After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Jeffrey Alper has learned to live with cancer. He has passed the 5 year critical mark and now must face the challenges of being a normal 8th grader. Whatever that means? Jeffrey, Lindsey, the new girl in class from California, and Tad, also a cancer survivor, are friends that learn to work together for a common goal. Through their adventures, they learn to stand up for themselves as well as the ones they love. Together they learn to survive and start living again.
After Ever After by Jordan Sonneblick is a delightful book about 8th grader, Jeffrey Alper, a cancer survivor of 5 years, who now must face the challenges of being a normal 8th grader, a new girl in class from California who thinks he is cute and is a big distraction in science class, and a best friend, also a cancer survivor, who is plotting how to help Jeffrey pass the state standardized tests and graduate. Together they keep the reader turning pages to see what kind of mischief they will get into next.
The story is told from the point of view of Jeffrey who is not sure he is up to the challenges of 8th grade. Jeffrey’s older brother, Steven, was important to him as he was going through the challenges of fighting cancer but now has now moved to Africa, to ‘find’ himself. Jeffery often wishes he was around so he could talk to him.
The characters of this story become real as you get into the book. I felt the frustration Jeffrey feels when he has difficulty passing the state standardized tests. I wanted to help him study. However, it was a PE teacher who saw that he had the capability to get the job done that inspired him to keep trying along with his two friends, Lindsey and Tad. Both friends in their own way set out to help Jeffrey pass the state tests.
I enjoyed this book immensely! I would highly recommend it to everyone, young and old. I did not realize until after I had read the book that it is a sequel to Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie. The characters were realistic, loveable and unpredictable. The ending was not what I expected but it was very appropriate for the book. It could not have ended any other way after I thought about it. For a tender and funny story about the challenges of being 8th graders and dealing with friendship, this book is a great read.
Pat Heinig, Guest Reviewer
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