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Charlotte survived four long years as a prisoner in the attic of her kidnapper, sustained only by dreams of her loving family. The chance to escape suddenly arrives, and Charlotte fights her way to freedom. But an answered prayer turns into heartbreak. Losing her has torn her family apart. Her parents have divorced: Dad's a glutton for fame, Mom drinks too much, and Charlotte's twin is a zoned-out druggie. Her father wants Charlotte write a book and go on a lecture tour, and her mom wants to keep her safe, a virtual prisoner in her own home. But Charlotte is obsessed with the other girl who was kidnapped, who never got a second chance at lifethe girl who nobody but Charlotte believes really existed. Until she can get justice for that girl, even if she has to do it on her own, whatever the danger, Charlotte will never be free.
"For all of us who have watched the chilling news of kidnapped females rescued and thought 'There but for the grace of God' and 'How do they go on?'...here is the answer fully imagined, exquisitely written, ultimately triumphant. You will cry all the way through this story but you will not put it down." ~Jennifer Echols, award-winning author of Going Too Far
"Kensie deftly explores what happens after the supposedly happy ending of a nightmare. But nothing is as simple as it seemsnot even the truth." ~April Henry, author of The Girl I Used to Be; Girl, Stolen; and The Night She Disappeared
"A captivating story of self-(re)discovery, Clara Kensie's Aftermath introduces us to Charlotte, a sixteen-year-old girl trying hard to reclaim her place in a family decimated by her kidnapping four years earlier. Charlotte wants only to catch up to her twin Alexa and live out all the plans they'd made as children, but finds the journey back to 'normal' is not only hers to take. Charlotte is a heroine to cheer for...with gut-twisting bravery and raw honesty, she takes us through that journeyback to the unspeakable tortures she endured in captivity and forward to how those years scarred her family, leaving us intensely hopeful and confident that she will not merely survive, but triumph." ~Patty Blount, author of Some Boys; Send; TMI; and Nothing Left to Burn
"Delving deep into the darkness of abduction and its 'Aftermath,' Kensie takes us on an unflinching journey of healing, courage, and triumph of the human spirit. Heartbreaking, yet stubbornly hopeful." ~Sonali Dev, author of A Bollywood Affair and The Bollywood Bride
"Aftermath is a timely, powerful portrait of hope amid tragedy, strength amid brokenness, and the healing power of forgiveness." ~Erica O'Rourke, award-winning author of the Torn trilogy and the Dissonance series
"Gripping, powerful, deeply moving, Aftermath is a book I didn't want to end. It's written with such compassion that it will help readers heal. A must-read." ~Cheryl Rainfield, author of Scars and Stained
A Children's Book Review pick for one of the Best New Young Adult Books, November 2016
About the Author
Clara Kensie is an award-winning author of dark fiction for young adults. Her debut series, Run to You, was named one of RT magazine Editors' Best Books of 2014. Book One in the series, Deception So Deadly, was the winner of the 2015 RITA Award for Best First Book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a great book-this is a horrible book- this is a horribly great book. It will rip your heart out and you'll cry nasty tears. You'll curse yourself for picking it up to read (cause you knew going in it was NOT going to be an easy read) while not being able to lay it down except to grab a tissue as your nose is spewing snot because you've been crying nonstop. As a parent, you worry about your child from the time you realize you are pregnant till you take your last breath You worry about if he's going to make it 9 months growing in your belly, you worry if he'll be healthy, you worry if he'll have your husband's gorgeous blue eyes or your uncle's goofy ears. You worry about anything and everything. It never ends. When they start school, you worry if they'll make friends easily, if they'll be smart, athletic, popular, and all kinds of crazy stuff. And then there are the real worries as they get older, when you realize you can't be there 24/7. They start being more independent and you realize that you can't vet every friend they make or every stranger they meet. This story addresses the aftermath of trying to put a broken family back together after having had one of the most horrendous unimaginable things happen to them. One of their precious daughters disappears after a ball game and for over four years they don't know if she's alive or dead. Everyone handles the loss in a different way and once this child, now a 16 year returns, it really gets rough. This story doesn't get too graphic but your mind will paint pictures that will stay with you for eons after reading it. This is a YA book and I'll pass my copy on to my daughter to lend to her high school students. It's a pretty quick read but wait and read it over a weekend so that you can devote the time to it as I promise once started you will not be able to ignore it till you read that last page and even then you'll think about it and be pissed that it won't leave you alone. It would not surprise me to see this book optioned as a movie later on but I'm not sure I could bear to see it.
