Review: After Hello by Lisa Mangum

Thursday, January 3, 2013

After Hello
Title: After Hello
Author: Lisa Mangum
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Date of Publication: September 4, 2012

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.


My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I got this from NetGalley and started reading it while playing Monopoly Deal in a fastfood restaurant before we watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower last October. Very vivid memory, you might say. Because this is that kind of book. The kind that you'll remember the exact date and time you read it, what you were doing that you dropped just to read this and every feeling you felt. It is THAT amazing. To quote the mini-review I posted on Goodreads right after I read this:

"This is the best thing ever. <3 No dull moment, everything was magical. I love Sam and Sara, everything about them and their adventure, their quest, and how they grew in just one day. Kindred spirits, yes. Now, I'd like to meet a Sam. Gah, I hope I can write a proper review, listing why I love this novel but I don't think my emotions can do it. I'll probably just spazz. Just take my word and read it and you'll feel good to be alive, to be reading this book, to have followed my advice. Heehee. If not, send me hate mails and flying pitchforks and I'll take it. Yeap, that good. Lisa Mangum, you are a genius!"

Even if almost three months have already passed, my feelings and viewpoints regarding this book did not change AT ALL. I dubbed it the sweetest contemporary YA I read last 2012 in my Top Ten Books I've Read in 2012. Because it is. It is sweeter than all the sugar packets in the world Sam could trade.

Sara is an amateur photographer, stuck in New York, wandering alone, while her father's in a business meeting when he promised this vacation will be a bonding time for them. She takes a picture of a boy wearing a hoodie of one of her unknown favorite bands, exiting a bookstore. She doesn't think much of it until this guy approaches her. Sam is a finder. He finds things by trading other things and gets paid for it. Whether it's a rare book or front-row tickets to a sold-out play, Sam can get it. When he approaches Sara, having seen her take his photo, she agrees to go with him on a delivery since she has nothing better to do and would like to tour New York City as well. However, things go awry at this delivery, which leads them to a day of city adventure they call a "quest" to find that elusive art that will appease Sam's client. They get to know each other along the way and of course, sparks fly. Actually, not only sparks but I think more like a fireworks display.

Both Sam and Sara had issues they had to resolve in the span of the book, which makes this novel not only an excuse for sweetness and some city adventure, but for character development as well. It also showcases Sara's artistry and it was just brilliant. Lisa Mangum did exceptionally in writing this book. The descriptions were great, especially of the photos Sara took, that I was able to imagine them and by jove, those photos look great. The dialogue was snappy and never sounded stilted. Sam sounds too mature for his age which is apt because he's been through a lot. This novel tackled issues such as art, family, death, guilt, being left behind and of course, love. But it's not a heavy and depressing novel. In fact, it's such a feel good book, totally a pick-me-upper. Still, it successfully dabbled on those issues and it did not fall short on actually delving deep into them and resolving them. It was just wonderful.

Moreover, the side characters were a joy to read. They were mostly stereotypical but they were fun to read and they served their purpose in the story without being irritating. Even the supposed villain won't irk you in any way. The novel was full of side characters actually, as they meet lots of people while hunting for this art. Both Sam and Sara learn a couple of things from these characters that are essential in their growth in the span of the novel. Of course, it can be fairly predictable but I don't mind predictable especially in contemporary YA. I don't mind predictable if the story is as tightly woven and told like this one and if it's not boring and draggy. I don't mind it if we get lovely characters like these ones. I don't mind it because it's After Hello.

If you still aren't sold, this novel is told in alternating POVs of Sam and Sara. ALTERNATING POVS, YOU GUYS. I LOVE he-said-she-said novels SO MUCH. It's like an instant +1 in my rating. Haha! It doesn't end there because this is a 24-hour love story. OH MY. They meet today, she leaves tomorrow. That should be more than enough reason to read this. Hee.

I hope I sounded coherent in my review because I just wanted to type AWESOME AMAZEBALLS AWESOMESAUCE YO CHECK THIS OUT SUPERCALIFREAKINAWESOME FANTASTIC TERRIFIC AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! over and over again. Haha! Lisa Mangum surely gained a fan in me. Love this novel to bits!

I recommend this to everyone! Especially contemporary YA addicts like me.

About Lisa Mangum

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 with her husband, Tracy.

Website | Twitter


  1. wow this sounds like an amazing read!!! Its interesting to read from alternating POV's! Great review!! oh, and new follower!!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

    1. Thank you for dropping by, Farah! And I followed back! :D Yes, yes, yes, this is an amazing read. Truly amazing. <3

  2. Amazing review! I hadn't ever heard about this but it sounds like my kinda read :). I'm gonna have to see if its at my library <3. New follower! I have a special place in my heart for bloggers with under 100 followers because my blog only has 140 <3


    1. Hi Jasmine! Thank you for commenting and I followed you back! :D I do hope you'll enjoy this if ever you read it. :) I kinda suck at networking, hence the low follower count. Haha! Plus, this blog's kinda new so yeah. :D

  3. Aaahh!! I love that it's an issue book. I love those! BUT TSoT was so heavy that I must keep away from these kind of books for now. I love that you enjoyed it and I'll probably read it soon (hopefully!! my TBR pile is crazzzyyy -.-) though and I'm pretty sure I won't send you a hate e-mail, haha. I've been keeping my eye on this book for a while now and yeah, fingers crossed I'll end up liking it just as much as you did, Dianne:)

    Hope you have a great day, xx

    1. After Hello is TOTALLY not heavy! It's so cute and sweet! Hope you'll end up at least liking if not love it. :D

      Thank you for always commenting! <3

  4. This book was not on my radar but it is on my TBR list now! Great review!

    1. Well, I've done my job and served my love for this book if I got people wanting to read it. Hope you'll enjoy it too! Thank you for dropping by and commenting! <3


Comment away!

By the way, this is an awards-free blog. I appreciate it though, really. :D

site design by designer blogs