After the Moment

After the Moment

by Garret Freymann-Weyr

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Overview

A novel by the Printz Honor author Garret Freymann-Weyr, about a boy who discovers what happens when love fails us—or we fail love.

Maia Morland is pretty, only not pretty-pretty. She’s smart. She’s brave. She’s also a self-proclaimed train wreck.

Leigh Hunter is smart, popular, and extremely polite. He’s also completely and forever in love with Maia Morland.

Their young love starts off like a romance novel—full of hope, strength, and passion. But life is not a romance novel and theirs will never become a true romance. For when Maia needs him the most, Leigh betrays both her trust and her love.

Told with compassion and true understanding, After the Moment is about what happens when a young man discovers that sometimes love fails us, and that, quite often, we fail love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547331683
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 05/03/2010
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 5.14(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.85(d)
Lexile: 930L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

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.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One. Black Ice

The year Leigh’s stepsister, Millie Davis, was in seventh grade and Leigh was in eleventh, he heard a lot about Maia Morland. She was new in school, her mother lived in the huge house that had been empty for so long. Maia was really brave, Millie told him, as it was hard to be new in the tenth grade. Everyone had friends already. But Maia was really smart and pretty, only not pretty-pretty. And her mother had been married five times. (It would turn out to be only three, but Millie did say, quite often, Five times. Imagine it). On and on she went. It was clear to Leigh that this Maia Morland was the object of his sister’s crush—the kind a twelve-year-old girl develops on the girl she wants to become. He almost wished Millie were still obsessed with collecting stickers or building Lego palaces. Listening to his sister go on about her stickers would take less time than her endless talk about this other girl. Eleventh grade was a lot more demanding than Leigh had thought it would be, and he had to work so hard to maintain his B average that he ended up with straight A’s at the end of the first term. This in spite of being on varsity soccer, which not only took up most of his afternoons but twice sent Leigh to the emergency room: once to tape up some bruised ribs, and once to be checked for a concussion after getting knocked out cold. A lot of soccer matches were on weekends, and as his father, Clayton Hunter, was lenient about enforcing the custody agreement, Leigh wound up seeing his father, Millie, and his stepmother even less than usual. It was a long train ride from New York to D.C., and one he hadn’t made so often that year. In March, when Clayton called on a Monday, which was rare, Leigh assumed it was to say, Of course, it’s no problem. Go to the game in Pennsylvania this weekend. Lillian was in the tiny living room, which she used as a study and was where they kept the TV. Before the divorce, they had lived with Clayton in a big apartment on West End Avenue, but this one, on a side street off Broadway, fit them better. Leigh’s bedroom didn’t have a desk, but he generally had the kitchen to himself in the evenings to do his assignments or to read. That night, he felt like he should be watching the news, as the president was giving Iraq a new warning before the much-promised Shock and Awe could start. While Leigh was glad that the war had stopped his mother’s ravings against the obscene coverage of a little girl from Utah who was abducted from her bedroom, he didn’t want to think of the men not much older than he was who were about to go into battle. He felt lucky and relieved, of course, but mostly baffled by the knowledge that short of a draft he would not be going. And even then, he probably wouldn’t go. Clayton, more than once in the past year and a half, had mentioned cousins he had in Canada. “I’m a lawyer,” Clayton had said to Lillian when Iraq turned from a question of if to when. “I’ll get him whatever documents are needed.” Lurking behind all this was an amount of good fortune so large, it was impossible to be grateful for it. It wasn’t the same as being rich, which was an obvious advantage, as only an idiot would be unable to see. The good fortune that Leigh knew as his wasn’t something he could feel or point to. It was more like oxygen or blood; it was that intrinsic, so you took it for granted even though you really shouldn’t. That the impending war unleashed confusion in everyone was clear, but for Leigh it highlighted how little he understood his own life. So, in spite of vaguely despising himself for not facing the disquiet brought up by images of teenagers massing on the Kuwaiti border, Leigh pretty much tried to ignore the news. He happily picked up the phone when it rang and exchanged hellos with his father, preparing to discuss his soccer game in Pennsylvania. Maybe this time his father and Millie could drive up from Maryland. Instead, Clayton wanted to speak to Lillian. Right away, Leigh braced himself for something bad. His parents got along well, mostly because Lillian refused to blame anyone for Clayton’s affair with Millie’s mother. But even so, it was very clear that neither of them wanted to be in touch more than necessary. Leigh brought the phone to his mother and then, so as not to overhear anything, made as much noise as he could doing the dishes. When Lillian came into the kitchen, she sat down at the table. He looked at her and asked, “Tea?” “Scotch,” she said, and he pulled the bottle from under the sink and watched her pour about an inch into one of the jam jars they