Friday, July 31, 2015

Review: After Hours

After Hours
Author: Claire Kennedy
Published: June 16th, 2015
Paperback, 256 pages
4 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

Scandals and hook-ups abound in a summertime restaurant drama where four teens are all willing to do whatever it takes to make it through the workday and hopefully to win the money in the after-hours dare-based game of Tips.

Isa, Xavi, Peter and Finn know that a job at the high-end Waterside Cafe isn't just about waiting tables. It's about the gossip, the hook-ups, the after-hours parties, and, most of all, it's about Tips.

Tips, the high stakes game based on dares. Whoever completes the most dares wins the collected money. A sum that could change a wasted summer into a Summer to Remember.

Isa is the new girl with an embarrassing secret, and as long as she stays on top of her game, she sees no reason why anyone could ever find out.

Xavi will do anything for the money, absolutely anything.

Peter, Xavi's stepbrother, has been in love with her for years, and he thinks the game is the perfect time to confess his feelings.

Finn is in the game just for the thrill. He has enough tips coming in to keep him happy, even if those tips come with some conditions.

From seduction to stealing to threats, the dares are a complete free-for-all, and only the best can win.

This book was such a fun little read. It's the kind of book you can read in one hot summer day filled with drama, high stakes and crazy dares. Working at the Waterside Cafe comes with a lot of perks. It's high class so the tips are great, but the after-hours parties are even better. Those who qualify have the chance to play Tips, it costs to get in but the pot is worth it to win. And people will do anything to win the kind of money that could change lives. Our four characters, Isa, Xavi, Peter and Finn all have different reasons to play, all really good ones too, and base their summer around winning that pot. But with money like that, there's bound to be some drama and soon enough the whole game takes a turn for the worst and it's up to those four to fix everything that's gone wrong.

I really don't want to give anything away as you can see because the dares are great and the drama is even better. Everyone has secrets that come out throughout the book and some people use those secrets against each other in hopes to win the money. There's some romance, which I loved, and it fit really well into everyone's lives. Isa and Finn seem totally wrong for each other, but I totally get it and shipped it from the start. Their relationship takes some wild turns and is certainly challenged. Xavi and Peter have a much more complicated. They are step siblings but Peter has had feelings for Xavi for so long and now it's hard for him to do anything about them now that they are living under the same roof. All of their relationship drama is mixed in with work drama. Xavi wants to be promoted to waitress really badly so that she can participate in Tips and she will do anything to get that promotion.

Some of the situations in this book are scary real. I'm sure we've all had a boss that gave us the creeps but this one takes the cake. Parts of this book reminded me of Top Ten Clues You're Clueless with the taking place at work and having something stolen. This was a quick read that kept me on my toes and made me want to know how everything would turn out in the end. It was different and fun and a great summer read.

"Tips is a game that's been running for about thirty years. Every two weeks, the staff contributes about 20 per cent of their tips into a pot for a chance to take an unknown dare. A task or stunt, if you will, that isn't revealed until the night of the game."

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