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Monday, June 14, 2010

Review: After Ever After

Book: After Ever After
Author: Jordan Sonnenblick
Pages: 260
Published: February 1st, 2010 by Scholastic
Source: Library

Jeffrey isn't a little boy with cancer anymore. He's a teen who's in remission, but life still feels fragile. The aftereffects of treatment have left Jeffrey with an inability to be a great student or to walk without limping. His parents still worry about him. His older brother, Steven, lost it and took off to Africa to be in a drumming circle and "find himself." Jeffrey has a little soul searching to do, too, which begins with his escalating anger at Steven, an old friend who is keeping something secret, and a girl who is way out of his league but who thinks he's cute.
I haven't actually heard much about this book, but I honestly don't know why! I thought this book was going to be pretty light at first, even though it's about an ex-cancer patient, but it was so much deeper than that and I ended up enjoying this book so much more than I'd expected to.

I loved the characters in this book. They did not seem like eighth grade students, which I can say, speaking from the point of view of an actual eighth grader. But I guess they did, in a way, Jeffrey and Tad. I loved how unique and absolutely hilarious their voices were, and I felt like I could understand them just like that. It took no effort whatsoever. It was so easy to identify with both of them, as well as Lindsey, and I loved that!

So, this book is pretty predictable. Most books about sickness are like that - they almost seem to have a sort of formula for the story, but in After Ever After, I really didn't think that detracted from my enjoyment of the story at all. I still sympathized with them through everything they went through, and the way it was written, from the point of view of someone who sounds just like you and me but has been through so much more, makes it so much more realistic and a little scarier. I felt like everything counted in this book and I thought that was really amazing.

I seriously do not know why more people aren't talking about this book. After Ever After is a touching book, despite its seemingly light premise, and I absolutely loved it. I highly recommend it to anyone; it sends a great message and while it does have its funny and light parts, there are some really deep, moving scenes as well.

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

Cover: I understood this cover from the minute I saw it. I love its simplicity, and I really like how the title is on the back of the boy's shirt. The cover is one of those that makes you think about picking up the book, but there's a 50-50 chance that you will or won't.


Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Great review! It's true -- I haven't heard of this one AT ALL. The premise didn't seem that light to me, but I'm glad there's a good balance between the humorous parts and the moving ones. I'll have to look into this one, thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi -

Thanks a ton for getting the word out about my book! By the way, this novel is actually a sequel. The first book, _Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie_ tells the story of older brother Steven during the time of Jeffrey's cancer treatment, and was published by Scholastic in 2005.

Take care -

Jordan Sonnenblick


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