used as glasses. Millie’s father was dead. Which meant that Millie was halff of an orphan. Leigh refused to let his brain spin out the possibility of creating fractions from orphanhood, if that was even a word, and he listennnnned as his mother answered his half-formed questions. Seth Davis had flown to Kansas to attend a seminar and had died in a rental car on the way from the airport to his hotel. There’d been a five-car pileup—three deaths and countless injuries. A mention was made of black ice, although it was also possible that someone had been drunk. Autopsies would confirm that. Leigh thought of the fetal pigs his biology class had dissected the year before, and wondered why anyone had to bother with an autopsy. Black ice or a drunken driver. The reason wouldn’t bring Seth back. “Insurance,” Lillian said. “Liability, litigation. If someone caused this, money will be involved.” The money paid out to the families of people who’d died in 2001 had been a detail Leigh had been unable to grasp when the planes flew into history. He had barely started tenth grade when it happened. He thought he’d been having a math problem with the insurance story. Now he saw that what he’d been incapable of understanding back then was the attachment of a price to a person. It wasn’t that such a thing was right or wrong that bothered him. It was that such a thing was necessary. “What kind of seminar?” Leigh asked, also wanting to look at a map. Where was Kansas, exactly? Next to the Dakotas or farther west? In a little more than a year, he’d be living in Montana and would know all the states bordering the Dakotas—Kansas was not one of them. But on the night Seth Davis died, any state not on the Atlantic Ocean was, for Leigh, a landlocked blur. “It was a teaching intensive,” Lillian said. “For high school English teachers. I think Seth was giving a talk or getting an award.” Seth Davis taught English in the city’s public schools, and was also a literacy advocate for communities in need. Seth, Lillian once said, is an old-school idealist. Leigh thought of all the fuss Millie’s mother, Janet Davis, had made whenever Millie came to visit her father. Seth lived in a reasonable neighborhood in the block-to-block way that most city neighborhoods were reasonable. But Janet was convinced that there was every chance Millie would be shot on the street, pushed onto a subway track, or raped in a stairwell. She had not thought to be afraid of what a car could do. Yes, Millie was technically safe, but there was no way Seth’s death would leave her unharmed. “I should speak to Millie,” Leigh said, not at all sure he wanted to, but remembering clearly all the times she’d calmed down from a bruise or a cut if he just sat beside her while she got a Band-Aid or an ice pack. “They haven’t told her yet,” Lillian said. “What, is she asleep?” Leigh asked. “It’s not even eight-thirty.” “Your father thinks it might be better if you were there,” Lillian said. Clayton and Janet were waiting to tell Millie that her father was dead? It wasn’t as if she were six years old. She’d know right away that they’d treated her like a child. That they’d protected her from news that she, more than anyone else, owned. “He wants me to tell her,” Leigh said, knowing that neither Clayton nor Janet would ever flat out ask him to do it. But his being there would let Millie know to be on guard before a word was spoken. “Yes, I have the impression that he does want that,” Lillian said. Memories of Seth that Leigh hadn’t even known he had kept flashing into view. The day they’d met, more than seven years before, when Seth was drinking coffee from a paper cup with a plastic lid that didn’t quite fit. The way he would hold his hand under his armpits if he’d forgotten his gloves. Seth running up the stairs three at a time but always letting Millie win if they were racing to his fifth-floor apartment. “But I have school, right?” Leigh asked. “Should I go tonight? Can I get a train?” Seth wore wire-rimmed glasses that he was forever pushing tight against the bridge of his nose. At some point Millie had started cleaning her father’s glasses by blowing on them and using her shirt to rub them clear. “I told Clayton it would be up to you,” Lillian said. “I’d like you to consider what you want.” This was an almost constant refrain of hers. She felt that Leigh worked too hard to please other people. That he didn’t take enough time for what might please him—for what he wanted. Leigh, who knew he didn’t do anything that made him unhappy, felt that she worried for no reason. He did well in school, he was popular, and he had a girlfriend. Although he wasn’t sure where he would go to college or what he would study there, Leigh believed that the road he was on belonged to a map. One free of too many detours, and leading him to the exact places where he was needed. Still, he’d met other mothers, had listened to Lillian’s friends talk about their kids, and he figured worrying was her job. If Lillian was asking him to consider what he wanted in the face of Clayton’s news, well, then this time Leigh had an answer. “I want Millie’s father not to be dead,” he said. If he left tonight, right now, he’d get to D.C. well before Millie was up. Clayton would pick him up at Union Station and they’d drive the half-hour or so that it would take to get to the house. Leigh pictured himself going into her room, the last person she saw right before her new life started. Knowing Millie, she’d either cry right away or sit for a while, trying to work out what she thought. He also, unwillingly, thought this was something his father could do. Should do. It was his job. Leigh, aware that he didn’t know his father that well, was reluctant to use terms that were definitive. And if the word coward now sprang to mind to describe Clayton, then wouldn’t that force Leigh, if he broke the news to Millie, to describe himself as brave?

