by Lisa Mangum
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Published: August 21st 2012 by Shadow Mountain
Format Acquired: ebook (thanks Dianne of Oops I Read Again Tours and Lisa!)
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository
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.
This book is beautiful - I'd leave it at that if I could but I'm afraid it won't do the book justice. In fact, I don't think I could do the book justice even if I write a long gushy review. It's just... this book, you guys. This book!
It was interesting how the author managed to create a well-rounded story that took place in only a day. The story started off with Sara taking a photograph of a guy in front of a bookstore. The moment she started describing him in a beautiful arrangement of words, I just knew I would love this book. Mangum has a way with words that can only be described as magic. She took the simplest of scenes and made them remarkable with her descriptions. They were vivid yet there's this simplicity to it that makes you fall in love with everything about the book - the characters, the setting, the plot. Everything!
Sara and Sam had only met but it quickly became a memorable day from the moment they spoke to each other. Oddly enough Sara went with Sam despite not knowing him (and that was the moment I knew I would have to suspend my belief in reading this because, let's face it, the world is filled with creepy strangers) and they began their quest. I seriously loved the pacing of this book. It actually went hand in hand in with the character development. At first Sara and Sam weren't telling the other much about themselves but there was always this lingering feeling that they would somehow go beyond that point of merely being strangers to each other. I like how both characters developed throughout the book at just the right pace. The more time they spent together, the more they learned about themselves. And the more they learned about themselves, the more their feelings for each other grew. Now before you think this is one of those books that abuses insta love or would try to make love at first sight work - it isn't. I'd like to think Sara and Sam were merely intrigued by each other at first but it eventually grew to a fondness during their adventure. It was sweet and subtle but it gave me butterflies in my stomach nonetheless. I love how Mangum captured their emotions perfectly in their alternating POVs. I think it's actually the very reason why I came to love this book.
At every turn in their quest, Sara and Sam met with a variety of personalities that added a splash of color to an already wonderful story. I enjoyed how Sara quickly learned Sam's trading game and how she was always down for whatever crazy New York had to offer. Sam was also a delight to read! He was witty and warm - an overall good character. It was a lot of fun reading this because you never know where their quest would take them. It'll surely keep you turning the pages for more!
Sara and Sam both have unpleasant history. Little by little we learn more about them with every bit of story they tell. I love how deep the book gets the more you learn about their struggles but none of it was overdone. There was this constant talk of acceptance and moving on. I like how both characters faced their issues and learned to get past them with the help of each other. This angle added depth the story without it overpowering everything else.
In the end, Sara and Sam must face the reality that they've avoided the entire day - they would eventually have to part ways. Sara has to go back to Arizona while Sam stays in New York. The story ends with a touching non-goodbye (more of a see you later), room for possibilities, and a spectacular kissing scene. If anyone can write the perfect first kiss scene, it's Lisa Mangum. Ah, the descriptions! Beautiful, absolutely beautiful! I shouldn't even have to tell you this after all the reasons I've given you but... go read After Hello. You're in for quite a ride. ;) (added winky face for effect. Hope it works!)
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.