Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Review: After Hello by Lisa Mangum

Book: After Hello by Lisa Mangum
Genre: YA Romance
Rating:★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
For: Utah Book Month
From: Bought from Amazon for a signing

Here's a fun contemporary YA that reminded me a bit of Gayle Forman's Just One Day, only in New York instead of Paris! Our girl is sightseeing alone in New York, waiting for her dad to finish a business meeting. She's having fun with her camera when she notices a guy coming out of a bookstore. He looks interesting so she takes a picture and then follows him.

Before we know it, she is mixed up in his business (of delivering the book) which sets off a course of events that leads them on a very strange quest for the rest of the day (and night). In the process we get to sight see through New York City! And meet a bunch of interesting quirky characters along the way.

I had fun reading this book. I felt, at times, that it was trying too hard to be profound and drum up some drama and have the kids stop and go.. "wow.... so that's what I should be thinking about life." Yes, they both have their issues and secrets and during the course of their adventure all that is revealed to us and to each other. I found myself rolling my eyes a few times, sadly.

And, I must say, these books about kids wandering a city, even late into the night and usually overnight... as a parent... they make me a bit crazy. But then again, I'm, shall we say, a bit overprotective! I can't image, business meeting or no business meeting, letting my kid wander like that! And then not come and check in? Yeah, it made the parent in me crazy. Besides that, they do so much stuff in the amount of time they have and I'm not sure it would have even been possible. I don't know.

It would be an interesting experiment to test out the possibility!

But the cool message about this book is that you can trade people for things they want and get back something you want, that everything as a value to someone, and that sometimes things are worth holding onto and sometimes they are not.

I'm wondering if this book is a series. It was left wide open for another adventure!

Bottom line: I liked it fine, but some bits made me crazy!

Other Reviews:

The story itself isn’t very plausible, but if you can suspend your disbelief and just enjoy the ride, it’s a very cute and fun book. From The Busy Bibliophile

I adored the feel of the city you get from it and I loved the characters. From The Book Bundle

I felt like I was on an adventure right along with Sara and Sam. It was fun and thought provoking and touching. From The Literate Mother

The conflict was interesting – maybe mildly far-fetched but still possible and a lot of fun. From Books: A True Story

I'm not sure that I was completely a fan of how the story switched points of view between Sara and Sam with every chapter. From Fire and Ice


  1. Yeah, this one's pretty far-fetched. I like the concept behind it, but I felt the same way you did -- too much happened too fast, the story felt forced and overwritten, and the characters didn't do much for me. I love Mangum as a person, but am not a big fan of her books.

  2. I think the plausibility thing would bother me. Could I suspend my belief and just enjoy the ride? Maybe. I do like adventure books.

  3. "Mixed up in his business" lol. That's a great line. I wondered too if it would even be possible to do all that in one day. I also wondered when they were going to get back to the plot already….lol. I thought it was cute and fun, too.



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