Which he wasn’t. He was just, at this particular moment, angry. The whole ridiculous cliché of men hitting walls only to wind up with their hands broken was making a frightening sort of sense. “Janet will make her nervous,” Leigh said. “Millie will worry that being upset will upset her mother.” “That doesn’t seem possible,” Lillian said. “Are you sure?” “Millie hides everything Seth gives her in the guest room closet.” Leigh, who slept in the guest room at his father’s house, was forever shaking glitter out of his shoes or getting hit on the head by small stuffed animal squirrels. Millie loved squirrels. “I think I should go,” he said, thinking of his sister trying to figure out a private way to be sad. Or angry. Did girls hit walls? No one ever said so, but this kind of aimless rage couldn’t belong only to men. “Do you have any tests this week?” Lillian asked. “Papers due?” “No,” Leigh said. “A vocab quiz in French, but I can take it late.” “The memorial service will probably be in New York,” Lillian said. “Yeah,” he said. His mother had followed him into his room, where he was putting a shirt, a sweater, and jeans into a small bag. He had clothes at his father’s, but he always liked to bring some just in case all of his things had disappeared between visits. “I’m sure Seth’s school will want to do something,” Lillian said. “Tell her . . . ” Leigh knew his mother was inviting Millie to stay with them in case Clayton and Janet didn’t offer to accompany her up to the city for her father’s service. “I will,” Leigh said. “But I think Dad, at least, will come to the service.” Leigh didn’t want to think about how people were going to bury Seth. It felt like a great betrayal to Millie. If she had no idea her father was dead, then no one should be making plans until she knew. Lillian booked a train ticket online for him and then insisted on coming down to Penn Station. These days Penn Station, Grand Central, and the airports were crawling with police and National Guardsmen. There was no safer place to be in the city than at one of its exit venues. Normally, Leigh might have persuaded his mother to stay home by asking if she didn’t trust him. But he knew the news of Seth’s death had brought with it the type of fear that proximity to misfortune often carries. It was ridiculous, of course, but Leigh was as glad of his mother’s company that night as he had been at the age of ten when he was routinely woken up by the sound of his own screaming voice. “Bad dreams,” Lillian would say, turning on the light, helping him out of bed, and fixing him hot milk with honey. “It’s just bad dreams.”

When he finally got to his father’s house, Leigh took a pillow and a blanket from the guest room and stretched out on the floor next to his sister’s bed. When Millie woke up, he would be there, as Lillian had always been for him. He wouldn’t be able to ease the end of a bad dream, but he had vague plans about cushioning the beginnings of his sister’s grief. Whatever his intentions had been, they all vanished when he opened his eyes to find her staring down at him. “I knew you’d come,” she said. Leigh was quiet, not sure how to tell her what she apparently knew. Later, the details of her hellish night would leak out (overheard phone calls and an endless computer search until a local paper in Kansas posted the story). Right now what he focused on was that his sister had known he would come and he had. During some of the months to follow, her faith allowed him a place on the right side of the line separating men you could trust from men you couldn’t.

