Ten After Closingby Published 25 Sep 2018
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10PM: Closing time at Cafe Flores. The door should be locked, but it isn't, Scott Bradley and Winsome Sommervil are about to become hostages.
TEN MINUTES BEFORE CLOSING: Scott's girlfriend breaks up with him over the phone while he's in the cafe's basement storeroom because he's late picking her up for the big end-of-the-year party. Now he can't go to the party, but he can't go home, either--not knowing if his dad will still be in a drunken rage. Meanwhile, Winny wanted one night to let loose, away from her mother's crushing expectations. Instead, she's stranded at the cafe after her best friend ditches her in a misguided attempt at matchmaking.
TEN MINUTES AFTER CLOSING: The first gunshot is fired. Someone's dead. And if Winny, Scott, and the rest of the hostages don't come up with a plan soon, they may not live to see morning.
Told from both Winny and Scott's perspectives, and alternating between the events leading up to and following the hold-up, Ten Past Closing is an explosive story of teens wrestling with their own challenges, thrown into circumstances that will test their very limits.
"Ten After Closing" Reviews
Scott and Winny were already having a pretty bad day, but it turned deadly ten minutes after closing.
• Pro: The format of this book was brilliant. It was told from before and after "closing". After moved forward and focused primarily on the hold-up, while before moved backward and focused largely on Winny and Scott's family issues and feelings for each other. The flips were well orchestrated, and the backward storytelling kept me curious.
• Pro: I got the impression, that Winny and Scott were both prisoners - literally during the hold-up and figuratively due to family expectations and demands. They were wrestling with some big decisions regarding their futures, but their families sort of robbed them of their autonomy and limited their choices. I thought Bayliss handled this quite well, as their struggle and emotions regarding the situation were crystal clear.
• Pro: Oscar and Pavan were such great parts of this cast. The addition of Oscar lent believability to some of the actions the hostages took, and Pavan was just a wonderful character, who I really enjoyed meeting.
• Pro: I thought it was a smart choice to include Winny and Scott's backstories, as well as their possible romance. Those "before" pieces were what made this feel YA to me, and not just like a hostage story.
• Pro/Con: There were parts of the ending I was wholeheartedly pleased with. The reactions and responses seemed appropriate and they made me happy. Though I questioned a few choices made for Scott, I did like that the idea of forgiveness was included, because I don't think it's uncommon for people surviving a life or death situation to gain more perspective on things.
• Pro: It was so easy to like Scott and Winny, as well as Scott+Winny. I admired their strength and ambition, and at the same time, I empathized with them regarding their home lives.
Overall: A fast-paced story, which combined a hostage thriller with a teen family drama for a satisfying reading experience.
*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
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Since TEN AFTER CLOSING was one of my most anticipated new reads of September 2018, I felt more let down by the execution than I would have expecting an average read.
Recent high school graduates Scott and Winnie are among several hostages in a restaurant robbery. Told in both Scott’s and Winnie’s first and third person points of view the story line shifts throughout the day and evening of the incident.
Winnie suffocates under her one-dimensional parent’s’ expectations. Scott hopes his mother will leave his violent father. The two had a near-miss romance (because what’s a hostage drama without a little unrequited love).
Jessica Bayliss’s characters lack dimension, particularly the parents. I did enjoy Scott and Winnie, though nothing stood out about them.
I enjoyed the hostage part of the story, but not the illegal drug/gun aspect which felt contrived and beyond belief. Also, if some of the other hostages had been teens they could have added to my interest in the plot.
***Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review***
First off, this was a quick and interesting read. I wouldn't say it was a thriller or really suspenseful in a big way...but it was good.
The character development was good for the most part. The story was told from the pov of two high school kids, Scott and Winny. The story also alternates between flashbacks and in the moment events. I kind of like that, but kind of don't....the flashbacks weren't really of any importance, in my opinion.
Scott had a more important story line, he was dealing with some intense home life situations that I felt should have been priority number one for him to fix. Domestic abuse is not okay, and the story line was more about him and girls. The ending and what Scott did, or didn't do, regarding his dad...I hated that part. I felt like that was the LAST thing he should have done.
Winny had an even less interesting back story. Overbearing parents who want her to go to certain colleges and major in certain things. Her story is full of her lying to her parents and pursuing art instead.
The REAL story I want to know about is between Sylvie and Ryan. Sylvie is the wife in the wife and husband run cafe where all the events take place. Ryan is her drug dealing brother. There is a lot of tension and hard feelings between the two and is the whole reason everything in the book goes down like it does. Oscar, Sylvie's husband, is awesome and I want to know more about him!
Overall, "Ten After Closing", was a quick and fun read that I think had some major potential to be really exciting, but it was just missing....something. The writing style was great and the flow of the book was nice, no complaints there. I think Jessica has great potential and I can't wait to go check out some of her other works!
♥ Find my reviews here: Literary Meanderings
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This was one of my most-anticipated reads of this year, so I am terribly sad to say it was not my favorite.
Ten After Closing is told in two points-of-view. Scott is our first protag. He is working at a café to help out his mom with finances as his abusive father has recently lost his job and is now bumming it. The other protag/POV is Winny. Winny has a thing for Scott, so upon hearing that Scott has just been dumped, she is headed to the café with her friend, who ditches her there in an attempt at forcing her to confess her undying love to Scott. Ten minutes after closing the café, some men show up with guns to rob the place. It isn't random; it's personal. Scott, Winny, the owners of the café, and a couple of customers are still inside. The timespan of the book is only a day, alternating between pre-holdup, and post.
While I liked the premise of this book and was SO excited for it, the story fell short for a few reasons:
1.) The plot was shallow and not very detailed. Now, the book is centered on the robbery and the things behind the robbery, but I still needed some more backstory to feel a connection to the characters, yeah? We basically get a days' worth of getting to know the characters and a teeny-tiny bit of their backstory (which consists of their feelings [or lack-of] for each other, Winny having strict parents, and Scott having an abusive father). The potential for emotional investment was there, but it wasn't quite carried out.
2.) This book was SO try-hard. It was contrived and mechanical. It was full of clichés to the point of ridiculousness. The thrill/suspense aspect was so unbelievable to me, personally. It all played out like a really cheesy, low budget movie. It was too outlandish, and like I said, try-hard. I just wasn't sold on it.
3.) This book involved domestic violence, which is great. What is not great is the way it was wrapped up—which is not at all. In a nutshell, the abuser gets to keep doing what he is doing because the violence goes unreported to protect him. It literally pisses me off and I hate that there was no justice here. Huge mistake.
As I said, I enjoyed the idea of this book, but it fell way short. I enjoyed the hostage situation to an extent, but it was, overall, a perfect example of trying too hard. I can't say that I recommend this book, but if you enjoy something a bit over-the-top but quickly paced, you may enjoy it if you can ignore the flaws.
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Book source: Via publisher for review
Publisher: Sky Pony Press/Skyhorse
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I went out on a limb with this one but I actually really liked it. The thriller aspect was really INTERESTING and with the way the story was set up I was afraid I was going to be bored or confused but I actually loved it it made me want to keep reading cause I really wanted to know about what had happened in the past and what was going to happen. It certainly helps that the characters were amazing. Nothing about this story was awkward or out of place it was PERFECTLY WRITTEN