After Ever After
|After Ever After|
First edition cover
|Original title||After Ever After|
|Cover artist||Marc Tauss and Marijka Kostiw|
|Genre||Young Adult Novel|
|Publication date||February 1, 2010|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Preceded by||'Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie'|
After Ever After is a book written by Jordan Sonnenblick. It is a continuation of the Alper family storyline from Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, focusing on Jeffrey Alper's life after his cancer went into remission. Sonnenblick chose to continue the storyline after receiving an email from a social worker that told him "that the story was far from finished".
Jeffrey is a teen in remission. Even though the cancer should be far behind him, Jeffrey still worries that it will return. He has got normal teen stuff to deal with, too - friends, parents, girls, school. Normally, he would ask his older brother, Steven, for advice. But Steven, always the trusty, responsible one, is finally rebelling and has taken off to Africa to join a drumming circle and "find himself." Jeffrey feels abandoned. Meanwhile, his best friend, Tad, is hatching some kind of secretive, crazy plan involving eight-grade graduation.He gets a letter in the mail that says he must pass the test or else he'll get held back. And Lindsey Abraham, a way hot girl who is new to the school, thinks Jeffrey is cute . . . which totally freaks him out. There is a lot about life that cancer has prepared Jeffrey for, but there is a lot that is brand-new. Now it is time for him to learn not only how to fight for himself but to stick up for the people he loves. However, at the end, he has to prepare to let go of some of his memories and accept the meaning of death.
Jefferey Alper: The main protagonist in the story. When he was four, he had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Now he is in the eighth grade, and still has long term effects from the cancer such as having a limp in one of his legs, shaky hands, and not being able to concentrate from the medication. His best friend is Tad, a fellow cancer survivor in remission. Jeffrey meets Lindsey in the beginning of the book, and Jeffrey falls head over heels for her, and she displays interest in him as well.
Thaddeus Ibsen: Known as Tad, he is Jeffery's best friend who also had cancer, and towards the end of the novel, it returns. He has to walk on the treadmill everyday and usually has to ride his wheelchair.Tad acts as Jeffery's mentor, tutoring him in math for the coutrywide standardized test which Jeff knows he is going to fail. He is sarcastic and cynical because of his hard life as a cancer patient.
Lindsey Abraham: The hot new girl from California who thinks very highly of Jeffrey. She assists Jeff in many things. Lindsey eventually becomes Jeff's girlfriend about half way through the book.
Steven Alper: Jeffrey's older brother. Always the one you could count on, he decides to drop out of his junior year at NYU and set off to Africa with nothing but a pair of bongo drums strapped to his back to go "find himself." He returns to see his brother graduate at the end of the novel.
Annette Watson Steven's girlfriend since 8th grade. She has been attending Juilliard for college and decided that Steven should stay in the same city for college so they could be together. She is with Steven at Jeffery's graduation.
Mr. and Mrs. Alper: Steven and Jeffery's parents. Mr. Alper is always hard on Jeff, mainly in math. Jeffrey explains how when his father found out about the standardized testing, he would have Jeffrey doing math problems so much that whenever he sneezed, "fractions would fly out of [his] nose."
Critical reception to After Ever After has been positive, with Publishers Weekly praising the book's "emotional highs and lows". Kirkus Reviews and Booklist both positively reviewed the book, with Kirkus writing that "this stand-alone tween narrative slots neatly into the space between the author’s YA and J titles,sensitively dealing with issues of family, friendship and death in a way that will appeal to middle-grade students". Teen Reads commented on the book's continuation of the story from Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, stating that the book "provides that extra insight into the ongoing battle that is known as life". The School Library Journal commented on the book, saying "Sonnenblick’s intimate first-person tale of survival is a solid stand-alone novel that will leave an emotional, uplifting imprint on readers."