Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pub. Date: May 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: from publisher - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Maia Morland is pretty, only not pretty-pretty. She’s smart. She’s brave. She’s also a self-proclaimed train wreck.
Leigh Hunter is smart, popular, and extremely polite. He’s also completely and forever in love with Maia Morland.
Their young love starts off like a romance novel—full of hope, strength, and passion. But life is not a romance novel and theirs will never become a true romance. For when Maia needs him the most, Leigh betrays both her trust and her love.
If you assume you can tell from the beginning to the end of this book just by glancing at the summary, let me tell you something, you.are.wrong. Before I actually started the book, I'd expected it to go this way - the couple met, fell deeply in love like everyone else, then he cheated, broke her heart and everything went downhill since then. But, After The Moment wasn't anything like my prediction.
The book tells the story about the first love of a young man, Leigh, who seemed stuck in his own world not knowing what directions to take or even what he really needed in life. It was a strange, tempestuous yet peaceful love that vaguely begun and ended in just the same way. Throughout the romance, readers will explore lives of two typical teenagers and their adventure to gain self-understanding.
On reading this book there was one word that bounced up and down in my head - slow. Everything went on slowly, like the author paid really much caution on the plot and more carefully put it into words. It was neat and the pace allowed us to keep up with the characters' thoughts and feelings. However, the first few 100 pages, to me, was draggy -Garret used one-third of the book just to introduced the background of Leigh's life. Not that I said it was a waste of paper or words, but, let's face it, some will find it boring and put down After The Moment before the actually interesting part came to view.
I found the main characters quite shy and quiet. Even though there were some moments when they exposed themselves to the world, most of the time it felt like they were holding back a lot from each other. Also, it was really fun that even though the book was set in modern life, it had a touch of the past - all the walks, the dinners, books and gardens, they reminded me of a classic novel.
I wouldn't call it a betrayal like the synopsis claimed Leigh's action to be. It was merely a mistake and everyone made mistakes, including Maia herself. What Leigh did was just the last straw and it pushed things to the point that it couldn't be improved. The book shows us another side of love which is painful, heartbreaking and not so beautiful. Love isn't a fairy tale, nothing is easy in love and a mishap can turn everything upside down. Having said that, what I saw from the book was also a lovely romance which freed both Leigh and Maia from their shells, giving them first bittersweet experiences in love.
Overall, After The Moment is just like how Leigh once described Maia - hugely strange yet so captivating you just want to know more about.