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The After Girls Kindle Edition

67 customer reviews

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Length: 304 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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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: 1076 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Merit Press (March 18, 2013)
  • Publication Date: March 18, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C1N2YSA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #458,311 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Catie Taylor on 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 By Lisa Bryant on 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 By Storywraps on 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 By Michael on March 17, 2013
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 By Paula Mitchell 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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