Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review: The After Girls by Leah Konen

The After Girls
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)
Series? No

Buy it:  Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound

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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. 

Bottom Line: Packed with emotion, and suspense.

Books similar to The After Girls:(links go to my review) Then You Were Gone by Lauren StrasnickWherever You Go by Heather DavisSurfacing 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?


  1. Haven't seen this one before. Sounds sad... Great review!

  2. This one sounds interesting. I think the friends and family who stay behind always feel guilty, but I also think there's not much they could have done. A person I knew committed suicide even though he was getting help at the I guess you never really know :(

  3. To answer your question, I don't think the person holds any guilt but they will probably feel it in the event of someone committing suicide.

  4. This is a completely hearbreaking story. The guilt is always there. I read a similar book recently ad it broke my heart to go through all those emotions. I'm glad you were able to enjoy it even though the secondary cast was confusing. Lovely review, Brandi!

  5. This definitely sounds like an emotional read. It's a shame the first person voices weren't differentiated enough and that you didn't get to know Astrid more, but it sounds like the story still managed to be absorbing and suspenseful. I'll save this on my TBR pile for future, I've read too many emotionally draining reads lately and I feel like I wouldn't do this book justice if I read it now. Lovely review Brandi!

  6. Maybe not the book for me when I think about it

  7. I don't know if this one is for me. I have been needing quite upbeat books for now. Maybe at a later date. I think it would have made sense to have "met" Astrid before as well. Hm... maybe that is a good thing too since it is so sad.

  8. I think in most situations they aren't to blame, but I doubt that will stop them from feeling that they are in some way responsible.

  9. I probably won't read this. While I do like an emotional read, I hate it when I get people mixed up in books. I don't like switching POVs either. Thanks for the review anyways!

    -Ariella @ Secrets of Lost Words

  10. I think I would feel awful either way if someone close to me committed suicide. Even thought it was not my fault, I'm sure everyone feels like could have done something, anything, to help that person or change their mind.

  11. Sounds like a heavy read. But one that will get you thinking about a lot of things.
    Great review. I like the question that you ask us at the end.

  12. Wow this sound like an emotional and chilling book. Great review.

    Of course people blame themselves for missing signs of depression but we can't always do that. we are only human.

  13. Oh I hate when I mix characters up and can't keep them straight. I think this is a book I would connect with too because I had a friend commit suicide. I actually think that it's probably better for me that there's not quite that connection where you really feel that intense grief, or whatever. I don't want to know her because I don't think I want to feel THAT much, you know? Maybe it's just my mood though.

  14. This sounds good, perhaps though it would have been better with multiple first person POVs. I hate when you get confused like that.

  15. Wow! Tough subject matter. Did your dad suffer from depression? Sucha a hard thing. To answer your question, absolutely survivors feel guilt for missing the signs and preventing a death.

  16. I don't think a person should hold guilt for missing the signs, but I know it's inevitable. I think you're only capable of seeing what that person will allow you to see.
    This sounds like such an emotional story. I'm sorry you didn't quite feel the connection, but am glad you feel it was handled well.
    Great review, Brandi!

  17. difficult about the characters... but it must be interesting and emotional to read a book like that you're right. Mainly when it's that realistic.


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