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Review: After by Sue Lawson

I love it when I strike it lucky at the library. I wasn’t even going to browse the YA shelves. I was picking up some books on the Philippines, and letting my kids choose some books, when I happened to stroll past and spot this one.

All I saw was the spine but the title, After, made me wonder: after what?

It’s clear from the blurb on the back that something has happened, and we’re going to find out the aftermath. I didn’t even bother reading the first page. I just grabbed it and rushed after the kids. πŸ™‚

afterWhat is it?

After by Sue Lawson

First published 2009

A contemporary, young adult, dealing-with-stuff novel.

The Back Cover Blurb

What happens when you’re not the cool kid at school any more?

CJ has been banished to the country to live with his grandparents. No one asks him if he wants to be there. It seems like no one really cares. And no matter how hard he tries to outrun it, trouble seems to follow him wherever he goes.

Why should I read it?

Because when bad things happen they take a toll, and you can’t always run away from them.

The story is told mostly in the present as CJ (Callum) deals with living with his grandparents and starting a new school. But spread throughout are a series of flashback chapters (titled Before…)* that slowly reveal the incident that caused Callum to end up where he is.

It’s fairly straight forward, there are few sub-plots, but we get to see Callum battling his self-hatred. And I’m a big fan of emotional turmoil, so I enjoyed it.

Find out more about Sue at www.suelawson.com.au

* I was super excited about this. One of my current WIPs starts in the middle of the story, and then fills in the background with a series of flashback chapters. Now I know I’m not completely crazy and it can be done.