At last she’s free. Or is she? Charlotte dreamed of her family every day of her captivity in the attic of a kidnapper: in fact, thinking of them, happy and whole, was her only comfort. When she escapes, it’s to a stunning loss: that family has fallen apart. Mom and Dad are divorced, and her sister is a drugged-out delinquent, and while Mom treats Charlotte like a rare orchid, her father wants her to get out there and do a lecture tour. Worst of all, Charlotte can’t prove what she knows is true—that there was another victim. And that girl never got a second chance to live.
We don’t have a Dream Book anymore. But we don’t need one.
‘Aftermath’ is a young adult novel about Charlotte. She is kidnapped from a football game when she is eleven and is held in her kidnapper’s attic for over four years. She survives by imagining that her twin sister, mother, and father are leading a wonderful life without her. She imagines that her twin sister is living everything ‘double’ for Charlotte. Her kidnapper has a stroke and falls down falls down the stairs. The EMT’s then find Charlotte in a cage in the attic.
When Charlotte is released, she is reunited with her family but soon finds out that they have not been leading the life that Charlotte dreamed.
This story could had been very twisted and disturbing but instead is uplifting and at positive. The pace was very quick and I read almost the whole book in one sitting. The writing style was also very easy to read. I loved the characters, particularly Charlotte’s twin sister Alexia. Her pain hat resulted from Charlotte’s ordeal was very real.
This novel also came across as believable and held many similarities to the Jaycee Dugard story for me. ‘Aftermath’ was very well written and I loved the approach it took. Definitely one of my favorite books of the year and one of my favorite YA books of all time. I feel like a lot of young adult novels are a fun read but not very deep. This novel was just the opposite. It made me appreciate the little things in my life and is something I would recommend for anyone interested in a kidnapping story that is not too graphic. It will definitely make you appreciate the little things in life.
Charlotte is deeply haunted by what transpired in the time she was with her keeper, and this is evident as she struggles with the reality of freedom now that she is no longer captive. She is a very strong, very brave character. She has breakdowns, which allow us to see her anger as she smashes things, and she has those incredibly strong moments where she's offering to visit her keeper for information on The One Before. Her strength, thoughtfulness, and utter devotion to finding out what happened to the other girl, makes this a very intriguing and heartfelt tale that sticks with you long after you'e finished reading it.
Alexia, or Lex as she called herself, is less developed. I found her to be the destroyer and the protector, but with no real personality. She did what Charlotte eventually realized she would do too. They are reflections of each other, and Lex is blurred as Charlotte is the focus. Sure, Lex enjoys wearing black, ripped clothing; she likes to torment herself; she blames herself. But that's because she's haunted, much like Charlotte is. And once that went away... she was similar to another character, Bailey.
This is richy written, and the author blended innocence and darkness perfectly. The surprises were well built up and played out wonderfuly. Child-like innocence mixes with the forced maturity that comes from being abused, and it makes for a great tone to let the story flow.
This book is one I definitely recommend.
For the past four years, Charlotte has lived in a cage in an attic with the man who abducted her. When he has a stroke, his sister calls police to check his house. That's when they find Charlotte. I loved that Kensie didn't make this a 'happily ever after' tale but showed the struggles and other emotions all family members go through. I can't even imagine losing a child this way. Kensie shows how each of Charlotte's family members has changed. Some of them, like her twin, have rebelled. Others, like her father, have moved on.
There's darkness and also a ray of hope in this story. This makes this book stand out among the others out there. Charlotte's journey is shown through the good moments-finally being reunited; to the not so good one-finding out how dramatically her family has changed in her absence; and the ugly-painful glimpses into her time with the Keeper, Kuddos for not going over the top on the graphic images of the abuse. It's enough for readers to feel the terror and horror of those dark days she spent with the Keeper.
Another thing I really loved about this novel is that Charlotte goes from being a victim of horrific abuse to a survivor. The ending chapter is perfect.
Gut-wrenching tale of an abducted teen reunited with her family. Readers go on an at times dark journey with Charlotte as she confronts her demons and emerges as a survivor. Mostly though this is a story of hope and the power of love.