Friday, June 5, 2009

After the Moment

Freymann-Weyr, Garret. After the Moment. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2009.
[Book cover credit:]

What is the most important? The moment you meet someone? The moment you realize you're in love with that person? The moment that tears you apart? The moment you realize that person will forever be "the one that got away"? Watch Maia and Leigh go through all of these moments, and then some, and decide which is the most important for yourself. Then see what comes After the Moment.

There is a lot going on in After the Moment. There is divorce, the bond between step-siblings, death, jailed parents, absent parents, emotionally over or under-available parents, anorexia, school bullies, a BIG fight, and more that is too integral to the main turning point of the plot to list. Because there is so much crammed into the barely-over-300-pages of this book, I don't think that any of these issues are given the attention that they deserve. In fact, I would hesitate to give this book to anyone who is actually dealing with the consequences of the situations discussed in the book. The characters recover much to quickly to offer any comfort.

The one exception to this is Maia's anorexia. When we meet her in After the Moment she is already in recovery and off of her meal plan, all of which is discussed openly and frankly in the text. Though she still struggles in the beginning with eating in front of people, she progresses throughout the book with her recovery. Whether this is because a million other things happen to her that take precedence in the plot or because she is actually moving forward in her recovery may be open to interpretation. By the time we see her again years later when Leigh is looking back on their relationship, there are no outward signs of her struggles, even at a dinner party. The life after anorexia is hopeful, as is the life after everything else the characters have gone through.

Even with all of this, it felt real to me while I was reading it. It wasn't until I finished the book and realized that Millie's grieving over her father's death hadn't been fully covered or resolved (along with a myriad of other BIG ISSUES that could have been more fully dealt with). My adult brain looking back on reading a YA novel wanted more from the treatment of the characters and their feelings from this book. When I was just reading it, however, it worked.


Ms. Yingling said...

This one is waiting for me at the library. I'm getting a little tired of reading, but your review makes me want to go pick it up for the rest of the challenge. Good luck!

Rasco from RIF said...

Hope you have indeed been able to grab time here and there to continue to read. I have had a great ride through books over the last three days and met lots of new people through the blogs! Continued Happy Reading!