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Afterparty Hardcover – December 31, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Emma is tired of being "Emma the Good," so when she and her father move to Beverly Hills for her junior and senior years of high school, she decides it is time to change. She understands her father's fears-her mother was an addict and died of an overdose-but he is smothering her with his rules and protectiveness. On her first day at school, she meets Siobhan and the two bond. Siobhan is everything Emma isn't-wild, unafraid, free to do what she wants with a mother who often eggs her on. Emma also meets Dylan, an enigma to whom she is immediately attracted-handsome, smart, a rebel. Siobhan and Emma make a pact that Emma will, during the course of her junior year, sneak out of the house, attend parties, drink, have sex, and attend the legendary Afterparty at the end of the school year. Emma becomes fairly comfortable living her dual life, and her friendships with Siobhan and Dylan grow, until Siobhan hooks up with Dylan at a party and the two begin dating. This is the beginning of the end as things start to spiral out of Emma's control. She is a strong character whose struggle to balance parental expectations and the typical teen desire for freedom reads very realistically. Siobhan, as the bad girl, and Dylan, as the bad boy love interest, are slightly more predictable but still well drawn and relatable. Most of the other characters, including Emma's dad, Siobhan's mother, and Dylan's parents, as well as the "mean girls" at the exclusive private school they all attend, are much more stereotypical. Overall, the book reads like a blend of a standard teen romance with Beverly Hills, 90210 and still manages to be appealing.—Janet Hilbun, Texas Women's University, Denton, TX
Good girls don’t usually kill their best friend, announces high-school junior Emma in an opening, flash-forward scene that clinches immediate interest. A social recluse with an overprotective psychiatrist father, Emma seizes her family’s relocation to L.A. and her entrance into a prestigious prep school as an opportunity to redefine herself. When most of the female students appear to be straight out of the movie Mean Girls, Emma latches on to rebellious and manipulative Siobhan. Together, they set their sights on Afterparty, the height of L.A. parties, and create a bucket list of bad behaviors to check off along the way. While Emma pretends to make fellow student Dylan just another check mark, she falls hard for him, causing a strain with ever-controlling Siobhan. In Stampler’s unflinching look at wealthy, decadent youth and complicated relationships, realistic characters and tight dialogue add to the tension—and there’s plenty of it. Grades 9-12. --Angela Leeper
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Top Customer Reviews
Emma's mother was a drug addict and she died from overdose. Her death affected Emma's life in more than just one way. Now, Em's overprotective dad won't let his precious daughter out of his sight. His borderline obsessive protectiveness is too much for Emma to take. She doesn't want to be the good Emma anymore. She doesn't want to be the perfect daughter and flawless student. She wants something different and more exciting for herself, and she is determined to get it. When Emma meets Siobhan - a dangerous, rebellious, unstoppable free spirit - their friendship seems fated. They make a pact that Emma will, over the course of her junior year, do all the things she never did before, including sneaking out of the house, attending hot parties, having sex, drinking alcohol and more. But what starts off as an exciting and intoxicating new friendship, quickly spirals out of control when Siobhan shows her other, much more sinister side...
In 2012, I gobbled down Where It Began. I instantly fell in love with Ann Stampler's vivid, powerful and emotionally loaded writing style. Afterparty sports a similar kind of liveliness and the same type of addicting narrative. Perhaps Emma is even more expressive and wordy than Gabby (Gabby's narrative tone was more sarcastic and biting, whereas Emma's is more poetic and contemplative), but I still had no trouble connecting with her (even if some of her musings were mind-blowingly abstract). If wordy prose isn't your cup of tea, you will probably shy away from this book, but if, like me, you enjoy getting to know your characters well and finding out how and what they think, you will have plenty of fun reading it.
Emma was a very interesting, complex character. Seeing her break out of her protective shell and run wild was fascinating, even though from the sinister opening line of the book you are kind of expecting the worst to happen. I admired Emma for trying hard to stay in control of her own life. Both her father and her new best friend tried to mold her into someone she was not, but for the most part Emma stayed true to herself. She had a strong personality and she only grew stronger toward the end of the story.
Afterparty is a compulsively readable contemporary fiction that blends high-intensity drama with romance and elements of thriller, creating an explosive, addictive and thoroughly captivating story. It's not perfect, it has its shortcomings, and not everyone will find the writing style to their liking for sure, but if you enjoyed Where It Began, I am sure you will love Afterparty just as much, if not more. Personally, I am a huge fan of Stampler's writing style. I can't get enough of it. And I really can't wait for her next book!
So in Afterparty we follow this chick Emma who is coming from Canada to California. She is a pretty cool girl once we really get to know her. So far she has been know as a goody good girl. The kind that can't watch a movie unless she is the right age for it. Dresses her age, doesn't break rules, doesn't kiss boys, doesn't sneak out, etc. Well we shall see if that lasts through the whole book.
Being a new girl isn't easy, but when your the new girl in California, it's a big deal. Everyone there isn't so welcoming. California you either fit in or you fight with the popular/rich kids. Like trying to knock them to the ground in gym. Riding some chick's horse and having them in trouble for not taking care of it afterward. At least that isn't different, girls will always go after another no matter where. Huh, are girls like this everywhere?
Siobhan and Emma become friends. They are pretty good together, and the whole rules thing aren't really followed. Siobhan skypes a guy, and Emma has told her dad a lie. Emma ends up liking Dylan and talks to him too. These things shouldn't bother anyone, but it does.
Emma's dad has even gone and appointed her a best friend!!! Who DOES THAT! I think he is way to controlling. I can't stand it, plus the girl he appoints for Emma, he becomes friends with the girl's mom. The mom also happens to be crazy controlling! Can't have soft drinks, the bubbles in drinks are bad. Chewing gum is bad. Talking to certain people is bad. Most foods are bad. They claim everything to be bad, with soooo many medical reasons behind it. OMG being in the medical field should not mean you know everything about everything. The parents in the book, I hate them so much. If I had a controlling mom, I would have moved in with someone else. The way I am, I could never ever have someone who is controlling near me. Emma is too strong, but I love her for that. She would be with her mom, but since she is an addict, so her dad deemed her bad.
Okay jumping into the book again before I make this review all about controlling. Now the name Afterparty fits with the end of school year party, you know THE party that no one can miss. It's important to the girls since they made a plan about it, if their lives aren't better after that, they can jump off a tall building. A good pact or bad? Well I can tell you it doesn't go as planned. Got you wondering don't I? Well the end is so fast, that you can gobble it up in no time. The whole book was amazing, but the middle to the end was my favorite part. Just the beginning was a little slow start for me, but that's just because this book is YA and contemporary. I haven't read a ton of those so I have remind myself its okay if there is no paranormal in a book.
Okay so, go out there are pre-order a copy right now! The book comes out in January, so it would be a great read for those of you who would be on winter break. I give this book 5 stars and will have to be reading more books by Ann.