. Simple details—Leigh synchronizing bites of cake with Maia—evoke astonishing emotion. The DC suburbs are appropriately generic, and the guilty comforts of the prep-school world are thoughtfully presented. The story begins and ends four years after Leigh and Maia part, and a sense of tense foreboding moves the plot.—Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library
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Review

"Readers will appreciate how real this story feels, in its telling details and careful conversations . . . This is an expertly crafted story about a complicated first love."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The book’s strengths lie in the characterizations and the author’s ability to convey the many complex layers of love. With its wise writing and literary word choices, this is a smart book . . . "--Kirkus Reviews

". . . an engaging male-coming-of-age tale that explores notions of violence, devotion, and trust against a thought-provoking backdrop of love and war."--Horn Book

"The author’s prose is at once spare and sophisticated, and the resulting mood gentle and furious by turns. Simple details–Leigh synchronizing bites of cake with Maia–evoke astonishing emotion. The DC suburbs are appropriately generic, and the guilty comforts of the prep-school world are thoughtfully presented. The story begins and ends four years after Leigh and Maia part, and a sense of tense foreboding moves the plot."--School Library Journal

“Freymann-Weyr . . . writes with polished intensity . . . Subtle, reflective, and emotional, this is a fascinating complement to Chris Lynch’s Inexcusable in its exploration of a young man who can’t see beyond himself enough to avoid devastating the person he loves most.”--The Bulletin

"Freymann-Weyr offers another rare, sophisticated exploration of love at the end of adolescence . . . Within this story’s raw, honest, psychologically attuned scenes, older teens will find their own aching questions about how best to love, shape a future, and “do the right thing.”--Booklist, starred review


"Written with great heart, this book caters to readers young and old."--Romantic Times

"Freymann-Weyr’s newest novel about relationships (familial, romantic, friendship) does not disappoint. The author delicately balances a love story with family obligations, violence, and the perils of being a nice guy. Leigh’s fascination with the war and misguided chivalry challenge ideas about masculinity and its relation to aggression. Maia’s troubled nature and sometimes inexplicable actions are sure to spark debate. Several elements in this novel—multifaceted characters, ambiguous motivations, and gender dynamics—lend themselves to lively group discussions. Hand this one to mature readers who will get the most out of complex themes."--VOYA, (4Q4P)


More About the Author

Welcome to my Amazon page. I think I'm supposed to be formal here and speak about myself in the third person, but I'd rather just say hello. I'm very excited that I wrote the story for a beautiful picture book called French Ducks in Venice (play the video that the brilliant Erin McGuire made and that the equally brilliant Jeff Freymann-Weyr did the music for).

Normally I write novels for both adults and young adults (a fancy phrase for people who are 12-18, although I have lots of readers who are younger and older than that). In addition to French Duck in Venice, I am the author of My Heartbeat, a Printz Honor book, which is being reissued by Houghton Mifflin in June, 2012. I also wrote Stay with Me, The Kings Are all Here, and When I Was Older. For a long time, I lived in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. and then in a small town in North Carolina.

Now I am living in a lot of different places at once, which can be confusing. Fortunately, my dog, Henry (see photo), comes everywhere with me.

I grew up in New York City and miss it everyday. I have an MFA from NYU and I teach writing when I am not writing.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
He will always love her but they can never be together.
Amazon Customer
With the sexual situations and alcohol references, I think this book is best suited for 8th grade and above.
Darcy Wishard
Ms. Freymann-Weyr's writing is simple, her characters are relatable, and her story is immensely engrossing.
Nelaine Sanchez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on June 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Garret Freymann-Weyr's novels for young adults are inevitably distinct. Her teenagers seem serious beyond their years, deeply invested not only in their own lives but also in the often complicated lives of their adult family members. AFTER THE MOMENT is no exception, and its male protagonist further cements Freymann-Weyr's reputation as a risk-taking author unafraid of tackling topics, and taking perspectives, unusual in young adult literature.

Leigh Hunter is a recent college graduate, ready to embark on a career as an international journalist, when a chance meeting at a dinner party casts his mind violently back to his senior year in high school, when he first knew both love and heartbreak intimately. The summer before his senior year is filled with a different kind of heartache: the news that his younger stepsister Maggie's father has been killed in a car crash. Leigh travels from his mom's home in New York City to Maryland to comfort her, and when she asks him to stay, he agrees to spend his senior year at her school.

Leigh is adaptable and bright, and he treats the move as an adventure (especially when his school guidance counselor assures him that the transition might actually improve his college prospects). His only trepidation is being far away from Astra, his practically perfect, drop-dead gorgeous girlfriend. Astra is smart, confident, beautiful and self-assured. She assures Leigh that their relationship will survive even at a distance, but Leigh (who admits to himself, if not to her, that he doesn't really love her) isn't so sure, especially when he meets Maia Morland.

Maia is, Leigh reflects, "Astra's opposite in almost every way. Astra did not walk --- she strode, allowing her height, her strength, and her thoughts to take up as much room as possible.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Su on January 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
AFTER THE MOMENT is a subtle exploration of the power of different kinds of relationships in one young man's adolescence, a dramatically poignant love story that will perhaps appeal best to adult fans of doomed romance novelists like Nicholas Sparks. Personally, however, I had trouble connecting with the characters as well as believing the story arc.

A love story told from the guy's point of view is rare and certainly no easy feat, but Leigh Hunter is a genially complex protagonist. It's obvious that he cares very much for his family members (particularly his stepsister, the ineffable and incredibly mature middle schooler Millie), although he may not agree with them most of the time and hardly aspires to be like his emotionally autistic father. Leigh is forced to make incredibly difficult decisions; it is easy to see why the events of his senior year have had an impact on the rest of his life.

However, I found it hard to become emotionally invested in the characters and their stories. The story is told from the point of view of an older Leigh, which I think contributes to the distance I felt from the characters. They were living out their tragedies and dramas in a snowglobe, to which I was only a polite audience. The supporting characters, while well-meaning, never felt quite fully developed for me: the adults were either dispensers of inexplicable wisdom or else emotionally unavailable, and the preteens and teens often did not act their age.

Perhaps all of this would have been fine for me had the main storyline--Leigh and Maia's romance--been believable and likable. As it is, however, it's hard to see why Maia is the source of so many guys' interests.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Darcy Wishard on July 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Maia Morland is pretty, only not pretty-pretty. She's smart. She's brave. She's 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.

The first chapter of this book opens with Leigh (the books narrator) seeing Maia at a dinner party a few years after they had initially met. His reaction upon seeing her tells us that he obviously still has feelings for her and that things were probably left unresolved. From there we go on to find out how Leigh and Maia met and about their heart wrenching love story.

After a death in the family, Leigh leaves his single mother to spend his senior year in high school with his father, step-mother and step-sister, Millie. Amidst a tragedy, Leigh knows that his emotionally stunted father is usually not the best shoulder to lean on.

Almost immediately upon arrival, Leigh is introduced to Maia, who he soon finds out is anorexic, has OCD and to top it off, depression issues (yes, wow). Despite these issues, Leigh feels an immediate connection to Maia which baffles him...after all, he's dating the perfect and popular, Astra Grein. But the more time Leigh and Maia spend together the more he finds himself falling in love with her.
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