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After January

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  437 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Alex Delaney is waiting for the beginning of the rest of his life. Marking time till his tertiary offer, he's not expecting much, just the usual holiday in Caloundra. So he's not prepared for the girl with the nose-ring who cuts past him on a wave and draws him into a new way of looking at himself and the world.
Paperback, 195 pages
Published March 1st 1996 by University of Queensland Pr (Australia)
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Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  437 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Trish Doller
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not enough stars. Charming, funny, and just so real that I felt I was there at that fibro house at the beach.

Oct 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
Oh GOD what a drag to read. This book is nothing short of drivvel. I know a lot of people would argue with me but hear me out.

I originally was asked to read this because of an English assessment in school. Now, I'm okay with reading books with plots that are slow, however in this there is WAY too much irrelevant plot points. Try one point where the lead gets Fortuna into his house alone and they try to have sex but they don't. Why throw it out there if it doesn't serve a purpose? This is a part
0 Stars - that rating is truly deserving to this drivel.

This was given to me by my grade 10 English Class for me to read.

Here's the problem - too little plot. Most of the time it's just talking - nothing to advance the plot or anything - it's just talking. The closest we ever get to a plot is a kid meeting people. That's it - anything else is Nadah.

Nothing in the book is entertaining or in any way relevant to anything. With the paper being wasted on this it's almost enough to join Greenpeace.

Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is my view on this book? This book is about a teen boy trying to get into college. It takes place over summer break and of course, he expects nothing unusual will happen. He will end up staying in his rented apartment/house for the summer and watch hockey if it is on and go body surfing because the waves are not very good. However, one day he is body surfing and a beautiful girl surfing swoops by and his life flashed before his eyes. He would go to the beach everyday just to see her. In ...more
Taryn Bashford
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delicious, curl-up-on-the-beach-with-a-book kinda book that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Love it!
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fiction, australia, romance
Could've done without the odd stylistic decision of putting (other) speakers' dialogue in italics, while the main character's is not denoted at all. It was occasionally difficult to determine whether the protagonist was thinking inwardly or speaking to others, and the process of attempting to figure out which was which repeatedly jarred me out of the reading experience.

That's my only complaint, though. This book was a breath of fresh air from so much other formulaic YA. Some may not like the
Shaun Stephen
Jul 27, 2019 rated it liked it
For a reader in his early thirties from Brisbane who also went to UQ, there is certainly a nostalgic quality to this novel which entices.

Nick Earles’s first person narration, dialogue and characterisation is top notch.

I however found the settings lacking in immersing me in the scene (along with the repetition of the same settings) and my biggest critique is the first fifty pages.

In first person, when your main character is bored, lackadaisical and unfocused, you as a reader can’t help but being
Helen Ramon
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading it, for me in some places were slow but other than that I quite enjoyed it.
Rhea Hepburn
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it
2017 Popsugar Reading Challenge: a book with a month or day of the week in the title ...more
Steph Bowe
Dec 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's incredibly difficult to review a book you absolutely love and convey how brilliant it is in order to convince people to read it without resorting to means such as multiple exclamation marks and caps lock. I will try, guys. I really will.

What I love so much about this book - and, now I think about it, most of Nick Earls' other YA novels, like Monica Bloom and 48 Shades Of Brown, both of which I love, almost as much as I love this book - is that it doesn't resort to big dramatic events such
Feb 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian
"After January" is another great book by Nick Earls.
like in "48 Shades of Brown", Nick Earls blurs the line between thought and speech by not using any quotation marks.

i think alex delaney is a really likeable character and there are some nice little ideas in this story. i love the relationship between alex and his mum, even though it might seem minimal, it's very effectively done. i also like the little things we learn about alex in his lazy holiday life, little things we find out about his
This is the first YA novel of Nick Earls' that I've read, although I've read a few of his other books and this has a similar style. It's quite easy to read but descriptive at the same time, with realistic characters you can relate to.

I agree with others that After January doesn't really have much of a storyline and could seem a bit slow-moving, but it's more character-driven than plot-driven. It's a coming-of-age story about Alex Delaney's summer after graduating from high school and waiting to
Kitty Lusby
I picked this book up hoping for an easy, romantic read. The perspective of a romantic novel from a male perspective was particularly appealing, as this is rarely the case, and I was curious as to how it might differ from the typical female protagonist romances.