This is a book which grabs the heart and doesn't let go long after the last page has come to an end. Charlotte was twelve years old when she was abducted. The last four years she has been held captive in an attic in a cage by a man named The Keeper. Only the thoughts of her family and of her twin sister have kept her going, but now, that she's free and reunited with them, she discovers that they were tortured as badly as she was--albeit in a different way. Somehow, she must learn to deal not only with her past scars but with the ones plaguing her family and tearing it apart. I have to admit that this is not a genre I usually dive in to. Contemporary, especially the type with deals with very serious issues, is something I avoid. I'm glad I didn't do that with this one. The author does an amazing job laying the raw emotions out on the table while handling them with dignified care. This isn't a story about the horrible details of a kidnapping but dives into the 'aftermath'. Each character is presented with their own problems, and each in such a way which demands understanding. All have been hurt. All have been victimized and a rescue is only the beginning. Charlotte is a heroine in the purest right. Nightmares and scars surround her, but she refuses to let them completely consume who she is. She's strong while being weak, and level-headed when reality demands she should be anything but that. Actually, I found her maturity almost unrealistic at times, considering her circumstances. Still, she's a girl to root and feel for all the way through. This is a tear jerker, which rips at the heart and gut again and again. But it never feels exaggerated or over the top. It's simply honest. The relationships, explanations, and emotions are complex, and they come across as real as can be. None of the problems are easy to solve or deal with because some things don't have solutions. This is a story of patience, taking a leap of faith, and following the heart no matter how unsure the path may be. Despite the depth, there's never a boring moment. Although there isn't any action in the traditional sense, the pace moves quickly. Especially toward the end, unexpected twists turn the story upside-down. Some of these hit the gut hard. A few, didn't quite fit into the puzzle for me. But it was definitely an ending which satisfies while leaving just the right amount of food for thought behind. Summed up, this is an excellent read. The material isn't always easy to digest, and although there are no detailed, horrifying scenes, I wouldn't recommend this to the younger side of the YA audience. I received a complimentary copy and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to leave my thoughts here.
I absolutely loved this book. It was so deep and dark, and truly felt real. Everything that takes place in this book could take place in real life and that is what I loved about it. I also loved that every time you got comfortable with the storyline, a new shocking event would pop up to completely throw you off. I kept finding myself saying, "What!", "Oh my god!", and "No!" outloud throughout the entire book. This book had me hooked! I didn't really know if the subject of abduction survivors would really speak to me, but this is the second book I have read on the subject and I think I have found a whole new world to explore. You have GOT to get this book in your hands and read it. It is seriously AMAZING! One of my favorite books of the year for sure!
This story was intense and definitely has a ripped-from-the-headlines feel to it. As a parent, child abduction is my worst nightmare, and there were moments when Charlotte's story was incredibly difficult to read. I cried, my heart breaking not only for what she endured, but the damage it did to her family in her absence. Charlotte's return home, while joyous, is only the tip of the iceberg. For 4 years the memories of her family, the hopes and dreams she shared with her twin sister, are what kept her going and helped her to survive. Now, everything is changed. Not only is she faced with recovering physically and emotionally, she must also learn to navigate her new family dynamic. I appreciated how Clara Kensie didn't romanticize Charlotte's homecoming, nor did she get gratuitous with the details of her captivity, instead choosing to focus on the feelings and emotions of the characters. Lex was my favorite! She infused even the toughest moments with humor and love. This is a story about survival, family, and most importantly, hope. I look forward to whatever Clara Kensie writes next!