Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Book review : Aftercare Instructions - Bonnie Pipkin

Seventeen-year-old Genesis Johnson (don't hold it against her, she didn't choose it !) has a lot on her plate. She is the primary carer of her mum, who has mental health issues and possibly suicidal tendencies, her ex-best friend let out the secret that the tragedy of her father dying was due to a heroin overdose and, as if that wasn't already more than enough, her boyfriend Peter has just walked out and abandoned her at an abortion clinic.

The only glimmer of hope is that she is totally at rock-bottom and things can only get better from here on. After drowning her sorrows, she wakes up the next  morning with more than a hangover when she finds a note from Seth, a boy she met the night before, in her bag. She may be on the rebound, but he seems to be exactly what she needs, giving her new strength and purpose. Then Peter comes back grovelling and everything gets complicated again.

Genesis, or Gen as she is usually known, is the ultimate antihero. Although she makes dubious choices, she is one of life's survivors and keeps battling on, whatever life throws at her. It is impossible not to empathise with her and it's heartwarming to see her take back control of her life and set off on (hopefully) a new path to happiness.

It's a poignant read - more so with recent events here at The Madhouse and watching Genesis (only a year older than Sophie) having to try to come to terms with her father's death - but it is ultimately uplifting and optimistic. I've labelled it as young adult fiction because of the age of the main character but it would appeal to older readers too.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £8.99

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Legend Press (3 May 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1787198839
  • ISBN-13: 978-1787198838
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm

Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book.

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