Ten After Closing by Jessica Bayliss (ARC Review)

ten after closing graphic

ten after closingGoodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble

10PM: Closing time at Café 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 in the café’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 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 café 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 After Closing is an explosive story of teens wrestling with their own challenges, thrown into circumstances that will test their very limits.

*Review provided by the publisher for an honest review – thanks so much for sending me over one, but it didn’t change my opinion!!*

You can tell this author has a PhD in psychology, because my goodness, the character’s reactions and motivations were so right on. I was super impressed.

From the moment I’ve heard about this book, I’ve been quite intrigued. I mean, two teens get stuck in a robbery gone super wrong at a restaurant with some unrequited love thrown in? I mean, it could go super wrong but it definitely could go super right. Trust me, this book fell into more of the latter category for moi. While I felt there was something slightly missing, I thought that it was definitely super interesting and I binge read it in two days because I did really want to know what was going on.

I thought the main two characters were quite well done. Winny and Scott were intriguing and had a lot of solid characterization to back them up. I thought they were both likable, and I totally rooted for them. I think I was a bit more partial to Winny? I really enjoyed Scott, but I think Winny stole my heart a bit more. Both they were just well done, solid main characters. Did I love them dearly and devote my book heart to them? Well, no, but they were very good characters that had intriguing backstories, complex personality traits, and motivations that were clear and realistic. I was invested in them for sure.

Also, speaking of realistic, Bayliss brought on the realistic reactions. I totally thought there would be moments where I would be like, “girl, really” but she showcased what real reactions would look like with a dramatic and perilous situation. And the romance didn’t happen except for like two seconds in the robbery which I was most worried about!!!! Can we just include a round of applause????

Pavan was the man. All I have to say. Favorite character. HE WAS JUST SO CUTE AND I LOVED HIM AND HIS OLD MAN GENTLE WAYS.

Also, speaking of EVEN MORE CHARACTERS, I have to say that all the side characters were quite well done as well. Like, Twitch was done wonderfully, and Ryan, Toto, Sylvie, and Oscar had motivations, traits, and I could feel their own voices. It definitely provided a good element to the novel.

The plot was interesting as well. I never got really super tense with it, but I was flipping through the pages pretty quickly to figure out what was going to happen with it. I did find the past scenes interesting as well. When they first started popping up, I wasn’t as sold with them, but I did find them more interesting as time went on, and it did show even more characterization for our leads. The robbery moments were good, but I will say the big showdown did leave a bit desired for me.

ariel tag
Ariel certainly isn’t ready for all the robbery feels, but she could get behind a ship.

The writing was quite good as well. I will say some of the formatting threw me off sometimes. Like, I wasn’t feeling the going back in every few hours with the past scenes, but it did right itself out. And I got thrown off because there was first and third person narrations in parts for the same characters, and that confused me. But Bayliss still made things interesting, it flowed pretty good, and it was just good prose.

Overall, this was a pretty good contemporary, that brings something a little different to the YA scene. I thought it was interesting, and while it didn’t quite bring my emotions, it still was a pretty good read for me. I did have a few gripes with it, but overall, I was impressed with Bayliss’s characterization and realism that she brought to this novel. Four crowns and an Ariel rating!

four stars

What do you think? What was the last super realistic book that you read? What throws you off in a book with writing? Let’s discuss in the comments below!


22 thoughts on “Ten After Closing by Jessica Bayliss (ARC Review)

  1. I like how all your reviews feature a Disney princess! How do you choose which one to use? Do you rotate them? Or just have a select few that you chop and change between as you like?

    Great review, by the way. Can’t wait to read this 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate it. 🙂 And I actually have a system. I created a princess rating system that equal out to the amount of crowns (like, Ariel = four crowns usually) and it’s based off how I feel about the princesses/their movies. For example, I actually didn’t finish Snow White’s movie after rewatching so I use her as my DNF rating. I tried to make it unique. 🙂

      Thanks so much! It was definitely an interesting one. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a really creative system! I love it 😍 Goes perfect with your blog name too 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  2. First of all, Pavan ❤
    I think one of the things I liked most about this book was the format. I always go gaga, when a book is written in an interesting way. I liked the mix of the hostage drama with the family/HS drama too. I enjoyed this one.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I thought going backwards ratcheted up the tension a little bit, since that part of the story didn’t have the built in level of drama that the hostage situation did.

        Liked by 1 person

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