Thursday, March 18, 2010

After Ever After (MG/YA)

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 272 pages.

Five years after Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie was published, readers finally get the chance to learn what happened next. Our protagonist isn't Steven this time round, no, it is finally time to hear from Jeffrey himself. As is only fitting now that Jeffrey is entering the eighth grade.

Jeffrey has spent most of his life being That Boy Who Had Cancer. And in some ways Jeffrey is tired of being that person. The person who has to worry every time he feels under the weather. The cancer has impacted him, of course, physically, mentally, and emotionally. And even all these years later, he is still effected by it.

Tad and Jeffrey are friends, best friends. Tad, like Jeffrey, had cancer as a kid. He understands what it's like to be That Boy Who Had Cancer. In some ways, it's even more obvious to outsiders because it left him in a wheelchair. But. Tad is determined to help his friend do the impossible--to pass the test, the big test, and graduate. Jeffrey, perhaps jokingly at first, agrees to be tutored, if he can help his friend in return. He wants Tad to be able to walk across the stage. Can both of these boys do the impossible?

After Ever After in addition to being a great coming-of-age novel, is a delightful tale of first love. Lindsey, Lindsey, Lindsey. Oh how Lindsey sweeps him right off his feet!
Lindsey sat down, and the smell of her perfume wafted across to me. I was hypnotized. Mr. Laurenzano started taking attendance, and when he got to her name, I repeated it in my mind: Lindsey Abraham. Such a perfect name: five syllables that rolled right across the tongue. Lindsey Abraham. I wondered how much it would hurt to get those fourteen letters tattooed on my arm. (15)
But this one has humor as well as heart. See how Jeffrey describes his gym teacher:
In gym, I thought for sure we would be safe from the test lecture. I was wrong. There are five gym teachers in my school, four of whom are sane. The fifth, Mr. McGrath, was in charge of my class. (40)
What is this one about? It's about friendship. It's about young love. It's about standardized testing. It's about grand gestures. It's about life.

I'd definitely recommend this one!

Other reviews: 5 Minutes for Books, The Reading Zone, Readingjunky's Reading Roost.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

Charlotte 6:07 AM  

I liked this one too!

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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