Today's post is on Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu. It is a stand alone novel. It is 308 pages long and is published by Roaring Brook Press. The cover is grey with a bicycle and a red balloon on it. The intended reader is young adults, someone interesting in could be all too real stories, and life after trauma stories. There is mild foul language, implied sex, and no violence in this book. The story is told from the first person perspectives of Caroline and Ethan. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the back of the book- When eleven-year-old Dylan Anderson is kidnapped from Dove Lake, Texas, the search for him and his remarkable rescue make national headlines. Because when authorities find Dylan, they also find fifteen-year-old Ethan Jorgenson, who had gone for a bike ride four years earlier and had never been seen again.
Dylan's older sister, Caroline, can't help but wonder what happened to her brother, who isn't adjusting well to life back home. Since Dylan has nonverbal autism, he can't tell her, so there's only one person who knows the truth: Ethan. But Ethan isn't' sure how he can help Caroline when her is fighting traumatic memories of his own. Both Caroline and Ethan need a friend, however, and their best option just might be each other.
Review- A tough but interesting read about surviving trauma. The different perspectives adds so much to the overall story. We are with Caroline and Ethan for a year afterward and go with them through some very hard things. From Ethan learning to be free again to Caroline's family falling apart in the aftermath of everything. Seeing things from Ethan's perspective then moving to Caroline as she thinking about the same things and how they affect her life helps make this story more relatable. My one problem is we never discover what, if anything, happened to Dylan. Even what happens to Ethan is only hinted at and maybe that is the best way to handle him but there is no closure about Dylan. But that is the only complaint that I have with the book. I think that Mathieu told a hard story very well and with great tact.
I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.