Review – Afterlove by Tanya Byrne

A story that is full of representation and explores the lengths we go to for love. I expected there to be more fantastical elements, but it turned out to be mainly a coming-of-age love story. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t feel like anything special to me, so I gave it 3 stars.

Disclaimer: Take my review for this with a grain of salt as I don’t usually read (or love) contemporary novels and I wasn’t expecting this to be as contemporary as it turned out to be.

Excuse the lack of synopsis right here, but I personally really enjoyed going into the story without it myself. If you do want to find out more about the content of this book, I’ll have the goodreads link right here.

The first thing I want to say about this book is that I love Rosh! I feel like she’s a younger version of me. She reads a book a day and loves chemistry because it’s the closest she’ll ever get to magic. Isn’t that just so cute!?! I only wish that there would have been more of her in the book.

“She reads a book a day and loves chemistry because it’s the closest thing to magic she’s ever seen”

There was a whole lot of representation present in this story, from queer characters, to different ethnicities, different social standings, and different religions and all the struggles that can accompany that. The main character Ash is a gay, Indian girl who lives in a small apartment with her parents and younger sister Rosh. Her best friend Adana is black, and her love interest is a gay girl who has wealthy, but kind of distant parents and goes to a preppy boarding school.

The story starts out with kind of a prologue that is talking about something happening in the middle of the story, then you go back to before the big thing happens and follow Ash as she’s on her way to getting there. Luckily there’s also a part about what takes place after the prologue, because it had already intrigued me. It is weird knowing where a story is going, but not knowing quite how it is going to get there. The synopsis does mention it, but I didn’t read it before getting into the book.

The first part is just following Ash during her normal life with her parents, sister, and best friend Adana. She encounters a love interest, Poppy and their dates are cute, it’s quick to read and It was quick to read. I did also feel like I was just waiting for the thing to happen though. After the happenings, it basically becomes a different story of Ash trying to find herself again and figure out how she wants to stand in life. I did feel like there wasn’t enough of an emphasis put on the grief she must have been going through. It felt like the only thing that mattered was Poppy, but her actual family and best friend were forgotten a bit.

I overall had a good time with this book and rated it 3 stars, but it didn’t feel like anything special to me. Take my opinion on this with a grain of salt because I am primarily a fantasy reader. I don’t often love contemporary books because I have a harder time getting involved in a story when there isn’t an interesting magic system or complex politics going on that keep my mind busy. Even though this book does have some supernatural elements to it, it wasn’t enough for me to really get absorbed into the story.



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