Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book Review: After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication date: February 2010
ISBN: 9780439837088
Source: Library

After Ever After 

Jeffrey is now in eighth grade and his cancer is in remission.  But, life doesn't just go one perfectly after having had chemotherapy and dozens of other treatments.  He still has to deal with the after effects, including some physical and mental problems.  When the cute new girl in school actually seems to like him, he is completely shocked.  What would she see in a guy with a limp and brain damage?  These turn out to be the least of Jeff's worries, when a new state-mandated test threatens his future and his best friend is keeping a huge secret from him.

Things I Liked:
This book was awesome!  I laughed.  I cried.  I laughed while I was crying.  Sonnenblick has a real talent for taking things that can make you miserable and unhappy and just plain depressed and putting spin on them.  There was real humor and perspective in the book.  The characters feel just like eighth grade boys who deal with some serious problems.  Yes, the cancer's gone, but it still makes itself felt in every day.  It is a fabulous combination of the usual and the unusual in a teen boy's life.  And I just loved Tad.  Here are some awesome parts:

Legend has it that Lindsey Abraham, despite her famous wit, was secretly a romantic at heart.  Perhaps that is why she decided to attend the Halloween festivities at East Village Middle School dressed as Cinderella.  Unfortunately, through some miscommunication that has been lost to the sands of time, Jeffrey was only told to dress as a Disney character - without any more specific directions that might have let him to choose a Prince Charming costume.  So, after many hours of consultation with his most trusted friend and sometimes math tutor, Thaddeus Ibsen, Jeffrey met Lindsey in the lobby of the school on the night of the dance in a hand-me-down Donald Duck outfit.  Try to imagine, through the mist of the intervening century, the horrifying tableau: She appears from behind a pillar, gorgeous in silk of the palest blue and purest white.  He limps in through the double doors, sporting a sailor suit, a jaunty beret, and a bright orange rubber beak.  p 86-87
Wow, it never occurred to me until just now that maybe I'm a bit more grown-up than my brother is.  He still thinks life is supposed to make sense.  I mean, I know it's not easy to be like Tad, who constantly thinks the whole planet is zooming toward some kind of gigantic cosmic toilet.  But skipping around being all jolly is just asking the world to smack you upside the head with a tennis racket.  p 99
"I still don't know whether I've found what I was looking for, but I do know I miss what I left behind" had to be the cheesiest sentence I'd ever read in my life.  It was a cheesy cheeseball, covered with Cheez Whiz and served on a bed of Cheez-Its.  With a side of queso. p 227
Kind of a wuss?  Kind of a wuss?  Dude, you are, like, the Duke of Wussendorf.  The Earl of Wussheim.  In fact, wherever wusses meet and mingle, your name is whispered in hushed, reverent tones.  p 257
Things I Didn't Like:
Some of the other characters, like his family members, seem a bit flat.  Also, I suppose it isn't necessary to read Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie first, but it would really help the other characters not to seem flat, since they are more developed in that one.  And for back story on Steven.

Start with Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

s-factor: !
maybe a few

mrg-factor: none
though a bit of implied kissing

v-factor: none

Overall rating: *****

Have you read these? What do you think?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I loved this one, too. At the time I read it, I didn't realize there was a prequel or I would have read that first. I do have DRUMS, GIRLS, etc. sitting on my shelf but haven't gotten around to reading it. I should probably remedy that.

  2. You are going to love Drums, Girls... It's just as fabulous!


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