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After the Moment 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Andylyon More than 1 year ago
It's pretty rare to find a love story that is worth reading, written from the male point of veiw. This book does justice to a first love. To a love that is not at all what it seems, but worth all the pain it will bring. This is a great coming of age story for young men. It deals with real life issues, but in a way that isn't forced.
katiesbookblog More than 1 year ago
After The Moment is a story of love--love that is true but cannot hold strong through tough times. This book was a little more serious than I expected touching on subjects such as self-mutilation, death of a loved one, bullying, and many others. Even though it was a bit more serious it was truly an amazing story.
Leigh Hunter is the golden boy: soccer star, straight-A student, and boyfriend to Astra Grein. At least, he is until his stepsister's father dies and he is asked to move to Washington to be there for her. Leigh and Astra decide that they would rather have a long distance relationship than break up but Leigh never expected to fall for Maia Morland, the train wreck.
Maia has many different problems. Her stepfather that actually cares about her is in jail, her mother doesn't notice her, and she has her own issues such as self-mutilation, anorexia, and she had a tendency to act out sexually until her psychiatrist made her sign a contract.
When Leigh meets Maia he never once thinks that he could love her. She is the exact opposite of Astra and yet he can't get her off his mind. Leigh begins to drive Maia to her prison visits and in the process, gets to know her. He doesn't realize that he loves her until being away from her to visit his mom in Maine. When he returns home he goes straight to Maia's and is surprised to find out that she feels the same way. They begin dating, even though Leigh still hasn't broken up with Astra.
Finally, Leigh decides that he needs to end things once and for all with Astra and decides to go to New York and tell her in person. He never knew that his decision to stay in New York for one extra night would have such drastic consequences. When he returns to Washington nothing is the same and when he finds out why, he wishes he could change things but he can't.
Unknowingly Leigh breaks Maia's trust and loses their relationship. He will always love her but they can never be together.
And if you want to know why, you will just have to read the book. I wouldn't just give away the ending. ;]
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When circumstances compel him to move in with his father, stepmother, and younger stepsister, high school senior Leigh Hunter never imagined that he would fall in love for the first time in his life. Her name is Maia Morland, and she is beautiful but tragic, inspirational yet self-destructive. Leigh begins to believe that he can create a life around Maia, but when something horrifying happens to her, he realizes that his love for her may not be enough to save her.AFTER THE MOMENT is a subtle exploration of the power of different kinds of relationships in one young man¿s adolescence, a dramatically poignant love story that will perhaps appeal best to adult fans of doomed romance novelists like Nicholas Sparks. Personally, however, I had trouble connecting with the characters as well as believing the story arc.A love story told from the guy¿s point of view is rare and certainly no easy feat, but Leigh Hunter is a genially complex protagonist. It¿s obvious that he cares very much for his family members (particularly his stepsister, the ineffable and incredibly mature middle schooler Millie), although he may not agree with them most of the time and hardly aspires to be like his emotionally autistic father. Leigh is forced to make incredibly difficult decisions; it is easy to see why the events of his senior year have had an impact on the rest of his life.However, I found it hard to become emotionally invested in the characters and their stories. The story is told from the point of view of an older Leigh, which I think contributes to the distance I felt from the characters. They were living out their tragedies and dramas in a snowglobe, to which I was only a polite audience. The supporting characters, while well-meaning, never felt quite fully developed for me: the adults were either dispensers of inexplicable wisdom or else emotionally unavailable, and the preteens and teens often did not act their age.Perhaps all of this would have been fine for me had the main storyline¿Leigh and Maia¿s romance¿been believable and likable. As it is, however, it¿s hard to see why Maia is the source of so many guys¿ interests. I felt like there was a disconnect between her tragic side¿a truly heartwrenching and relatable mix of maternal neglect, self-destruction, anxiety, and self-blame¿and the part of her that attracts nearly everyone around her to her. As an interesting and complex character, Maia was fascinating; as the love interest, not so much.I found the plot and pacing to be quite slow and often unengaging. Since the narrator is an older-and-wiser Leigh, the story often reads like a clinical examination of Leigh¿s first love, with plenty of time devoted to Leigh¿s characterization and his interactions with other people, and not enough to the readers¿ engagement in the story. The ending¿the horrifying event that befalls Maia, Leigh¿s reaction and the consequences that result¿felt like it was so rushed and unexpected, which I suspect had more to do with my emotionally detachment from the story and less with the actual proceedings, a detachment that unfortunately contributed to my disbelief of the events in the last part of the book.It is obvious to me, though, that Freymann-Weyr cares very much about the psychological workings of adolescents, and I think that AFTER THE MOMENT is not a flop of a story, but rather a poignant tale that was marketed to the wrong audience. Certainly Nicholas Sparks and Nora Roberts fans will appreciate the gentle and affecting romance between Leigh and Maia. If you¿re an adult reader looking for a slow but sweet read, or a teen with lots of patience and a penchant for intense romances and enigmatic heroines, consider AFTER THE MOMENT for a stirring and relaxing weekend read.
