Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Title: Afterwards
Author: Rosamund Lupton
Pages: 400
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Crown (Random House)
Pub. Date: April 24, 2012

Last year, Lupton's book, Sister, received such great acclaim throughout the blogosphere that despite the fact I hadn't yet read my copy sitting on my shelf, I requested to be on the tour for her latest book, Afterwards. I then had to have my tour date extended because I had some really busy days and wasn't able to finish it in time; by then I knew I wasn't liking the book as much as I'd hoped, but once I was really able to devote some time to it, I also realized that, unfortunately, I just plain wasn't interested in where the story was going.

Afterwards takes place almost wholly in the hospital after teaching assistant, Jenny, and her mother, Grace, are hospitalized due to burns they received when the school Jenny was at caught on fire. Grace, at the school for her son, Adam's, sports day, had run into the school when she realized Jenny was still in there. In the hospital, Jenny and Grace have experiences outside their body (a la If I Stay) so they are able to wander the hospital and see/listen to everyone's conversations including learning that police suspect little Adam of setting the fire.

Let me be completely honest... I was reading and reading but eventually I came to the decision that as much time as I had put into the book, I really don't have time nowadays to spend time on a book I'm not into. I was over 200 pages into this book when I decided to just skim the whole rest of the book. As far as I was, I still felt like nothing significant happened and I wasn't sure where it was going. It would have taken me forever to slog through the rest. I have read so many great quotes about this book, so maybe I'm in the minority, but I did not think it was thrilling or suspenseful by any means. And it's not like I need action packed books - I typically enjoy many other literary aspects, but I just found this one lacking. And the narration really bothered me; it is one that you may like for its uniqueness or that may irritate you as it did me. Grace is essentially narrating the whole thing to her husband; it is told in second person, but every single time I picked the book back up it caught me off guard and I'd have to remind myself that Grace was speaking to her husband. But if I were speaking to my husband, I wouldn't talk about a memory and then go back and reiterate every single detail of that memory. I don't know, the narration just didn't work for me. That and the lack of movement in the plot made this not an interesting read for me. It wasn't awful, just really not something that held my interest.

So I was disappointed. I'm not adding this to my list of books read this year because I did skim so much of it. But because her previous book has such a different plot and hopefully a different type of narration, I still plan on giving that one a try.

Follow the tour below... some people had extremely different opinions than mine so if you're interested definitely check out some of the other blogs.

Monday, April 23rd:  Unabridged Chick
Tuesday, April 24th: Colloquium
Thursday, April 26th:  A Bookworm’s World
Monday, April 30th:  Nomad Reader
Tuesday, May 1st:  Great Imaginations
Wednesday, May 2nd:  The Picky Girl
Thursday, May 3rd:  Indie Reader Houston
Friday, May 4th:  Amused by Books
Tuesday, May 8th:  Me, My Book, and the Couch
Wednesday, May 9th:  Girls Just Reading
Friday, May 11th:  Coffee and a Book Chick
Monday, May 14th:  Boarding in my Forties
Monday, May 14th:  Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, May 15th:  Into the Hall of Books
Wednesday, May 16th:  Melody & Words
Thursday, May 17th:  Lit Endeavors
Friday, May 18th:  Take Me Away
Date TBD:  Books Distilled


Stacy at A Novel Source said...

i read another review of this book recently and it was not favorable either! i think i'm going to skip this one...thanks for the honest review!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Ack! I had Sister on my list of books to read (alas, I didn't get there, big shocker) and the cover of this book is haunting. I'm bummed that it didn't work for you. But you are right, life is too short and our calendars are too busy to slog through a book you are not enjoying.

Zibilee said...

You are not alone on your feelings for this one. It didn't work for many, from the reviews I have been reading, and I admire you for letting it go, and being honest enough to say that it wasn't working for you and that you skimmed a large portion. Based on the reviews I have seen, I don't think this would be a book for me. I agree that the bits about reiterating all the memories sounds very awkward.

Ti said...

I've read lots of similar reviews of this one. People just didn't care for where the story went. I know that when I skim too much, that is a sure sign that the story is dragging or something else is not working. Don't feel bad.

Athira said...

I hate it when I spend so much time on a book and it just doesn't work for me. Especially when I read expecting some magic to happen at the end and it doesn't happen.

Booksnyc said...

Good for you for posting such an honest review. I never used to be able to "quit" books but I have decided, like you, that my time it too precious to read something that am not enjoying.

nomadreader said...

I didn't care much for this one either. I'm glad you opted to skim at the end...there's no reason to read a book that just isn't working for you!

heathertlc said...

I'm glad you're still willing to read her previous book even though this one wasn't a good fit for you.

Thanks for being on the tour!

Mrs Q Book Addict said...

I've been trying mroe mystery novels lately and would like to explore the genre more. It's really hard to get through a book if it's not holding your interest, especially if you're busy. I'm glad that you're willing to try her other books.

Jenners said...

Thank you for your honesty. I think 200 pages is a good try and a more than honest attempt to get into a book. if it doesn't get you by then, it isn't going to.

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