Tuesday, November 20, 2012

After Hello by Lisa Mangum
Release Date: September 4th, 2012 by Shadow Mountain
Details: 272 pages, hardcover
Genre: Young Adult > Contemporary
Source: NetGalley (Thank you NetGalley & Shadow Mountain!)
Summary (Goodreads):

What if the first day of your relationship was the only day you had? 

Seventeen-year-old Sara is a seeker. She’s always on the lookout for the perfect moment to capture with her ever-present, point-and-shoot camera, especially on her first trip to New York City. 

Sam is a finder. He has a knack for finding what other people can’t—a first-edition book or the last two tickets to a sold-out Broadway show. In New York, there is always something interesting to find. 

When Sam and Sara’s paths cross, neither one of them is prepared for what they will find out about each other—and about themselves when they form an unlikely partnership in search of a seemingly elusive work of art. They have one day to find the impossible. Fate brought their talents together, but what happens when time runs out? Will love be able to overcome fate? This new novel from award-winning author Lisa Mangum explores what happens after hello.

When I first started reading After Hello I couldn't really get into it. The whole beginning was just strange. The book starts with Sara snapping a picture of Sam outside of a book store, she's walking around NYC by herself waiting on her dad to close a deal then she goes off and follows Sam. Uhm, creepy girl, what are you doing?

There's something about a complete stranger that makes you trust them more, I speak from experience. I once had a friend on an MMORPG game called Final Fantasy XI and I spilled tons of stuff to him. For the record he was a few years older than me and he was always there, like a big brother. But there was something about the fact that he didn't know me (in real life) that made it easy for me to talk to him when I need someone to talk to. Does that make sense? And in a way, I think Sam feels the same way about Sara. 

Sam is full of regret and secrets and this super hidden past that he keeps hinting through out the book but doesn't out with it until pretty much the end and he has a hard time letting it go. It's a pretty understandable situation but for someone like him (if you don't know him), it's... interesting (for lack of better word). Sara herself is struggling with things of her past which she brings up a lot through out the book. And these two are joined together for more than just an adventure to please some snobby celebrity. No, they're on a journey together to let go of the things in their past that haunt them. To come to terms with the questions of situations that will never get answers.

This book surprised me. Like I said, when I started it, I wasn't really into it but the more I read on, the more I got it. It's about letting go, moving on and coming to terms with things and it makes you think about your life and the things that you're still holding on to that could be traded or the things you could let go. Once in awhile, you'll come across a book like After Hello that makes you think after you've turned that last page and those unexpected stories are the best kind.

... and now I'm left wanting to find a brand new friend who'd trade stories with me (:

"Why doesn't she just move back, then? Why does she stay here?"
Sam looked at me, his brown eyes almost black in the shadows. "Because you can never go back. You can only go forward." He shrugged. "Maybe her path will loop her back to where she started, but for now, she's here. And, for what it's worth, I think she's happy here."
"Even without her heart?"
"Happiness can be close by, even if your heart is far away."


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