jenniferthomp75 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Leigh moves from NYC to join his father, stepmother and stepsister after his stepsister's father dies. While living with them, he meets Maia, a self-mutilating anorexic with whom he falls in love. When something terrible happens to Maia while Leigh is out of town, breaking up with his girlfriend, Leigh and Maia's relationship changes forever.Freymann-Weyr's writing is gorgeous. She knows how to describe complicated emotions and make the reader feel true empathy for her characters. However, the entire time I was reading this book, all I could think is how Freymann-Wehr must have grown up in wealth. She depicts wealth from a perspective that only a wealthy person would write about it.However, don't let my personal gripes about wealthy characters and their issues deter you from this book. It's a rare writer who describes an adolescent male's struggles with such depth. Although the discussions regarding the Iraq war may become dated in a few years, this book's honest depiction of a young man's determination to remain a good human being will stand the test of time.
ylin.0621 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After the Moment felt to me like I was looking in a private affair through a glass window. Captivated but knowing that it was bad to be watching. Because of this I felt a disconnection between all the characters. Like I know of them, but I don¿t know them. I would agree with some that After the Moment was slow and a tad on the boring side. It felt that I was fluttering along the novel waiting for something, anything, to happen. It would touch on many subjects, never breaking free of that one barrier to make it astounding. There was a lot of build, a lot, to reach the climax. I felt that the climax could have been dragged a bit longer for a better impact but still managed to shake the reader (especially with the gruesome fist to fist fighting). There was a lot of potential behind this book. Some came through others needed to be expanded more. The ending for me was bittersweet
kbpup903 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After The Moment is a story of love--love that is true but cannot hold strong through tough times. This book was a little more serious than I expected touching on subjects such as self-mutilation, death of a loved one, bullying, and many others. Even though it was a bit more serious it was truly an amazing story.Leigh Hunter is the golden boy: soccer star, straight-A student, and boyfriend to Astra Grein. At least, he is until his stepsister's father dies and he is asked to move to Washington to be there for her. Leigh and Astra decide that they would rather have a long distance relationship than break up but Leigh never expected to fall for Maia Morland, the train wreck.Maia has many different problems. Her stepfather that actually cares about her is in jail, her mother doesn't notice her, and she has her own issues such as self-mutilation, anorexia, and she had a tendency to act out sexually until her psychiatrist made her sign a contract.When Leigh meets Maia he never once thinks that he could love her. She is the exact opposite of Astra and yet he can't get her off his mind. Leigh begins to drive Maia to her prison visits and in the process, gets to know her. He doesn't realize that he loves her until being away from her to visit his mom in Maine. When he returns home he goes straight to Maia's and is surprised to find out that she feels the same way. They begin dating, even though Leigh still hasn't broken up with Astra.Finally, Leigh decides that he needs to end things once and for all with Astra and decides to go to New York and tell her in person. He never knew that his decision to stay in New York for one extra night would have such drastic consequences. When he returns to Washington nothing is the same and when he finds out why, he wishes he could change things but he can't.Unknowingly Leigh breaks Maia's trust and loses their relationship. He will always love her but they can never be together.And if you want to know why, you will just have to read the book. I wouldn't just give away the ending. ;]
4sarad on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really disliked this book, which came as a surprise since I have enjoyed other works by Freymann-Weyr. The whole book just came off as too technical. It felt like all fact and no feeling. I believe part of the problem was that Freymann-Weyr often used complex sentence structure, which ensured that I was always seeing the words on the page instead of seeing through them into the story. The actual story itself wasn't bad, it's just I couldn't get into it at all. The main character is said to take after his father who simply cannot deal with emotions of any sort... so if the book was meant to feel that way, being told by the son, then Freymann-Weyr succeeded admirably.... but the end result is completely unenjoyable.
