Publisher: Merit Press
Charlotte survived four long years as a prisoner in the attic of her kidnapper, sustained only by dreams of her loving family. The chance to escape suddenly arrives, and Charlotte fights her way to freedom. But an answered prayer turns into heartbreak. Losing her has torn her family apart. Her parents have divorced: Dad’s a glutton for fame, Mom drinks too much, and Charlotte’s twin is a zoned-out druggie. Her father wants Charlotte write a book and go on a lecture tour, and her mom wants to keep her safe, a virtual prisoner in her own home. But Charlotte is obsessed with the other girl who was kidnapped, who never got a second chance at life–the girl who nobody but Charlotte believes really existed. Until she can get justice for that girl, even if she has to do it on her own, whatever the danger, Charlotte will never be free.
I’m so excited to be a stop on the blog tour for Aftermath today. (Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post, it’s awesome!) This was such a compelling read and it broke my heart more than once, but then Kenzie slowly pieced it back together again. Why do I love when an author does this to me?!
Charlotte was abducted when she was eleven and now it’s four years later and she is free. But is she really free now? Yes, the daily horrors she endured have finally come to a stop, but her nightmare is far from over. Everything changed while she was imprisoned and her entire family is not what she expected whatsoever. They went through their own version of hell while Charlotte was missing, but can they learn to come back together and start a new chapter in their lives?
This was such an unbelievably sad story, as a parent it really gutted me. I found that I could relate to every single one of them on some level. Charlotte’s mom turned to alcohol, which can you blame her? I sure didn’t, it makes me physically ill to imagine her pain. Can you fathom the horrors she must have pictured her daughter experiencing? Her dad went in the other direction and put all of his time and effort into searching for her. Alexa is her twin sister and she just went completely off the rails turning to sex and drugs to mask her pain. Their family was completely shattered the day Charlotte went missing and it was awful but also totally believable. I wanted to protect and hug each and every one of them.
This is a dark YA novel, there is no tidy happy ever after here, but it’s real and raw. I loved the emotional journey this book took me on and and there were some shocking turns that I was not expecting at all. Even though the topic was really difficult Kensie wrote this in a very respectful manner and raised awareness about an unfortunately realistic subject.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to Merit Press and Irish Banana Tours for my review copy.
About the Author:
Clara Kensie grew up near Chicago, reading every book she could find and using her diary to write stories about a girl with psychic powers who solved mysteries. She purposely did not hide her diary, hoping someone would read it and assume she was writing about herself. Since then, she’s swapped her diary for a computer and admits her characters are fictional, but otherwise she hasn’t changed one bit.
Today Clara is a RITA© Award-winning author of dark fiction for young adults. Her super-romantic psychic thriller series, Run To You, was named an RT Magazine Editors Pick for Best Books of 2014, and Run to You Book One: Deception So Deadly, is the winner of the prestigious 2015 RITA© Award for Best First Book.
Clara’s latest release is Aftermath, a dark, ripped-from-the-headlines YA contemporary in the tradition of Room and The Lovely Bones. Aftermath is on Goodreads’ list of Most Popular Books Published in November 2016, and Young Adult Books Central declared it a Top Ten Book of 2016.
Clara’s favorite foods are guacamole and cookie dough. But not together. That would be gross.
1: A “Do It Double” Aftermath tote bag from Blu Bear Bazaar (photos attached). Inspired by Aftermath’s message to “Do it double, because some can’t do it at all,” Blu Bear Bazaar designed beautiful artwork for it and printed it on tote bags and throw pillows. Blu Bear Bazaar is generously donating a portion of all Aftermath product proceeds to RAINN and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Click here for more information.
2: Choice of TWO books from Clara’s collection of YA novels. Clara will give the winner a list of the YA novels in her collection, and the winner can pick two. Some of the books are signed by the author.
*US/CAN for the above prizes. If the winner is international, the prize will be substituted by a book from Book Depository up to $18.00, winner’s choice.
Good luck, and happy reading!!!
Check out the other stops on the tour!https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
1/2: The Irish Banana Review – Review
1/3: Bibliobuli YA – 2 Truths & A Lie Post
1/4: Swoony Boys Podcast – Character Interview
1/5: Novel Ink – Review
1/6: Fiction Fare – Q&A
1/7: Actin’ Up With Books – Review
1/8: The Story Sanctuary – Review
1/9: Who R U Blog – Review
1/10: Lisa’s Loves – Dream Cast
1/11: Gabriella M Reads – Q&A
1/12: Novelgossip – Review
1/13: Such A Novel Idea – Playlist