Oct 11, 2013

{Blog Tour} Book Review + Giveaway: After Hello - Lisa Mangum

Title: After Hello
Author: Lisa Mangum
Release Date: August 21st 2012
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: ecopy for blog tour
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.
Oftentimes, I read a book knowing what I'm getting into, but there are those rare occasions when I start a book knowing little to nothing about it and then receiving a nice, shiny surprise. After Hello is definitely one of the latter.

Within the first few pages, Lisa Mangum's writing already stood out to me. It was perfect for Sara and Sam's unique story, and awe-inspiring too as this is one of those books that's basically a convolution of quotable quotes. Seriously. If I copied down every beautiful passage After Hello has in to my quote notebook, I'd have no problem filling it. But the writing is just the tip of the iceberg, because what makes this book a real gem is the story it tells.

I don't know how she did it, but with the way the author wrote After Hello, she made Sara and Sam totally distinct from one another and yet seeming like they're one person—or maybe that's because they're kindred spirits, as they both thought. They each obviously had their own demons, two of the many secrets that I wanted to unearth as I read this, and they both also felt like very real, breathing teenagers. Actually, all of the characters in this book felt like very real, breathing people, and for a story set in a bustling city like New York, I imagine that's not easy to achieve.

Sara and Sam's romance might seem insta-love-ish to some but for me, it wasn't. It was insta-connection, something to be envied, not questioned, because really, how often is it that you find someone and feel like you've known them your entire life? And that's exactly how it went for these two damaged, young people as they chanced upon something that they both unknowingly needed, something innocent and reluctant and slow-burning but all the more captivating.

Dianne had already warned me about it, and it was certainly inevitable with Sara and Sam's situations, yet the ending still surprised me. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, but it was the right conclusion to this splendid story that I will surely revisit in the future.

MY FAVORITE PART is the last scene. Like I said, bittersweet.

About the author:
Lisa Mangum has loved and worked with books ever since elementary school, when she volunteered at the school library during recess. Her first paying job was shelving books at the Sandy Library. She worked for five years at Waldenbooks while she attended the University of Utah, graduating with honors with a degree in English. An avid reader of all genres, she has worked in the publishing department for Deseret Book since 1997.

Besides books, Lisa loves movies, sunsets, spending time with her family, trips to Disneyland, and vanilla ice cream topped with fresh raspberries. She lives in Taylorsville, Utah, with her husband, Tracy. She is the author of The Hourglass Door (which was named the 2009 YA Book of the Year by ForeWord Reviews), The Golden Spiral, The Forgotten Locket and After Hello.

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