Author and Illustrator, JD Holiday's Blog:
~ BOOKS for Kids: Janoose The Goose, its sequel- Janoose And The Fall Feather Fair, The Spy Game & The Great Snowball Escapade, a chapter book for 6 to 9 years old; SIMPLE THINGS, a Christian Christmas middle-grade novel, and for Adult; Stories And Imaginings For The Reading Spot.
Sometimes the people close to you are just there and it takes a major event in your life for you to see them in a new light. A crisis can change a lot of things in your life. For fifteen-year-old Lauren, her life under goes such an event 'after' the phone call telling her her father is ill.
Lauren struggles with her father serious condition and that crisis leads Lauren to realize her deep feelings for her best friend from childhood, Joey. All Lauren wants is for Joey to comfort her and her sadness slips away when Joey's with her. Only Joey has a girlfriend who is mean and resents Lauren and her problem.
'After,'is a believable account of the hardships and headaches of having a sick parent and a real emotion of blooming love from a true friend that grows through the sympathy of these events. You feel Lauren's fear that Joey is not feeling the same. That unsure, chaotic and warm all over of young love. From school to the hospital setting and that first hint of young love unspoken between lovers, you are there, a part of their experience.
The story moves and pacing is good. I applaud Ms. Ehrentreu's achievement of capturing these feelings and events in the young life of a teenage girl. She gets it right how teens feel love; the uncertainty of how the other person feels about you in return and your fears that you are reading more into it than there is. 5 stars!