Book Review: Life After Yes – Aidan Donnelley Rowley

Title: Life After Yes: A Novel
Author: Aidan Donnelley Rowley
ISBN: 9780061894473
Pages: 368
Release Date: May 18, 2010
Publisher: Avon A
Genre: Chick Lit
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

Quinn has just returned to New York after a weekend getaway to Paris with her boyfriend Sage, where he proposed to her and she said yes.  Now that she’s returned home, she doesn’t feel the overflowing joy she thought she would after being engaged.  Instead, she feels uneasy and unsure about everything.  Less than a year after 9/11, Quinn is still haunted by the memory of her father who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center.  In this novel of life, loss, and what it means to grow up, Quinn begins to come to terms with what her life has become and how to move on and leave the past behind.

Review:

I’m always searching for quality chick lit that transcends the frustrating stereotypes of the genre, so when I first read about Life After Yes over at Write Meg, I was immediately interested.  Just a few days later, I got a review offer from the publisher and accepted based on Meg’s review.  I was eager to delve into this novel and see if it spoke to me.

I really loved the character of Quinn.  While I didn’t agree with all of her choices, I understood where she was coming from and why she was having so much trouble accepting her life as it was.  I completely got why she was having doubts about Sage, and why she couldn’t help but think about her father and how her life would have been different had he been around.  Quinn was completely stuck in the past, and couldn’t move on with the present until she dealt with what she thought she had left behind.

Quinn’s real name was Prudence (Quinn was her middle name), and I loved how Rowley worked that into the novel.  Quinn was waffling between being prudent with her life and taking those grand gestures, the ones that really mean something.  Should she be careful or should she throw herself in and experience everything life has to offer?  It’s a great debate, and I love how Quinn matures through the novel as she ponders this question.

The writing style of Life After Yes is actually quite literary, which was a welcome surprise.  Additionally, Rowley injects a lot of philosophy into this novel.  Quinn is clearly a smart woman, and Rowley makes sure the reader understands that from the very beginning.  Chick lit needs more protagonists like Quinn in order to continue to be a viable genre.

Life After Yes was a great read, complete with a wonderfully written, completely human main character.  Quinn makes mistakes, but underneath she’s just trying to figure things out one day at a time.  Her numbness from her father’s death has taken over her life, and it’s really gratifying to watch her slowly allow herself to feel, to open herself up to those around her.  It was a well written novel that I definitely recommend.

Comments

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  3. I love the idea of Life After Yes. Putting it on my wishlist!

  4. I love the idea of Life After Yes. Putting it on my wishlist!

  5. This seems to be the book making the rounds these days. Great review!

  6. This seems to be the book making the rounds these days. Great review!

  7. Oh, I’m so glad you really enjoyed this one, too! It’s easily one of my favorite reads this year, and I’ve been singing its praises for months. It really affected me personally and “spoke” to me, as cheesy as that sounds, and I’ve thought about Quinn and her story often since finishing it. Rowley does a remarkable job of tapping into what I think so many people in their 20s are experiencing.

  8. Oh, I’m so glad you really enjoyed this one, too! It’s easily one of my favorite reads this year, and I’ve been singing its praises for months. It really affected me personally and “spoke” to me, as cheesy as that sounds, and I’ve thought about Quinn and her story often since finishing it. Rowley does a remarkable job of tapping into what I think so many people in their 20s are experiencing.

  9. Nice review. Adding it to my list!

  10. Nice review. Adding it to my list!

  11. I haven’t read any chick-lit in a really long time, and you make this one sound really interesting. I am going to have to scout this book out. It sounds great! Thanks!

  12. I haven’t read any chick-lit in a really long time, and you make this one sound really interesting. I am going to have to scout this book out. It sounds great! Thanks!

  13. Great review, I hadn’t heard of this one.

    Sounds like it may hit to close to home but that intrigues me more.

  14. Great review, I hadn’t heard of this one.

    Sounds like it may hit to close to home but that intrigues me more.

  15. This sounds great! I’ve been looking for some new chick-lit reads and this one fits the bill! Will be adding it to my book list! Cheers!

  16. This sounds great! I’ve been looking for some new chick-lit reads and this one fits the bill! Will be adding it to my book list! Cheers!

  17. I was on the fence about whether or not I was going to add this book to my list. But when I read that there’s a lot of philosophy in it, I was sold. I’m such a fool for the philosophical novel.

  18. I was on the fence about whether or not I was going to add this book to my list. But when I read that there’s a lot of philosophy in it, I was sold. I’m such a fool for the philosophical novel.

  19. This book seems to constantly be 1 to 2 books away on my reading list– your review makes me think I should try harder to get to it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  20. This book seems to constantly be 1 to 2 books away on my reading list– your review makes me think I should try harder to get to it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  21. This sound like something I would really enjoy. I’m adding it to the list of books I want to read. Thanks!

  22. This sound like something I would really enjoy. I’m adding it to the list of books I want to read. Thanks!

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