Saturday, October 23, 2010

Book review and giveaway (part 2): Life After Yes

By Melissa Amster

**Giveaway is now closed**

"Life After Yes" is one of those books that I was initially hesitant to pick up because the main character's name threw me off. I saw "Prudence" and expected it to take place in the 1800's. However, I gave it a chance because I heard that my other book reviewing friends really liked it and I did not want to miss out. Besides, Prudence went by her middle name, Quinn, which makes me think of "Glee."

While the book itself is a complete departure from "Glee" (no musical numbers to be found), it did remind me of another favorite television show of mine from the past, "Dawson's Creek." Maybe that is why I told Aidan Donnelley Rowley that Prudence (a.k.a. Quinn) should be played by Michelle Williams if a movie were ever made of this story. In any case, one of the things that made Dawson's Creek stick out was that the characters were very introspective and waxed philosophical on each episode, which didn't really work because they were supposed to be teenagers. However, the introspectiveness and philosophical utterings seemed to work for Prudence, since she was in her late 20's and going through some major life changes.

Four months after Prudence's father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, her boyfriend proposes to her and she has a strange dream following that proposal. The dream follows her throughout the year as she tries to make sense of her reality. She sometimes does this by reminiscing about her past and also leaning on her physical trainer and two best friends (who are like night and day, when compared to one another) for advice or a listening ear.

"Life After Yes" carries a lot of symbolism and metaphors. The topic of "prudence" is peppered throughout the story, as it is the reason she chooses to go by the name Quinn and also the way she looks at the world and the behaviors of those around her on a daily basis. Seeing that the word "prudence" follows her the entire time, it's hard for the reader to detach from her name, even though she wants to be called Quinn. There are also references to blackberries, both the fruit and the communication device. And fishing is a constant metaphor, as well.

For a first novel, Ms. Rowley does an amazing job of drawing her readers into someone else's life. Prudence may be just another face in the crowd of Manhattan, but the author really gives her personality and purpose. She makes her complex and easy to relate to at the same time. Her use of description makes it easy to visualize everything Prudence is doing and everywhere she is going. The language of the story is smooth flowing and very artistic. It reads like prose. While some parts of the story do have a chick lit feel, I think it also fits into another category. I was reminded of Jodi Picoult's early work, at times. Given Ms. Rowley's law background, I could see her easily following in Ms. Picoult's footsteps someday and even writing an engaging law drama. The only criticism is that I was left wanting more and wondering what would happen next, hoping Ms. Rowley will want to continue the story into a sequel or bring Prudence back as a secondary character in another story.

Thanks to Aidan Donnelley Rowley for the review copy, in exchange for an honest review. She also gave me a bunch of copies to share with others. I gave away a few with her interview and have two more to give away now.

How to win "Life After Yes":
Please comment below with your e-mail address and tell us why you are interested in reading this book.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page if you can receive messages there.)

To keep it simple, we're not doing bonus entries this time. Consider this a "lightning round."

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends Tuesday at noon EST.


Qandthebooks said...

It has a beautiful cover! (: And I like novels with metaphors/similes


Ruthie said...

I does have a beautiful cover! And it sounds really interesting.

Heather said...

I loved Dawson's Creek! It sounds like a good read! Thanks for the chance to win!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

As soon as you said "Dawson's Creek" I knew I had to read this book... plus I love the cover and... I totally judge books by their covers. Can't help it! ;)

Bonita12 said...

Dawson's Creek was an awesome show - I would love to read this book.
bwalker1123 at gmail dot com

PoCoKat said...

Sounds like a very interesting read!

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

Anonymous said...

My e-mail is

I love the cover but the story sounds interesting as well.

I will post a link on my site.

Anonymous said...

The story seems interesting and as most mentioned I love the cover!

I'll post this in fb and twitter. Thanks!

Kritters Ramblings said...

I am not sure why, but this book has been on my wish list for a very long time. I do love the cover!!

Linda Kish said...

I love the cover. I think the story will be equally as good.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Wanda said...

I must agree with Karen it does have a beautiful cover but the idea of a dream following her throughout the next year makes me curious as to what the dream entails.


Teresa said...

I've read so many great reviews of this one that I want to read it. (and the cover!)

teresasreadingcorner at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

I have been wanting to pick this up for awhile! : )

Unknown said...

Every review I have read since eyeing this book has only fueled my desire to read it! I love jodi picoult which made your particular review add to my reasons for reading this book! The entire storyline peaks my interest along withthe possibility of finding a new must read author!
Schlarmette AT gmail DOT com

Julie(t) (Coberly) Farmer said...

you had me at Dawson's Creek! :)

juliet DOT farmer AT att DOT net

CharityVL said...

I have heard of this book from someone else and it was recommended. So I would love to read it, plus I have read all of Jodi Picoult's books, so there's that too!

laany6 (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

This book is on my to-read list; I occasionally read the author's blog.

cara_bradley (at) verizon (dot) net

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me, ladies. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail -- and the super review. Loved it.

I've got this posted at Win a Book for you. Thanks again!

Stephanie G said...

This book has been on my TRL, EVERYONE has rave reviews on it.I'm dying to read it for myself.

daniels_mommy04 at yahoo dot com