lawral on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
bookwormygirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Leigh Hunter is getting ready for the summer before his senior year in high school, he¿s going out with an amazing girl, is already worrying about college applications, and the like - he¿s a typical 17 year old boy. But when his step-sister Millie requests that he come live with her at her time of loss, he has no qualms about picking up and moving to a different state to live with his father, stepmother and stepsister.Although his main goal is to help Millie overcome her loss - he soon begins to fall for Millie's friend Maia. Maia Morland is a veritable train wreck. She has issues with her mother, her beloved step-father is in jail, she's suffering from anorexia, cuts and has even burned herself at times. Leigh can't help but want to help Maia, but sometimes best intentions don't always work out as planned.I absolutely love how this story starts. Leigh is at a party at a posh apartment in New York City and in walks Maia... it's been years since they've seen or heard from each other. And although you are reading in the third person, you know Leigh still has some feelings for Maia. What happened? How did they get here? Why? I love that!Thus my interest was piqued and I read the whole thing in a few hours flat. I loved Leigh. He was such a good boy. He was helpful, selfless and just the all-around perfect boyfriend that all girls dream of. Maia, although flawed, was also likeable. Although she had issues with self-mutilation, you just couldn't help wanting to take her under your wing and protect her from everyone, including herself.I am surprised that this is considered a YA novel - since it did touch on some heavy issues, yet I can understand why since most of the main characters are all teens. I can honestly say that I enjoyed this.It is a story about love, loss, heartbreak, trust and betrayal. It is about coming-of-age and first loves. Ms. Freymann-Weyr's writing is simple, her characters are relatable, and her story is immensely engrossing. This is one that shouldn't be missed.
NovelBookworm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Leigh Hunter is a smart, ambitious and popular high school kid, with big future plans. At the request of his step-sister, Millie, whose father has just died, he moves back to his father¿s home to help Millie cope with her loss. Maia Morland is a recovering anorexic and self-mutilating girl who has dinner with the Hunter family every night as part of her recovery. At first, Leigh only wants to help his family help Maia, but as time passes, he finds himself falling for her. When three classmates rape Maia and the attack is filmed, Leigh finds that events that change one life can change many. After the Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr starts and concludes four years after Leigh and Maia split up, so we readers know from the very beginning that this is not a love story with a ¿Hollywood¿ happy ending. Maia is one really messed up young woman, with one of the most narcissistic mothers ever to grace the pages of a novel. Leigh is a thoughtful, kind and generous young man, the type who, frankly, this mom of a teenaged daughter wishes her daughter would meet someday. And Millie, Leigh¿s sister is a breath of fresh air, spunky, bright and charming. After the Moment itself is a breath of fresh air, a book for young adults by a woman who seems to actually like teenagers, (rare it seems sometimes), respects teenagers, (even more rare), and doesn¿t generalize or stereotype them. (The rarest of all.) Freymann-Weyr¿s teens aren¿t all presented as dope-smoking, drunken, horny, disrespectful, obnoxious slackers. Sure, some of them are, but like in real life, we get to see the good ones too. The author gives us a look into the heart of the most maligned creature of all, the teenaged boy. Leigh is sincerely a good guy, trying to make sense of a world that seems to have gone insane. Set against the backdrop of daily news of the Iraq war, Leigh manages to negotiate his teen years, with honesty, sensitivity and decency. After the Moment is a very good book, one that captures beautifully the pain and joy of growing up in this post 9/11 era.
thegeekygal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really thoroughly liked this book. I felt the characters were deep and real, with real thoughts, real emotions, and realistic motivations.I really felt that the blended family here was done marvelously well, and I enjoyed not seeing the typical drama/angst that usually comes along with it.While I enjoyed a male character who had so much thought and emotion, I wondered if he was far too in touch with his emotions than is the norm for a teen boy, but that didn't subtract from the realism of this book imo.This book falls into books that I like because you can't just sum up simply what the book is about. This book is about the characters in it, the choices they make, and circumstances and outcomes of their actions. In order to know what this book is really deeply about you need to read it, and that's what makes me like it.Essentially it's a character driven book, and not a plot driven book.Books like this make me want to pick up a pen and start writing again. This particular book made me look up all the other books by this author and place them on my hold list at the local library.The only complaint I had is that for some reason's the names of all the characters kept blurring for me. Leigh was an odd choice for a boy's name (at the very least I would have liked Lee) and it kept confusing me when I had to remember that it was the main character and not some other female character.Astra, Maia, Millie, Clayton..I would have liked more conventional names, but that is just me.Sometimes I found myself asking "who is Peter again? Oh yeah.. Mom's boyfriend.."So that would at times pull me out of the story, but I don't think it's so much a flaw of the book, as a personal issue I found while reading it.Either way: Highly suggested reading.
