The After Girls by Leah Konen
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.
Publishes in US: April 18th 2013 by Merit Press
Source: Netgalley (F+W/Adams)
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This definitely was an emotional book about a powerful subject. The After Girls is in 3rd person but gives the perspectives of Syd and Ella. It starts right after their other best friend Astrid kills herself.
As most of you know, this is a subject that is close to my heart because of my dad, and I think that their guilt, anger, and grief is well written and realistic. I connected with them because although everyone grieves differently, I saw myself in them. The feelings of being lost, and most of all questioning. Why did they do it? Why did they leave me? Could I have done anything about it.
My biggest complaint is that I didn't get to know Astrid before. I know that would probably take away from the mystery surrounding her death because if I were in her head then I would know what lead up to it. But getting to know her second hand through Ella and Syd's memories takes away a bit of the heart wrenching element that it didn't quite achieve. Don't get me wrong, their grief was still palpable, I just felt a slight disconnect because I didn't know her.
I also got Syd and Ella confused sometimes. I am really not sure why because they are two way different personalities, I guess there just wasn't that distinct voice that 1st person gives. And all the boys, I got them mixed up at times too, who was a friend, who wasn't, if someone was actually two timing or what. I think that this confusion set in about the same time that I started taking pain meds for my wrenched back, so that is all on me.
The mystery and suspense was good. I figured out most of it a bit before Ella did, but I was in the dark right with her, wondering where these texts and feelings were coming from.
The friendship in this one was good. I loved that theme. Even though it was rightfully strained because of Astrid's death, they still had each other's backs, and helped even when requests bordered on that crazy line.
Books similar to The After Girls:(links go to my review) Then You Were Gone by Lauren Strasnick, Wherever You Go by Heather Davis, Surfacing by Nora Raleigh Baskin
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you think that people who miss signs of depression holds any guilt if the person kills themself?