After the Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr is the sort of young adult novel that will stick with me for a while. Freymann-Weyr is able to tell a love story and include some profound advice without sounding preachy, and as a way of remembering a high school romance.
Leigh is a junior when his step-sister Millie's father dies. He decides to move in with Millie, her mother and his father as a way of helping Millie through her father's death. While in Maine for his senior year of high school he meets Maia, a troubled teenager, who for whatever reason, Leigh falls for. This is not a typical love story at all. Leigh is narrating this story, looking back at his high school days after seeing Maia at a party a few years after the two parted. He is able to look back at their relationship and remember his feelings for her while at the same time seeing things differently because of the passage of time. To explain why Maia and Leigh break up would be too much of a spoiler, and my advice is only that this is a book to be savored.
One of my favorite passages:
"If he was lucky, he'd come to see it clearly. And that ache would no longer be for a first love or a lost one, but for a memory, full of pleasure and regret (328)."
What a perfect passage to describe a high school romance of the past.
Leigh is a teen-age boy unlike many others. Caring to the point of moving for his senior year of high school because he wants to be there for his step-sister. Able to realize that his relationship with Maia is different than the one he has with his girlfriend, Astra, because with Astra he is more interested in the physical aspect of things, and with Maia that isn't the focus- he just wants to be with Maia. Articulate enough that he is able to convey all of this to the reader.
I really loved this one. A lot.