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Book Review of After

Author: Kristin Harmel
Genres: Children's Books, Teen & Young Adult
Book Type: Hardcover
skywriter319 avatar reviewed on + 962 more book reviews

AFTER is a gentle and sweet read about death and love. The book doesn't cover any new ground, but it makes for a quick, pleasant read.

The characters' dilemmas regarding, grief, friendship, family, and love are realistically complex. Grief affects people differently, and in AFTER we get to see many different facets of it: Lacey's younger brother's silent withdrawal, her older brother diving into a relationship that she can't understand, her mother flinging herself into work and neglecting the rest of the family. The different situations, breakdowns, and verbal showdowns that Kristin Harmel portrays in this story are rendered accurately and sensitively.

However, many of the characters' interactions with one another still felt rather forced to me. While I appreciated and could even understand Lacey's uncertain feelings toward Sam, it is not well explained why Sam had such a persistent interest in her. And, unfortunately, there really was nothing new in this book: there are already a number of YA books on grief out there.

AFTER is a quick but ultimately forgettable read that may perhaps best be enjoyed by readers who either understand what Lacey is going through or are looking for an easy and quick read.

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