Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: Aftermath - Clara Kensie

Clara Kensie
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Merit Press
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

This book opens with Charlotte imprisoned, caged like an animal. She had been left for several days. She was hungry, thirsty, and sitting in her own waste. The only thing keeping her from giving up, was the memories of her family, especially her twin sister, Alexa, and all their plans and dreams, which she hoped Alexa was "doing double" for her. This was all quite painful to read, but the real tears started to flow when Charlotte was found, and we learn about the aftermath, of how her ordeal affected her family.

Given the subject matter, I knew this was going to be a tough read, and I struggle with the more difficult stories, but I found that Kensie did a good job balancing out the sad parts. My heart ached for each and every member of the family, but mostly for Charlotte. She lost four years of her life. She lost her innocence, her childhood, and when she is returned to her home, she finds her family shattered. As she heals, so does her family. Although they will never be the same family she left, they are able to move in a positive direction. They are able to pickup the pieces of their broken lives, and move on. So, I had hope for this family.

A big part of Charlotte's healing process was finding "The One Before". Her "Keeper" had apparently kept another girl prior to Charlotte, who he had made clear, was killed when she tried to leave him. This mystery is woven into the story, and drives Charlotte on her road to recovery. There are missteps and stumbles, as the universe works against Charlotte, but she keep hoping for this closure, and she kept trying to find out what happened to this girl for herself, and for the family that is left wondering about her.

This story is told from Charlotte's point of view, so some of the imagery is quite unsettling, but Kensie also conveyed her strength and spirit. She was always moving in the right direction, and although she is not completely whole at the end of this book, she is definitely on the mend.

This book focused on the family and how they were impacted by this nightmare, but Kensie also planted some great twists in there. Aside from the mystery surrounding "The One Before", there were other reveals about Charlotte's abductor, which was somewhat shocking, and when I learned the reasons behind some of the family gilt, I was quite taken aback. I enjoyed this slight shift in focus, and found it did not detract, but rather, enhanced the story.

Overall: A captivating tale of survival that explores the aftermath, which simultaneously broke my heart and filled it with hope, reinforcing my faith in the human spirit.

**I would like to thank Clara Kensie for my copy of this book.

Do you like books that make you cry?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. Oh my goodness, this sounds like such a heartbreaking story! It reminds me of some of the case studies we used to study in some psychology classes I took. I don't think I'd be able to make it through this book, but it sounds incredible. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Sam!

    Have a wonderful week. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. This is the type of heartbreaking story that I like, because Kensie leaves us hopeful. I can do sad, as long as I know things are moving in the right direction and that they will get better.

  2. Wow this sounds good. I need to read it because I SO want to know what happened to the other girl!! Also, it sounds like 738 Days WITHOUT the boy-- which I don't think is needed in a book like this :)

    1. I don't know what it is about these stories. Maybe it's the survival instinct thing that grabs me.

  3. This book sounds fantastic. I mean, it sounds like one of those really intense reads that just hooks you from the start. I think it sounds really interesting that her family struggled from her going missing because that seems real and I'm intrigued the the mystery of the one before and her abductor too. It may be a bit of an intense read but definitely worth checking out.

    1. I am not a big INTENSE reader, so I was actually surprised with how much I enjoyed this book. I think it's because Kensie focused on the healing and at the end, I had so much hope for this family. That is sort of the only way I can deal with sad books.

  4. I absolutely loved this book, so I was excited to see that you did too! I agree that it was full of some really surprising twists!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Right? Kensie did a great job keeping me turning the page.