Wednesday, February 24, 2010
After by Kristin Harmel
After by Kristin Harmel
"Lacey's world shatters when her dad is killed in a car accident. And secretly? She feels like it’s her fault. If she hadn’t taken her own sweet time getting ready that morning . . . well, it never would have happened. Her mom wouldn’t be a basket case. Her brother Logan wouldn’t drink. And her little brother would still have two parents.
But life goes on even if you don’t want it to. And when Lacey gets the chance to make a difference in the lives of some people at school, she jumps at it. Making lemonade out of lemons is her specialty. Except she didn’t count on meeting a guy like Sam. Or that sometimes? Lemonade can be a pretty bitter drink to swallow."- summary from Amazon
I've read two other Harmel books, her YA debut When You Wish and her adult debut How to Sleep with a Movie Star, and loved both of them. This is no different in the fact that I really enjoyed it, but it's different from her previous novels in tone. I was a bit surprised by what the book was about when I got it in the mail a few weeks ago, considering Harmel's past works, but was eager to see how she would fare with a more somber book.
Let me just say that she did a very good job- there's just the right mix of somber and lightness, and everything felt realistic. Lacey was a wonderful, flawed character to read about, and I loved her eagerness to help others, despite some backlash. I liked the idea of a club for kids who had lost a parent and it felt right to have something like that for those who had gone through something like that. It was nice to see this small group band together and help each other out.
The romance aspect of the novel was handled well. It wasn't rushed and made sense, and was realistic. There were bumps along the road, but inevitably ended sweetly. It was a nice addition to the story. The climax was a bit surprising and I wasn't expecting it, or at least not half of it; I guessed correctly on one count but not on the other. It was interesting.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and it made me want to read more from Harmel. I'll have to see if my library has some of her books or actually read the other one I own, and I'm eagerly waiting for her next novel.
FTC: Hardcover book received from publisher. Amazon link above is an Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.