Monday, July 6, 2015

After Hours by Claire Kennedy

Title: After Hours
Author: Claire Kennedy
Length: 256 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Classification: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Source: e-galley via Edelweiss (Thank you Simon Pulse!)
Read: June 2015
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. 

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***I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review***

I enjoyed reading parts of After Hours, but sadly I didn't fall in love with the story or the characters. I didn't have any difficulty getting into the story and wondering what was going to happen and I was interested in getting to know more about the characters. Honestly I thought After Hours was going to be a light and fluffy contemporary with summer love and the restaurant game that they play for money. There were some light and fluffy moments, but overall I found this one to be a bit more darker and full of secrets, blackmail, and lies.

After Hours is told from four alternating points of view: Isa, Finn, Peter, and Xavi. These four characters all work in a restaurant for the summer, trying to save up money for various reasons. But they don't work in an ordinary diner, Waterfront is owned by a guy named Rico. And for years, certain employees are invited to put in the money for the buy in and play a game called Tips. Which gives them the chance to win the entire pot (which is usually a HUGE amount of money!) But things start to happening and these four characters are doing things that they never thought they would do before.

Overall, I did find the story to be interesting. Not as much romance as I thought there would be. But there was a lot of things happening in the story. Some things took me by surprise and there was some craziness too. I enjoyed the restaurant setting. I did find Tips to be quite fascinating and entertaining. Though I don't think I would have been able to do the things and go as far as these characters were able to go to win the money.

These were characters that each want and need money for their own reasons and I was able to really get why they each wanted money. Plus each character has something that they are hiding from the others, which I found entertaining. At first it was a little harder for me to connect with the characters, since there are four different points of view and the chapters moved quickly. But I did feel like the more I read, I started to get to know the characters better and was easier to hear their voices individually.
I did like the characters at first. But as the story progressed I start to not like most of the decisions the characters made. Though I did feel for the characters and the difficulties that each character had in their lives. I  wanted to know what was going to happen to them in the end.

My Recommendation:

I did find After Hours to be an interesting story. It kept my attention and I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next (and what other crazy things were going to occur). The ending was a bit quick and I wasn't really expecting it to end the way it did. I didn't fall in love with the characters, but I did like them off and on, though I didn't like all of the decisions they made. After Hours did remind me a little bit of Panic by Lauren Oliver, so if you enjoyed Panic, I recommend giving this one a try. 

My Rating:

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