Sunday, January 24, 2010

After Ever After: By Jordan Sonnenblick


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.


After Ever After is told through the eyes of an 8th grade leukemia survivor named Jeffery. Jeffery was the lucky one, the one you hear about on the talk shows like Oprah, about the small town the bands together to support the family that has a child diagnosed with leukemia. And through all their struggles the family made it through and the little adorable cancer kid survived.

But After Ever After isn’t about Jeffery’s battle with leukemia, it’s about what happens after you’ve survived, how you go back to living a normal life with a limp, or being a little bit slower than everyone else because the drugs that saved your life also caused small amounts of brain damage, or growing up in a town where everyone knows you as the “cancer boy” and all you want to do is hide away and be normal.

Jordan Sonnenblick is one of the most talented writers in a rapidly growing genre, and it shows. After Ever After draws readers in and captivates them with a perfect balance between heartfelt and endearing characters that make the reader feel like they’ve known and loved these characters for years and a seamless and intricate plot that moves the story at a pace that allows the reader to experience every high and low while at the same time not bogging down in unnecessary details.

After Ever After is the sequel to Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, but it could easily be read as a standalone. That said, readers who have been lucky enough to read Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie will understand many of the subtle references to that sensational prequel and will enjoy finding out what happened to its lovable characters.

All in all Sonnenblick has done an amazing job capturing the hardships that follow cancer survivors after treatment, and has done so while maintaining the innocence of the character. Because of this and many more amazing qualities this is a must read.


Publisher: Scholastic

Published: February 1, 2010

Price: $16.99

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