Aftershock

Aftershock

4.8 7
by Kelly Easton
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Seventeen-year-old Adam and his parents are driving home to Rhode Island from a peace rally in Seattle when the accident happens. In a single, horrible moment, his parents are gone. And Adam is alone.

In a speechless state of shock, Adam begins walking across the country, toward home. But he can't think in a straight line: The past and present merge in his

Overview

Seventeen-year-old Adam and his parents are driving home to Rhode Island from a peace rally in Seattle when the accident happens. In a single, horrible moment, his parents are gone. And Adam is alone.

In a speechless state of shock, Adam begins walking across the country, toward home. But he can't think in a straight line: The past and present merge in his thoughts, and the future's a blank. As flashes of memory come to him -- some wonderful, some violent -- he begins to wonder if he has truly lost everything.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jennifer Bertman
Adam Walton is on a road trip with his parents, returning to their home in Rhode Island from an antiwar rally in Seattle, when their car hits a deer and his parents are killed. Adam walks away from the accident, disoriented and in shock, not quite sure of where he's headed or why. Words fail him—he's lost the ability to speak or write—and his mind is working in a disconnected way, jumping from past to present with gaps in his thinking process. Through the acts of strangers who offer kindness as well as those who challenge him with their cruelty, Adam gradually works his way through his shock and across the country. Back at home, he is finally able to face the tragedy of his parents' death and begin to grieve. This is a touching story about recovering from a horrific loss, but it is also a story about love—parental love, young love, love from a stranger—and how its presence can build someone up or is absence break someone down.
VOYA - Ed Goldberg
Driving through Idaho on the way home to Rhode Island from a Seattle, Washington, peace rally, Adam's car is hit by a deer. His father, who is driving, and his mother are killed. After checking on the status of his parents and the deer, a dazed seventeen-year-old Adam leaves the scene and begins wandering. He becomes mute, and his recollection of the accident is hazy. As night falls, he veers toward a light in the roadside woods. When he reaches it-a Wiccan prayer campfire-he collapses. He is cared for by and sleeps with one of the Wiccan's. After five weeks, a voice in his head tells Adam that he must go home. He begins hitching rides, a difficult task because he is mute. Adam meets both nice and unsavory people, steals a car, scrounges for food, sleeps in a dumpster, and suffers from dehydration and more. Interspersed in the story are flashbacks of his idyllic, pre-accident life with his liberal parents, his emotionally abused girlfriend, his aunt, autistic cousin, and school friends. What could be a strong growth story, is instead an unbelievable and bland travelogue with flashbacks. Characters are not fleshed out and circumstances defy credibility. The happy ending is not even heartwarming. Adam's life before the accident is too good to be true. The most interesting character is his girlfriend, who is virtually ignored by her parents and used to cut herself. But even Adam's relationship with her seems perfect. There is no grit, no surprise, no anticipation in this book.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-In a state of shock, 17-year-old Adam walks away from the scene of the car accident that has killed his parents. Stranded on a lonely road in rural Idaho, he heads east, on foot, as random snippets of memory wander in and out of his mind. Too traumatized to speak, his silence is misinterpreted by the succession of characters he meets on the odyssey home to Rhode Island. Stumbling upon a Wiccan meeting in a forest, he is taken in by one of the chatty young women and takes a job as a dishwasher in a local diner, where he is treated as deaf. Weeks later, he hitchhikes with a trucker and finds backbreaking work in Colorado fields with Mexican migrant farmers. He struggles to survive as he devours a frozen pizza found in a taxidermist's cabin, sleeps in a Dumpster, crashes a picnic, and steals a car. The adventures intertwine with thoughts about his girlfriend, locker-room antics, his parents, their bookstore, and his autistic cousin-spontaneously, as if his mind has short-circuited from the crash. Adam, though still mute, arrives home emotionally ready to accept his parents' death.While some situations seem far-fetched and there is some raw language, readers will be caught up in the teen's predicament.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Prince William-like pretty boy Adam survives the grisly car accident that kills both of his parents during the return leg of a cross-country excursion from Rhode Island to Oregon. Scarred with a Posttraumatic Stress Disorder-like shock, he proceeds to walk his way from the wreckage across the U.S. back home, unable to utter a single word to anyone he encounters. Part gritty survival story, part quiet reminiscence, Easton's latest flashes back and forth between Adam's journey on foot and the joyful, painful, occasionally poignant memories from the past that invade his psyche and fuel his emotions along the way. The rockier, more plot-driven bits will no doubt grab readers' interests-both boys and girl-and dump them straight into the grim reality that has overtaken Adam's life. The more reflective vignettes, however interesting, don't move the plot along so much as break it in isolated spurts. As a result, the action screeches to a seatbelt-wrenching thud, and readers are led into the deeper realms of Adam's consciousness. Characterizations become blurred, and readers will flip the pages quickly to get to the good stuff. (Fiction. YA)
From the Publisher
"Aftershock is, above all, a ripping yarn in which intriguing things happen... Easton...is a humane and entrancing storyteller whose tales can appeal to all ages."

