Length: 336 pages
A YA debut about a teen girl who wrestles with rumors, reputation, and her relationships with two brothers.
Seventeen-year-old Raychel is sleeping with two boys: her overachieving best friend Matt…and his slacker brother, Andrew. Raychel sneaks into Matt’s bed after nightmares, but nothing ever happens. He doesn’t even seem to realize she’s a girl, except when he decides she needs rescuing. But Raychel doesn’t want to be his girl anyway. She just needs his support as she deals with the classmate who assaulted her, the constant threat of her family’s eviction, and the dream of college slipping quickly out of reach. Matt tries to help, but he doesn’t really get it… and he’d never understand why she’s fallen into a secret relationship with his brother. The friendships are a precarious balance, and when tragedy strikes, everything falls apart. Raychel has to decide which pieces she can pick up – and which ones are worth putting back together.
At approximately midnight last night, I finished reading this book in one sitting. My heart hurts and I have a weird urge to reread this already. AFTER THE FALL is profound, complex, and emotional, and I loved it.
AFTER THE FALL touches upon a variety of subjects through Raychel and her relationship with two brothers, Andrew and Matt Richardson. Raychel struggles to deal with the aftermath of the assault of a classmate, the threat of eviction, college, family and friendship dynamics, and her feelings for Andrew and Matt. This book handles all these themes and issues incredibly well; there’s a good balance of plot between each of the aspects of Raychel’s life that I really couldn’t stop reading.
The characters were complex and multi-dimensional; they had so many different layers and such well-done characterization. Raychel was someone I could relate to on so many levels, and I loved the evolution of her character, from someone who emotionally depended on the brothers (particularly Matt) to someone able to let them go.
There’s one part of this book that completely broke my heart. Although I had a suspicion as to what was going to happen, I was still in disbelief and shock. Hart does a fantastic job of creating the emotions, the fear, the shock, the grief, inn the characters in this novel and in the reader. The rest of the book is the aftermath of this incident, although, I would have liked more closure by the end of this novel.
To evoke such feeling with these letters in this one book is a truly amazing feat, and I sincerely hope you’ll pick this one up! It’s a fantastic contemporary with complex dynamics, a feminist undertone, and a heartbreaking plot. I’m excited to read more of Hart’s work.
Trigger warning: assault
Thank you to Farrar, Straus & Giroux for providing me with an early copy of this book for an honest review!
Are you excited for AFTER THE FALL too? Leave me a comment with your thoughts below!