Book Review: After Hours

After Hours
By: Claire Kennedy
Published By: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 16, 2015
Page Count: 256
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

The cover of After Hours, combined with the blurb about the book had me really excited to read this. I was expecting an exciting romance. Instead, I got an exciting drama! There was romance in After Hours, but it really wasn't the focus of the novel. Talk about sex, lies, and videotape...or in this case polaroids! 

After Hours is a great character study of what dysfunctional relationships can do to a person. It also shows how someone can turn their life around after living in a dysfunctional situation. Isa, Finn, Xavi, Peter, and the other employees at Waterside Cafe participate in an "after hours" game called Tips. It's a high-stakes game of Dare - no truth involved at all. Rico is their creepy boss who runs the high-class restaurant, and the game. 

Isa, Finn, Xavi and Peter all have their own reasons for wanting to play Tips. All four of them are dealing with some serious issues in their lives. Isa is a former beauty queen, now living with her aunt in a trailer park. Finn is a high school football star, earning money outside the restaurant in a way no one suspects. Xavi wants to be a clothing designer, but is only 16 and has to earn the money to get herself to design school. And Peter can't decide exactly what he wants to do with his life. All he knows is that he is in love with his step-sister, Xavi. 

 This was a fast paced book. You get the POV from all 4 main characters. It's interesting to see how their characters evolve throughout the book and how their different experiences affect them. 

 My only complaint about the book was the ending. I liked the way the book was going at the end, but all of a sudden the book was done. It almost seemed unfinished. I felt like I didn't get full closure for all of the characters. 

 If you enjoy a great character study, this would be the book for you! 

 Content: Language. It is YA, but due to the issues discussed, I would suggest it is maybe for the older YA ages.

Isa, Xavi, Peter, and Finn know that a job at the high-end Waterside Cafe isn't just about waiting tables. It's about the gossip, the hook-ups, the after-hours parties and, most of all, it's about Tips.

Tips--the high-stakes game based on dares. Whoever completes the most dares wins the collected money. A sum that could change a wasted summer into a Summer to Remember.

Isa is the new girl with an embarrassing secret, and as long as she stays on top of her game, she sees no reason why anyone could ever find out.

Xavi will do anything for the money...absolutely anything.

Peter, Xavi's stepbrother, has been in love with her for years, and he thinks the game is the perfect time to confess his feelings.

Finn is in the game just for the thrill. He has enough tips coming in to keep him happy...even if those tips come with some conditions.

From seduction to stealing to threats, the dares are a complete free-for-all, and only the best can win.

The sophisticated Waterside Cafe is anything but classy behind the scenes...and things are about to get dirty.


  1. Great review! You liked this one a lot more than I did but I can understand why . . . just seemed a bit too unrealistic (mature) for these characters for me personally. My review here.


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