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After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick and Narrated by Nick Podehl

Print book Published by Scholastic Press

Audiobook Published by Brilliance Audio

Pages/Time: 272/5 Hours

Ages: Young Adult

Publishers Summary:

Even though the cancer should be far behind him, Jeffrey still worries that it will return. He’s got normal teen stuff to deal with, too — friends, parents, girls, school. Normally, he’d 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 eighth-grade graduation. And Lindsey Abraham, a way hot girl who is new to the school, thinks Jeffrey’s cute . . . which totally freaks him out.

There’s a lot about life that cancer has prepared Jeffrey for, but there’s a lot that’s brand-new. Now it’s time for him to learn not only how to fight for himself but to stick up for the people he loves.

Surprising and delightful at every turn, After Ever After is a real, tender, hopeful, and funny story about what happens when you stop surviving and start living again.

When the end of the world has come and gone, so to speak, and Jeffrey’s left to dig through the rubble of his life he’s not sure he’ll be able to do it. All of this and a graduation that includes the plotting and scheming of a fellow “survivor” & best friend, Tad. What Jeffrey doesn’t know is that there’s more to Tad’s wishes than a simple scheme to get him the new girl in school. It’s all about moving forward and living life the way it’s meant to be lived, which may be the last gift Tad is able to give him.

Initially, I’ll be honest, I picked this audiobook because of the narrator. Nick Podehl is by far one of my favorite audiobook narrators ever. His narration of The Chaos Walking trilogy was unbelievable and I had to see what else he could do. In no way was I disappointed. Though I occasionally thought there was the potential to have a certain line from Chaos pop into the narration, there was nothing that connected the two. The characterization of Tad and Jeffrey were exactly what I’d expect from that age group as well as from the text. It was wonderful and I was excited to have another opportunity to hear Podehl doing what he does best.

As for the story, wow! It’s actually been some time since I listened to this audio and I’ve been putting off reviewing it to gain some perspective. Being that I’ve never had cancer, let alone cancer in my youth, it’s hard to imagine the range of emotions that would be felt by not only Jeffrey but everyone who cares for him. Jordan Sonnenblick does an incredible job of illustrating this very thing. From Jeffrey’s conflict about his brother’s involvement in his life to his relationship with his parents and his best friend Tad. Not only that, but the never ending fear that it’s not ever going to end for both himself and Tad who also had cancer.

With all of that you’d almost find it hard to believe there’s also a normal life going on with Jeffrey, but there is. He’s a normal teen (to a degree) with typical concerns, school and girls basically. It was fun to see him trip over his words at the sudden interest of a new girl at school. Also, I loved the interaction with him and his best friend. It’s these things that I think teens will really relate to and be able to connect with as they read After Ever After.

From the end to the beginning of everything, life for Jeffrey in After Ever After is rarely ever simple except in those brief moments when he’s just a teen boy. Dealing with girls and school Jeffrey and Tad are typical teenage boys who also happen to be recovering from life threatening cancer. How do you move on? How do you ever move from a place you thought you’d never return? Enjoying life, living every moment as if it was never there to begin with Jeffrey slowly learns that the world keeps moving even if you never thought it would.

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 11 and up. A beautiful story about losing everything and nothing only to keep moving forward just the same. This is absolutely a story I’d recommend to teens everywhere!

Find After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick and Narrated by Nick Podehl at the following spots:
Powell’s Books

This audiobook was purchased for our home library.
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5 Responses to Audiobook Review: After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

  1. Maggie says:

    Sounds like a great audiobook. And so inspiring!!!

  2. Capability says:

    I just finished this book – I loved it- wonderfully written.

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