Much to my disappointment, the style was unbearable. There was no actual dialogue! It read as if I was sitting across the table from a long-winded friend who was telling me a story that could have been interesting had it not been told so
I remember really enjoying 48 Shades of Brown about a decade or so ago. So when I saw another Nick Earls book, I anticipated something funny, smart, and relatable. The protagonist in this story is spending a few weeks of his summer at his vacation home waiting for word on his future at university. It's a novel about waiting. Unfortunately, that doesn't make for a very gripping storyline. He meets a mysterious girl with an odd hippie family, and she helps him wait. There were a few good moments. ...more
Jul 28, 2011 rated it liked it
After January was a very enjoyable book to read. It had the themes of summer, love, acceptance, and self identity. It follows a 17 year old boy called Alex and his summer at his beach house that he spends with his mother evey year. This year is different, Alex has 16 days until he gets his results back to see if he makes it into his law degree that he wants to pursue in but there's this girl who might make him change his opinion on this. I throughly enjoyed reading this novel and would recommend ...more
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot believe how much I liked this book since I had just randomly picked it up at the library. The characters were really likeable and different. They were both really reserved and had great families. It's really clean too. The teenagers drink but it's because their parents keep giving it to them haha. The writing style was different to but I loved it. I read other reviews and you either love it or you hate it. Everything was really straightforward which is good for me since I find myself ...more
Pamela Briant
Enjoyable read about Alex, a teenage boy who has just finished school. Life revolves around the time when the results will be released and he will know whether he has got the marks he needs to do the university course he wants to do. That is until he meets a girl, while staying at his divorced parents' holiday house in Caloundra.

Nice characters, relaxed pace, brings back the simplicity of youth.
Jul 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very slow moving and very difficult to get into.
I hate slander, so I put this tactfully, but I almost didn't finish reading. I didn't care for the dialogue format and although the characters had catchy names the storyline was lacking.
I've never been a 'slice of life' story fan, but I'm always trying new things to see if I can't adapt-- eh, this was not a good attempt.
Sorry Mr. Earls.
That's all I have to say.
Feb 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: own-copy, australian
This is only the second Nick Earls novel that I have read and although the storyline is a relatively simple one - boy meets girl during summer holiday – it is well told and draws you in. You want to know how it is going to end. The characters, especially Alex the lead boy character, are well drawn and there is a nice supporting cast of parents and neighbours. A nice easy summer read.
Sep 30, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I didn't like the author's 48 Shades of Brown so I don't know why I bought this one. The reviews make it soound so much better than it is. [return][return]Alex Delaney, an Australian teenager feels bored whild vacationing at his mother's beach house and is worried about passing his final examinationes until he meets an attractive local girl.
Samantha-Ellen Bound
A glimpse into a couple of weeks of one boy’s summer – wonderfully evocative, funny and intelligent, and a fine example of how stories don’t have to be about the big things to make an impact. After January is subtle, affecting and gently witty. I highly recommend.

Full review at:
Liz Chapman
Oct 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, july-books
Fun read with a pleasant dash of situational absurdity. This would be a great book to read on the beach. :)


For a while I was worried that this book would end up being a glorified "My First Time" story, but I was pleased to discover that it wasn't! Good job, Earles. Thought the sexuality was handled honestly and well.
Zachariah Zendejas
A book that reveals the mindset of a young man who is experiencing love and adventure for the first time. Girls should read this in order to understand the mindset of most guys, and guys should read it because if they have ever experienced love and loss they will enjoy Nick Earls interpretation of it.
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Boy just out of high school finds his first love at the beach. Sweet with lots of "awww" moments. Earls is a man about my age with a similar background, so his writing tends to resonate a fair bit with me, and I think this is a good thing. 4/5
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
everyone seems to hate this book so much, but i seriously loved it! granted it had a serious lack of plot, but it was sweet, hilarious and down-to-earth. usually i like books that make me think, but this total no-brainer was actually nice for a change. it's the perfect weekend read :)
Hannah Lindsay
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've loved this book for years now and mostly because I find it really relaxing to read with the beachy holiday type of themes. I'm also a sucker for love stories and I found Alex and Fortuna's really beautiful, I hope their relationship works out in the future. I like to believe that it does.
Dec 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book wasn't Wally enjoyable for me. I knew some people that liked it but u just didn't really connect with the book and found it boring and uninteresting and didn't want to finish it as I was getting closer to the end it was a bit better but I still didn't really enjoy it.
Izebel Sanchez
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i remember the first time i read the first chapter and said it was crap. and i tried it two years later again. and i loved it. its a life I want to have one day. near the beach! and its interesting how the nerd always gets the girl but it made me sad at the end when the lovers go separate ways.
Oct 19, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Little slice of life served up hot and delicious. I loved reading a book written from the male's perspective. I enjoyed the many charming characters in this book. My only complaint would be that I did find it a bit slow in places.

Down With People
i had to read this book in high school and i fucking hated it

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Nick Earls is the author of twelve books, including bestselling novels such as Zigzag Street, Bachelor Kisses, Perfect Skin and World of Chickens. His work has been published internationally in English and also in translation, and this led to him being a finalist in the Premier of Queensland’s Awards for Export Achievement in 1999.

Zigzag Street won a Betty Trask Award in the UK in 1998, and is
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