Leigh Hunter is a smart, ambitious and popular high school kid, with big future plans. At the request of his step-sister, Millie, whose father has just died, he moves back to his father’s home to help Millie cope with her loss. Maia Morland is a recovering anorexic and self-mutilating girl who has dinner with the Hunter family every night as part of her recovery. At first, Leigh only wants to help his family help Maia, but as time passes, he finds himself falling for her. When three classmates rape Maia and the attack is filmed, Leigh finds that events that change one life can change many.
After the Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr starts and concludes four years after Leigh and Maia split up, so we readers know from the very beginning that this is not a love story with a “Hollywood” happy ending. Maia is one really messed up young woman, with one of the most narcissistic mothers ever to grace the pages of a novel. Leigh is a thoughtful, kind and generous young man, the type who, frankly, this mom of a teenaged daughter wishes her daughter would meet someday. And Millie, Leigh’s sister is a breath of fresh air, spunky, bright and charming.
After the Moment itself is a breath of fresh air, a book for young adults by a woman who seems to actually like teenagers, (rare it seems sometimes), respects teenagers, (even more rare), and doesn’t generalize or stereotype them. (The rarest of all.) Freymann-Weyr’s teens aren’t all presented as dope-smoking, drunken, horny, disrespectful, obnoxious slackers. Sure, some of them are, but like in real life, we get to see the good ones too. The author gives us a look into the heart of the most maligned creature of all, the teenaged boy. Leigh is sincerely a good guy, trying to make sense of a world that seems to have gone insane. Set against the backdrop of daily news of the Iraq war, Leigh manages to negotiate his teen years, with honesty, sensitivity and decency.
After the Moment is a very good book, one that captures beautifully the pain and joy of growing up in this post 9/11 era.
(Review copy provided by TLC Book Tours, (thanks Trish!)
After the Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr is available at Amazon, and all our favorite indie bookstores. Make a note of this great book for all your teens this Christmas!
For more info, be sure to check out the author's webpage. Just click here and you'll head right over to it. There is a great interview link posted there, lots of links to more reviews and there's even an excerpt from the book. Don't take my word for it...check it out...start clicking!!