by Lisa Mangum
Published: September 4, 2012
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover (272 pages)
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....
This book gave me a respect for contemporary romance. After Hello is one of the first newish contemporary romances that I’ve read. It takes better writing to keep your interest since the author has to keep the plot and characters grounded in reality. I really liked the writing. I thought it was beautiful and the conversations were interesting. New York was very much a part of the story without there being tons of over-description. I just felt immersed in the city the whole time. The way the setting was written was very well done.
I really enjoyed watching the romance slowly build. I can see the appeal of contemporary romances now. The characters have rich and distinct personalities. Sam and Sara were so easy to visualize in my head and I could see why they were drawn to each other. They have time to actually build an interesting connection with each other. The story was very much character driven instead of plot driven.
That also brings me to my complaint: the plot felt slow to me. This story happens in one day, but it felt like hardly anything happened. They go on a quest together (if you will) for the brattiest celebrity ever, but they take their sweet time going about it. Sometimes I wondered if they just plain forgot about it. It was a little aggravating to me. You can take this criticism with a grain of salt since I’m a fantasy lovin’ gal and I prefer plot driven stories. So I can’t really tell you if the plot is slow for a contemporary novel – just that it felt slow to me compared to what I usually read.
The conflict was interesting – maybe mildly far-fetched but still possible and a lot of fun. I thought the resolution to their quest was a bit of a let down, but the open ending to the rest of the story was enjoyable. I liked the feeling of hope and wondering of what would happen next.
Overall, it was a charming romance with a fun setting and great characters, but the plot felt slow and anti-climactic to me.
Content Rating: Mild, for the troubled backgrounds the characters have.
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