After the Moment



Honest look at how crazy first love can be; teens only.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The characters all have good intentions, but they are not without their problems. Maia suffers from several disorders, including self-injury and anorexia. Leigh eventually gets into a violent fight in an effort to protect Maia. 


When Maia tells Leigh that she was videotaped having sex against her will, he beats up one of the boys involved, nearly killing him and doing permanent damage to his vision.


Leigh has a sexual relationship with his girlfriend before Maia. And at the start of their relationship, Maia tells Leigh, "In my experience guys want one thing, and I don't do that now."


Some minor cursing.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Maia gets drunk at a party with other kids from school.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a mature book about a boy who falls in love with a very troubled girl. Maia has family problems and also is trying to recover from anorexia and self-injury. She is also raped at a party while drunk -- and another boy videotapes the incident. Leigh finally gets so angry that he beats one of the boys nearly to death.

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What's the story?

After moving to Washington D.C. to be closer to his step-sister, Leigh meets troubled Maia, and the two begin an intense romance. But after Maia is raped, Leigh struggles with how to cope. His eventual act of violence leaves him wondering if he really loved Maia, or just loved protecting her.

Is it any good?


This book provides a real, rare look at a teen romance. Readers will connect with nearly all of the damaged characters, who are trying so hard to do the right thing and be happy despite all their problems.

There is some major drama, but mature readers should be able to handle even the most intense material. The author shows great restraint in the telling; readers will have to follow the conversations and plotting carefully to understand all the dynamics involved.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can use this book to talk about first love. What other books or movies can you think of that have portrayed first love well? Think, too, about media where someone falls in love with a mentally ill or critically ill person. What is so appealing about that dynamic?

Book details

Author:Garret Freymann-Weyr
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:May 1, 2009
Number of pages:336
Read aloud:14
Read alone:14

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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