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The After Girls [Kindle Edition]

Leah Konen
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $17.95 What's this?
Print List Price: $17.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

Ella, Astrid, and Sydney were planning the perfect summer after high school graduation. But when Astrid commits suicide in a lonely cabin, the other girls' worlds are shattered. How could their best friend have done this--to herself and to them? They knew everything about Astrid. Shouldn't they have seen this coming? Couldn't they have saved her?

As Ella hunts for the truth, and Sydney tries to dull the pain, a chilling Facebook message from Astrid leaves them wondering whether their beloved friend is communicating from the after life. The girls embark on a journey to uncover Astrid's dark secrets. The answers to those questions--questions they never dreamed of asking--will change their lives forever.


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Ella and Sydney struggle to redefine their friendship after Astrid’s suicide, just days after their high-school graduation. Each struggles to understand how someone they thought they knew could have been in such distress, and wonder what they could have done to prevent it. Ella, who discovered Astrid in the cabin near their Appalachian home, is haunted. Believing that Astrid is sending signals, Ella grows distant from her steadfast boyfriend, instead drawing close to Astrid’s older cousin. Meanwhile, Sydney increases her drinking and dallies with a deadbeat bandmate. As they seek peace, they begin to see how little they knew Astrid or her fun-loving mother, Grace. Though the ghostly message angle is somewhat distracting from the reality of grief, depression, and mental illness, readers will understand Ella’s behavior in the face of such a loss. These are sympathetic, flawed teen characters, though most adults exist only as plot movers. This is a sensitive look at the wake of a friend’s suicide, infused with genuine emotion, hope, and just enough well-placed romance. Grades 8-11. --Heather Booth

Review

"Ella and Sydney struggle to redefine their friendship after Astrid’s suicide, just days after their high-school graduation. Each struggles to understand how someone they thought they knew could have been in such distress, and wonder what they could have done to prevent it. Ella, who discovered Astrid in the cabin near their Appalachian home, is haunted. Believing that Astrid is sending signals, Ella grows distant from her steadfast boyfriend, instead drawing close to Astrid’s older cousin. Meanwhile, Sydney increases her drinking and dallies with a deadbeat bandmate. As they seek peace, they begin to see how little they knew Astrid or her fun-loving mother, Grace. Though the ghostly message angle is somewhat distracting from the reality of grief, depression, and mental illness, readers will understand Ella’s behavior in the face of such a loss. These are sympathetic, flawed teen characters, though most adults exist only as plot movers. This is a sensitive look at the wake of a friend’s suicide, infused with genuine emotion, hope, and just enough well-placed romance." --Booklist


Product Details

  • File Size: 1128 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1440561087
  • Publisher: Merit Press (March 18, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C1N2YSA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,537 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Realistic April 16, 2013
Format:Hardcover
High School is a tumultuous time for most kids. It is often marked with extreme highs and extreme lows. Most teen escape relatively unscathed but some choose to make a terrible choice and end their lives. These individuals leave a huge hole and plenty of questions. One of the most painful things about a friend or family member's suicide is the guilt that those who are left behind are often faced with. The After Girls is the story of two girls who spend the last summer of high school mourning their best friends tragic death while trying to piece together what happened and deal with their own guilt. It deftly explores the grieving processes and pain of those left behind in a way that is both suspenseful and moving.

I'm not going to do my review the way I usually do because my feelings about this book can't be explained with bulleted lists or snarky comments. Like many people I'm all too familiar with suicide. Especially when I was in high school, it felt like an ever present shadow at my school. My junior year two of my classmates took there own lives within a couple of weeks of each other. One of the girls sat next to me in English, the other was a friend. To protect her identity I'm going to refer to her as Beth. Beth and I were not close friends. We had some classes together and we were both in drama club. We hung out rarely but we bonded at the beginning of Junior year over our mutual distaste for a certain girl in our Theater Arts class. I was in a bad place, I was dealing with the normal hormonal teenage angst as well as some family issues at the time and I wasn't myself. After a long talk with Beth one day, she turned to me and said "you have a lot to live for, you know". I don't know why, but those few words made a huge impact on me.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, Loss and Suicide April 12, 2013
Format:Hardcover
Ella, Astrid and Sydney are best of friends. They think they know everything there is to know about one another until Astrid commits suicide. Ella and Sydney are left wondering what they could have done to help their friend. While Sydney drowns her sorrows in alcohol, parties and her band. Ella is consumed with trying to figure out why Astrid could have done this.

