Title: Not After Everything
Author: Michelle Levy
Date Started: June 4
Date Finished: June 5
Format: Hardcover from local library
Tyler Blackwell used to have it all. He was the top-ranked running back for his high school football team, he had a 4.3 GPA, his girlfriend was the sexy head cheerleader, and Stanford had just offered him a full-ride football scholarship. Then coming back from summer training one day, Tyler finds his mom in the bathtub covered in blood. He was too late to save her and now he has to deal with his alcoholic/abusive father who won’t pay for a single thing. Football is out and what’s the point of going to school when he isn’t going to college anyway? Besides he can use that time to work, now that he’s basically supporting himself and his dog while also trying to avoid his father during his binges. He’s cut off everyone he used to know, and doesn’t really talk to anyone.
That is until he gets a job at a photo studio where he runs into his old friend Jordyn. They haven’t spoken in years, not since she moved away. But when she came back a few years ago, she came back different. So different that it takes Tyler a few days to realize who she is. But Jordyn isn’t like the rest of their senior class, she doesn’t tiptoe around him and calls him constant on his shit. He appreciates that and eventually she becomes the person that he turns to when things at home starting getting out of hand.
Not After Everything reminded me a lot of Lock & Key, only instead of being told from Ruby’s POV, it was told from Nate’s (or in this case Tyler’s). I’ll admit that Tyler’s attitude at the beginning of the book kind of pissed me off. I get that he was angry at the world because he had just lost his mom and now had to deal with his father and working to support himself, but really. Why take it out on everyone you know? They’re just trying to help you and yeah, they might not know how to, but that doesn’t mean that you shut them completely out. When Jordyn entered the picture I jumped for joy. She was the exact person that Tyler needed, even if he was a complete asshole around her at first. However, when she started helping him cover up his father’s abuse, I got a little annoyed. I mean, I know that Tyler was concerned about being ripped away from his life, but after what Jordyn suggested about her folks taking him in until he turned eighteen, why didn’t he jump at the opportunity? Or better yet, talk it over with his therapist, who was willing to help through anything? Gah. Teenagers.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. I basically read this in almost a day and was hooked. The story line moved quickly, the dialogue flowed nicely. I just didn’t like how rash and thick-headed Tyler could be sometimes and I also didn’t like that Tyler’s dad went after Captain – Tyler’s dog. At least Tyler was able to fight back, the dog? Not so much. Poor thing. 😦
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