Title: After Hello
Author: Lisa Mangum
Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
Publisher: September 4th 2012 by Shadow Mountain
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.
Sara and her father are in New York City for the day while he finishes up a business deal. The plan is for Sara to explore the city for a bit until her dad can join her for lunch, then they will go sight-seeing together. Of course, the business deal doesn’t go as planned and Sara is left on her own the entire day. Enter Sam. Sara catches a glimpse of him leaving a bookstore and snaps his picture. She decides to follow him and they end up hanging out all day, trying to accomplish a task that someone has given Sara.
I loved both Sara and Sam. Sam was running from the guilt he felt after an accident back home and his motto was to keep moving. He had this amazing knack for trading things and not only was this ability amusing, it was a big part of the story line. He was on the quiet side, but very kind and sweet to Sara. He didn’t pry into her life, he just let her be herself. He had some amazing theories about choices and decisions that I might have to adopt for myself. Sara was also running, but she was running away from the pain of her mother’s abandonment. She was afraid to trust anyone, but somehow Sam snuck by her defenses. She was tough and had a great sense of humor. The two of them together were so cute, they were like 2 puzzle pieces who kept bumping up against each other until they finally just slid into space.
Sara’s father was a tad unbelievable (at one point, a strange boy texted him from Sara’s phone, before the sun even came up, to tell him that Sara was okay, and her dad was fine with it. All I could think was “Good thing he wasn’t a kidnapper…”), but he was also flawed in his own way. Sam’s brother and friends appeared briefly and we didn’t get a chance to really know them, but they were mostly friendly. His friend Vanessa was an especially interesting character, although the things she said to Sara were kind of conveniently placed, if you know what I mean.
Even though the book takes place almost entirely in one day, it didn’t feel too rushed or boring. Sara and Sam were constantly on the go and I loved the descriptions of New York, especially since I was there not too long ago. I enjoyed the dialogue, it was honest and real, especially Sam’s.
I love the cover and how perfectly it matches the book. You can see 2 pictures (Sara’s a shutterbug), the pictures actually make sense, there’s a subway map (which they use), you can see the NYC skyline, plus the cover has little holes along the top and bottom, just like the perforations in film. The colors are lovely and blend well together. Just a beautiful cover.
The story itself isn’t very plausible, but if you can suspend your disbelief and just enjoy the ride, it’s a very cute and fun book.