The novel is a look into friendship and grief. I think the author did a great job of portraying grief and how everyone deals with their grief differently. Although I have read reviews comparing the book to Pretty Little Liars, the book could not be farther from that series. Although there is a twist in the book that adds a little mystery to the story, the story is far from a Pretty Little Liar's tale.

The book will grab you from the beginning and keep you involved until the very last word.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars parting isn't always such sweet sorrow April 25, 2013
Format:Hardcover
Three teenage girlfriends, Ella, Astrid and Sydney, are always together, are always there for each other....always! Or so they thought. A terrible tragedy breaks that bond when Astrid commits suicide. Her friends are blindsided by her action, stunned and riddled with guilt. A paralyzing confusion and a loss of motivation overwhelms them, and they become unable to move on with their own lives after Astrid's death. Then, a supernatural happening enables them to find out why Astrid would commit an act that is so desperate and final. 

The story exposes the raw, deep pain of losing a best friend, and the unbearable struggle when left behind. The pain that the girls experience as they try to get their lives back on track amidst the grief and sorrow is a prominent theme in this book. Some life lessons that can be gleaned from the storyline are: first, all life is temporary. Second, we must learn to celebrate our friendships as a special gift given to us for a season. Third, we must dwell on the love, laughter and special memories that are created by having that friend in our life. Finally, fourth, life is very, very precious and once it is gone....you can never retrieve it.

This is a well-written and thought-provoking book. I am sure you will enjoy the read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new YA author March 17, 2013
By Michael
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Not my typical genre. Read it on a friend's recommendation. Enjoyed it a lot. Bit slow to start, but moves very well second half of book. The last several chapters hooked me and couldn't put it down. Leah Konen does a great job with a tough subject. Well written, great story. Well worth a look.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an incredible journey for two girls to go on April 12, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This book starts out where Ella and Sydney are trying to make sense of Astrid's suicide. At this point it's only been a few days since Astrid was found having committed suicide. Ella tries to find out if there were clues her and Sydney were oblivious to that would explain taking her own life.

Sydney wants to forget what happened and finds that easier said then done. She finds her relationship with Ella shaky as Ella discovered Astrid and Sydney wasn't there when that happened.

Ella also meets Jake Astrid's cousin who works now for Grace Astrid's mom at her coffee shop for the summer while Grace tries to move on from the death of her daughter. Ella and Jake seem to form a relationship based on things about Astrid.

This book was incredible in the dedication Ella had with Astrid and trying to find out why she did what she did. It also shows the girls growing up over that same summer and how some families never show their true colors. Definitely a great book for young adults to learn that sometimes you have a greater impact on loved ones than you think you do.

Thank you to Merit Press for sharing such a great story with me! Can't wait to see what Ms. Konen comes up with next!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for Grandaughter
I bought this for my grandaughter who through school has met many friends with challenges in today's lifestyle. She is going on 14. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cheryl56
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice read.
I liked this book. It was an interesting story, though a little depressing. The characters were well thought out and I cared what happened to them.
Published 1 month ago by reader chick
4.0 out of 5 stars Think
This is a great book keeps you guessing. Very real to life situation Sad story the has a beautiful ending.
Published 1 month ago by rose crochet
5.0 out of 5 stars A realistic view of surviving the grief process
A story of tragedy, suicide, and the ones left behind. Lots of good twists, very interesting characters and just a very good portrayal of how you move on after losing a loved one.
Published 2 months ago by D7
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
This book was an easy read. I think the author portrayed the character's emotions well. I would recommend this for older teens and adults.
Published 3 months ago by NEO
2.0 out of 5 stars Okay.
I thought this book would be better based on the description, kind of disappointed that I wasted my reading time on this.
Published 3 months ago by Sandra D.
1.0 out of 5 stars Depressing, boring book
I wasn't a fan of this book. It's dark and boring, completely unexciting. I was hoping the ending would reveal more, but it was pretty anticlimactic. Read more
Published 3 months ago by klam143
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Recommend
The After Girls is a beautifully written book that deals with an incredibly difficult subject, the death of a friend. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Chrissy
5.0 out of 5 stars really great
I am probably too young to have read this book, but this book was amazing! It pulled me in and i spent so much time reading my mom probably wanted to throw my iPad. Read more
Published 4 months ago by T. Weber
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
I found this review in the middle of some papers I was grading. I thought I had already posted it. Better late than never. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sandra K. Stiles
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More About the Author

Leah Konen is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. She is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism and creative writing. Her work has been published in Elle Decor, Good Housekeeping's Quick & Simple, Parenting, The Fiscal Times, and several regional newspapers and magazines. The After Girls is her first novel. Visit her at www.leahkonen.com.

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