Tuesday, June 1, 2010
After Ever After-- Jordan Sonnenblick
Jeffery Alper is a leukemia survivor. He beat the disease into remission when he was five years old, but the chemo, radiation, and strong medications have left their mark. He has trouble concentrating, walks with a limp, and feels abandoned by his older brother who took off for Africa for a year.
On the first day of 8th grade, a beautiful accident happens. He notices a girl struggling to pick up her spilled backpack and they hit it off instantly. The next thing he knows, Lindsay from L.A. is his girlfriend and his only real friend besides BFF Tad, another cancer survivor.
Throughout the book we learn about Jeff's coming of age as a cancer survivor, how he is treated by others, and which boundaries he tries to break on his own. After Ever After is a sequel to Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, but it's totally stand-alone (I never read the first book and didn't feel I was lacking for anything plot-wise). Sonnenblick writes an authentic 8th grade voice, and this is a good book to have in your pocket for that younger teen or tween who doesn't want baby-ish books but isn't ready for bawdy teen lit.