- www.starnewsonline.com

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781439131855
Publisher:
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
06/30/2008
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Kelly Easton is the author of Walking on Air and The Life History of a Star, which was a Teen Readers Book Sense Top Ten book and a Golden Kite Award Honor winner. She has published stories in such literary journals as the Connecticut Review, the Paterson Literary Review, Iris, and Frontiers. Kelly Easton lives in Jamestown, Rhode Island.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Aftershock 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
AFTERSHOCK was such an exciting, heart stopping book. I couldn't put it down. I'm not really that into reading, but my teacher recommended it and it's one of the few books I enjoyed. I liked the use of definitions at the beginning of every chapter, and the word DEFINE in the last sentence. I'm writing a paper about that. I read the reviews too. The guy from Voya has something wrong with his brain if he doesn't think this book is gritty. It should be made into a movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Life can completely change in a moment. Seventeen-year-old Adam's life changes the moment his family's car hits a deer on a back road in Idaho. He and his bookstore-owning, pacifist parents have traveled from Rhode Island for a peace vigil, but only Adam will be heading home. His parents die instantly leaving Adam helpless on the side of the road.

In shock, Adam begins walking. His mind is spinning with past memories and present pain. His only constant, steady thought? To get home. This journey without any emotional and financial support would be challenging enough, but to complicate matters Adam finds he can't speak.

Adam's journey is filled with dangerous situations, a few truly kind and generous people, and others out to make his life miserable. Through his exhaustion and hunger he continues to focus on the life he had in Rhode Island. Dreams of the family's bookstore, his girlfriend Mira, and even his irritating Aunt Margarite and her son, Joey, keep Adam heading toward hope and home.

AFTERSHOCK is a tale of survival and the compelling human need to carry on even after heartbreaking tragedy. Adam's strength and courage will touch all who read his story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i really enjoyed this book. it was very good. i read it over and over. i practically know it by heart. it was definatly one of the best books ive red
Guest More than 1 year ago
Life can completely change in a moment. Seventeen-year-old Adam¿s life changes the moment his family¿s car hits a deer on a back road in Idaho. He and his bookstore-owning, pacifist parents have traveled from Rhode Island for a peace vigil, but only Adam will be heading home. His parents die instantly leaving Adam helpless on the side of the road. In shock, Adam begins walking. His mind is spinning with past memories and present pain. His only constant, steady thought? To get home. This journey without any emotional and financial support would be challenging enough, but to complicate matters Adam finds he can¿t speak. Adam¿s journey is filled with dangerous situations, a few truly kind and generous people, and others out to make his life miserable. Through his exhaustion and hunger he continues to focus on the life he had in Rhode Island. Dreams of the family¿s bookstore, his girlfriend Mira, and even his irritating Aunt Margarite and her son, Joey, keep Adam heading toward hope and home. AFTERSHOCK is a tale of survival and the compelling human need to carry on even after heartbreaking tragedy. Adam¿s strength and courage will touch all who read his story. **Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka 'Readingjunky'
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about growing up as a boy in America. Even though I'm a girl, I could totally relate to Adam and his story. This book was about death, love, sex, friendship and family. I laughed and cried while reading it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the writing style and the overall emotion in this book. Adam gets really frustrating at times but in the end it would be hard to undterstand what he must be going through. This is a fast read, but is really worth it.