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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Book Review: After by Kristin Harmel

After by Kristin Harmel
Buy After by Kristin Harmel

by Kristin Harmel

Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0-385-73476-X
ISBN-13: 978-0-385-73476-9
Publication Date: February, 2010
List Price: $16.99

Review: After Lacey’s dad dies in a car accident, Lacey feels horrible. If only she hadn’t wasted her time going out for breakfast that fateful morning! After by Kristen Harmel, is a book about a teen’s life after her father’s death dealing with an alcoholic brother, another brother that has closed himself off from the world, and a mysterious new boy in town. Lacey’s life changed a lot after her dad died. And, now, it’s about to change a lot more!

Lacey Mann has been through a big mess after a fatal accident that kills her father. Her brother Logan is turning into an alcoholic, her little brother Tanner has shut himself from the world, and her so called best friend Jennica is turning away from her. Then a new boy, Sam, moves into town. He and Lacey become friends fast after Lacey learns that he too lost his father and is also going through a difficult time. To make her and others who have also lost their parents feel better, Lacey starts a support group for them to hang out, to talk about their parents and help each other deal with their lost parents. But just after things start getting better, Sam reveals something that makes Lacey feel betrayed and mad. She pulls away from Sam and goes back into her funk. Now not only has she lost her dad, but also a close friend. What is it about Sam that hurts Lacey so badly? Does she forgive Sam in the end? Can she move on with her life eventually?

After is an extremely touching and heart-breaking book. Kristen Harmel touches the reader’s heart when they read her book. The book has so many sad parts that make you feel the pain that the character feels. This well-written book from the view of a girl who has lost her dad will make readers in a similar situation understand that when these things happen, just as Lacey learns, that you are not alone. It also helps people who have never experienced the loss of a loved one see how people like Lacey feel and make them appreciate their life more. After reading the book, I feel incredibly lucky to have both of my parents. The book also gives very vivid descriptions such as, “Sam had painted a sunny sky with only a few wisps of clouds. But in the middle of it, so faint that you had to squint to see it, there was the lightest wash of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple, all in an arching ribbon of translucent color.” On a scale of one to five stars, I’d give the book six stars! The book truly deserves it. I will treasure this book forever and I know once you read it, you will too.

Review written by Sarah (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of After for this review.

Have you read After? How would you rate it?

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