Saturday, November 30, 2013

The After Girls by Leah Konen

Pages: 304
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Source:  I won a copy from Kids Buzz

From Goodreads:
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 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.

My Thoughts:
I found this review in the middle of some papers I was grading.  I thought I had already posted it.  Better late than never.

Sydney, Ella, and Astrid have been best friends for years. They make plans for the future. Those plans are ruined when Astrid commits suicide.  Sydney and Ella are left to pick up the pieces.  They both believe they should have seen it coming.  They should have been able to see the signs.  They knew she was often dark and moody, but they chalked it up to just her personality.  After her death they each deal with it differently.
Ella starts getting phone messages she believes are from Astrid.  How can that be?  She’s dead. She keeps searching for the reasons, sure that Astrid would have left her a message as to the reason.
When they say opposites attract they were not kidding.  Sydney was very outgoing and not always in a good way. Astrid was the opposite of Sydney.  She was always withdrawn and kept a lot of secrets from her friends.  She valued each of them for different reasons.  Ella was the one who seemed to balance out the trio.  She was the level headed one, the strong one.  In real life if I had to pick one of them to be my go-to person it would have been Ella.  It is funny that I had friends like this.  They ranged from one extreme to the other.  I was a very shy person and would occasionally do things I knew my parents would not approve of because my outgoing friend Patty would encourage me.  I don’t mean bad things.  Simple things such as wearing my skirts rolled up to right below my butt. I went to school every day with dresses below my knees.  I also wore makeup at school knowing I was not allowed to wear it.  Montana was my friend who was my voice of reason.  She was not over the top like Patty but would try to show me that I was fine the way I was.  This book hit many cords in my life.  Some of them were painful.  It was a great book caused me to reflect on my teen years.  I believe this book can be a big help to teens with the issues they have today.  If I had to compare it to a book I would compare it to books by Jay Asher or Laurie Halse Anderson. 

I am pleased to see an author who is willing to take on those tough topics for teens.  This is one I definitely recommend to teens.

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