graceschumann on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is book about a love ripped apart at the seams and the after-effects of it. That's pretty much all I need to write. Generic? Yes. Overdone? Yes. I couldn't even finish this book. The idea has been done and done and done to the point where I didn't even care about this book. And that's not all, but I thought the writing was average if not poor. I wouldn't recommend this book
bookalover89 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An elegant and unforgettable story of first love. This is what young adult fiction is all about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My team gone lose i already know it ;( :'( :/
CrazyDuckGirl More than 1 year ago
This book pulled me in instantly by the cover image, but as I read it, I got confused very easily. If you can pick out a confusing read, this would be the book to choose. I never finished this book, but what I read of it, it was very well written.
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Leah Mandel More than 1 year ago
hard to follow really boring but in the long run a beautiful storu about love and letting go.
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Casey88 More than 1 year ago
After the Moment was an okay read. From the beginning, I was confused and it didn't really get any better. It starts off with Maia and Leigh meeting at a party when they are 21. Then Leigh tells the story, or maybe just remembers it, of what happen to the two of them when they were 17. Every now and again, it would flash back to the present without any breaks. That is where I got the most confused because it was hard to follow where the story went. For me, this was a slow read. There was so much going on and not any details to explain certain things, so I still have a ton of unanswered questions. There were plenty of details for parts that didn't pertain to the story at all though. Once the story started to get interesting, which wasn't until page 200, I was kept wanting to know what happened. I did enjoy the characters. They were realistic and were trying to deal with issues that people in the real world deal with everyday - divorced parents, friendship, love, school, death etc. This is a different take on love, one that shows first love doesn't always work out. With all the extra stuff going on, I think it would have been better if the book was a bit longer.
gl More than 1 year ago
The book opens at a dinner party in New York City, when Leigh sees Maia Moreland for the first time since high school. We're immediately aware of her impact on him and that he's never gotten over some event in their past where he did something dreadful. We don't know their history, only that there was something beautiful and fragile that was destroyed somehow and that Leigh has carried this with him for years. After reading the opening pages of their chance encounter at the NY dinner party, I was pushed so off-center that I put the book down for weeks. I didn't want to read about the violence or how Leigh hurt Maia so badly and was still so affected by their past. I won't go into details - you deserve to read the book without any spoilers - and to enjoy it as the story slowly unfolds. Here is just a quick peek into the plot and characters: After the brief scene where Leigh and Maia meet in the present, the main story opens in flashbacks to Leigh's last years in high school. Towards the end of his junior year, seventeen-year-old Leigh has everything going for him - excellent grades, a spot on the soccer team, and Astra, his dropdead beautiful, popular and smart girlfriend that most everyone else wants to date. He's not unappreciative of his life even though "the good fortune that Leigh knew as his wasn't something that he could feel or point to...It was more like oxygen or blood; it was that intrinsic." Leigh knows that he doesn't yet know what future he wants but he's steady and dependable and he does his level best, knowing it's "a matter of continuing to do the right things: study and apply to colleges, as well as keep old friends and make new ones." Though Leigh isn't driven by clear plans for his future, he will do almost anything for his younger step sister Millie. So when Millie's father dies and she asks Leigh to move to Maryland for a year, Leigh uproots his life. He leaves New York, his mother and Astra for Maryland, Millie, and her troubled friend Maia. Maia is the polar opposite of Astra - nervous, eating disordered, and troubled - but somehow Leigh finds himself drawn to her. Once I got over my initial hesitation and returned to the book, got to know Leigh and how he cared for the people around him, I was hooked. In After the Moment, Garret Freymann-Weyr created unforgettable characters dealing with complex and real life concerns. It's a beautiful and moving book. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children; 1 edition (May 18, 2009), 336 pages. Review copy provided by the author and TLC Book Tours.
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