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.
This was kind of like watching a train crash. You know it's not going to be good but you still can't look away. Not that the book was bad but more the events within the book. The description made me think that this was going to be written from Maia's POV but once I got into it I realized that this is from Leigh's POV and that I was so very wrong. Looking at the description now I can see where I overlooked that detail. I think that the little slip up on my behalf really changed the book for me. It was a surprise and gave me something to chew on throughout the book.
Leigh is almost too good. Despite the fact that his parents split up he isn't a bitter teen. He takes it all at face value and continues on with his life. I'm not saying that all teens are bitter about divorces but normally there is some sort of emotional reaction or feeling. Instead he dives into soccer and tries to keep up his grade average so that when he decides what to do with his life he can have his choice of colleges. He already has the perfect girlfriend that everyone wishes was theirs. He is so sweet in the sense that he cares so much about the people around him, especially his family. When a tragedy happens and his step sister needs him, he doesn't think twice. It is when he moves to live with her and his father that the real story starts.
Maia is not someone Leigh would normally look twice at but he would never be rude either. Their friendship felt so awkward to start and I really liked that. Things didn't just slide into place easily for these two they had to really work for it. Maia and her tendencies were really things that you needed to have patience for and Leigh did. I think it was mostly his protective/nice nature that really guided these two together. However having things to do led to a disaster that was beyond anything that I ever imagined it would be.
This is where the book kind of lost me. I was really disappointed with Maia and her self loathing by this point. Leigh did everything and I mean EVERYTHING in his power to protect her and make sure she knew that she knew he cared about her. This included letting go of his perfect girlfriend. Not that he had a lot of emotional attachment to her but still. It is during this time that an "incident" occurs. This is what ignited my fury and I don't mean a little bit but a lot. This was something that could have been prevented or rectified after the fact because of the very clear evidence but Maia insisted it was her fault and Leigh should leave it alone. I wanted to slap her so bad at that moment! I understand believing something that isn't your fault to be your fault but when you are forced to do something and everyone knows this why fight it. Then when
Leigh finally snaps and stands up for her, she leaves him. I get why she wanted to keep it a secret but this was someone Leigh knew and considered a friend!
Basically this was a coming of age story for Leigh and Maia was his life lesson. He loved her truly and fully but it just wasn't enough. Not for her at least. This fact actually stung but really they are young and despite all the book couples that seem to beat the odds this couple fell into the most likely reality category. Sad but true. All of the issues that are brought forward in this book are powerful and each on their own would cause a hurtle to over come on their own. Maybe it was the fact that there was so many at once that also took away from this story. Leigh just had his hands full trying to keep up with Maia and keep her happy and honestly that is what he wanted the most her happiness.
This novel isn't for everyone but for some I imagine it would be perfect. I have recently come to love the contemporary books with strong emotional messages and bring up strong emotions in myself. This book had the potential to be that for me but when the moment came everything just started to fall apart for me. This same moment is probably where people become really invested in the book and hold onto it. I enjoyed it for the majority and had a very strong emotional reaction to the lesser amount. Overall I don't regret picking this book up but I sadly didn't fall in love with it like I had hopes of when I read the starting chapters.
Quotes & Teasers
It was as if she were a painting, one best appreciated by a viewer willing to look from more than one perspective.
It was odd to be around a man and want to be like that man. It made him feel sad and disloyal that he never had wanted to be like Clayton.
Maia's voice, although calm and even, was the saddest thing Leigh had ever heard. It was sadder than this violin concerto his mother listened to when she was depressed, and sadder than the sound of Millie and Janet crying the days right after Seth died.
Then Leigh snapped out of it, asking himself: A romance novel? You're thinking of your failings in terms of a romance novel?