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After the Moment
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About the Author

Garret Freymann-Weyr grew up in New York City and often sets her books there. She went to college at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and received an MFA in film from New York University. She has written four books for young adults, including My Heartbeat, which won a Printz Honor for excellence in literature for young adults. Her books have been published in numerous countries including the Netherlands, Japan, and China. She currently lives outside Washington, D. C., with her husband. She has said that the best way to get ideas is to read a lot. "That gets you thinking in terms of story, character, and image.

Reviews

After his stepsister's father dies, good guy Leigh moves from New York to Washington, D.C., to support her and finish his senior year. There, he falls in love with "train wreck" Maia, a recovering anorexic, self-injurer and germaphobe, whom he tries desperately to protect. When a group of boys do "something unspeakable" to Maia, Leigh commits an act of violence that threatens his future and their relationship. Readers will appreciate how real this story feels, in its telling details and careful conversations, as well as in the murky motivations behind Leigh's actions and his whole relationship with Maia, which haunts him years later. As she did in My Heartbeat and Stay with Me, the author creates a wonderful, complicated but loving family for her protagonist. Readers may have difficulty tracking all the characters, but they will understand that each family member is there to support Leigh, from his emotionally challenged father to his romance novelist mother who constantly warns Leigh "that he didn't take enough time for what might please him-for what he wanted." This is an expertly crafted story about a complicated first love. Ages 14-up. (May) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Not every romance has a happy ending. Leigh Hunter wanted nothing in the world so much as he wanted Maia, a self-professed "train wreck," but he lost her in a complicated betrayal. Now, as adults, they meet again at a party and the memories of their love flood back. Why It Is for Us: Leigh's mother is a romance novelist, and he prides himself on being a good and sensitive boyfriend. Yet when confronted with a situation beyond his control, he behaves in a way that is as wrongheaded as it is understandable, losing him the love of his young life. As adults, we know that these two may have been better off without each other, but the question remains: What does it mean to be a romantic hero? Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Gr 9 Up-Leigh Hunter, 17, moves from New York to Washington, DC, to help his stepsister Millie cope with the death of her father. Maia Morland, a recovering anorexic and self-mutilator, eats her meals with the Hunters as part of her recovery. At first Leigh wants only to keep her safe but finds himself falling in love. He eats so that she will eat. She's raped (and filmed) by three prep-school classmates on his one night away from DC. In the background, bombs drop on Baghdad, and Leigh discovers that nations, like preppies, can justify anything. The author's feel for character and voice has never been better, and Leigh narrates with deep intelligence and heightened feeling. He's a complex and fully fleshed out protagonist. Millie is an especially vivid supporting character-precocious and hyper-verbal, wide-eyed yet cosmopolitan. Maia, however, around whom so much of the narrative revolves, sometimes seems too lightly drawn. She's clearly tortured and is ultimately unreachable. The author's prose is at once spare and sophisticated, and the resulting mood gentle and furious by turns. Simple details-Leigh synchronizing bites of cake with Maia-evoke astonishing emotion. The DC suburbs are appropriately generic, and the guilty comforts of the prep-school world are thoughtfully presented. The story begins and ends four years after Leigh and Maia part, and a sense of tense foreboding moves the plot.-Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information

Readers will appreciate how real this story feels, in its telling details and careful conversations . . . This is an expertly crafted story about a complicated first love.--Publishers Weekly, starred review The book's strengths lie in the characterizations and the author's ability to convey the many complex layers of love. With its wise writing and literary word choices, this is a smart book . . . --Kirkus Reviews . . . an engaging male-coming-of-age tale that explores notions of violence, devotion, and trust against a thought-provoking backdrop of love and war.--Horn Book The author's prose is at once spare and sophisticated, and the resulting mood gentle and furious by turns. Simple details-Leigh synchronizing bites of cake with Maia-evoke astonishing emotion. The DC suburbs are appropriately generic, and the guilty comforts of the prep-school world are thoughtfully presented. The story begins and ends four years after Leigh and Maia part, and a sense of tense foreboding moves the plot.--School Library Journal "Freymann-Weyr . . . writes with polished intensity . . . Subtle, reflective, and emotional, this is a fascinating complement to Chris Lynch's Inexcusable in its exploration of a young man who can't see beyond himself enough to avoid devastating the person he loves most."--The Bulletin Freymann-Weyr offers another rare, sophisticated exploration of love at the end of adolescence . . . Within this story's raw, honest, psychologically attuned scenes, older teens will find their own aching questions about how best to love, shape a future, and "do the right thing."--Booklist, starred review Written with great heart, this book caters to readers young and old.--Romantic Times Freymann-Weyr's newest novel about relationships (familial, romantic, friendship) does not disappoint. The author delicately balances a love story with family obligations, violence, and the perils of being a nice guy. Leigh's fascination with the war and misguided chivalry challenge ideas about masculinity and its relation to aggression. Maia's troubled nature and sometimes inexplicable actions are sure to spark debate. Several elements in this novel--multifaceted characters, ambiguous motivations, and gender dynamics--lend themselves to lively group discussions. Hand this one to mature readers who will get the most out of complex themes.--VOYA, (4Q4P)

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