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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-Library: contains identifying library markings but withdrawn from circulation, some wear
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After the Wreck, I picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings, and Flew Away Audio CD – 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Recorded Books (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1428122230
  • ISBN-13: 978-1428122239
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,762,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sarah Holman on July 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow. Very realistic. She definitely did her research. My accident was at 16 and no one died but I was severely injured and experienced the same emotions she felt. I wish there would have been a larger focus on her concussion, referred to as a mild traumatic brain injury in health professions, as that very likely had a large impact on her recovery and personality (I know it did for me). I get that it was a book and had to cover each stage of recovery, but she definitely went through the stages much faster than me or anyone I know. Otherwise, incredible book, no matter your age.
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Format: Hardcover
Joyce Carol Oates's new book for teens has a long title and it really does sort of give away the ending. Although, the ending is probably not the most important, rather the journey and its twists and turns.

Jenna is in a tragic accident with her mother on the Tappan Zee Bridge. Her mother and the driver of the other car are killed, leaving Jenna a survivor, but at what cost? The circumstances of the accident are unclear. What Jenna does remember leads her to believe she might have been responsible.

As Jenna struggles to recover from her injuries, she lives in a drug-induced haze. Her father, who remarried years ago, has a new family. Jenna certainly doesn't feel welcome in his home, so she's told she will be living with an aunt and uncle. Her mother's house is sold and her new home comes complete with two cousins, a new school, and the sometimes nosey concern of a small town.

Attempting to cope with new surroundings and the death of her mother sends Jenna into a tailspin of emotions. She meets new friends, but gravitates to those who help her forget with pills and alcohol. An accidental overdose lands Jenna in the emergency room and under the care of a therapist. Despite the care and concern of her caregivers, her life continues to spin out of control.

Finally there is the arrival of Crow with his dark and mysterious side. Jenna finds she can talk to Crow about things she can't say to anyone else. Does he care about her? Does he have the answers to get her back on track?

AFTER THE WRECK, I PICKED MYSELF UP, SPREAD MY WINGS, AND FLEW AWAY captured me right from the start. Jenna's struggle felt authentic and true. I was touched by her pain and sensitive to her attempts to move on, only to drift back into confusion. Oates definitely outdoes herself with this one.

Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A tremendous novel. A coming of age story like no other. As she tells her story I am in awe of the fear she walks through. She walks to the other side of the bridge which metaphorically stands for another time when she was the only survivor when her mother veered to the other side of the bridge and crashed. She thinks she is alone in the world until she opens her eyes and 'sees'.
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Format: Hardcover
Jenna's life is divided into before and after the wreck: before she lives with her mother in New York; after she's alone and hiding her feelings - until she meets the mysterious Crow, who may be the only person who can understand her trauma and why she's hiding it. A powerful novel of grief and recovery emerges from the telling hand of a long-time novelist who does as good a job for teens as she does for adults.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Marking this less than five stars is strange, because this is a well crafted book, if not one that you enjoy reading. It's short, and relatively easy to read, though it does take on hefty topics like drug abuse, drinking, and rape. I've read complaints about this book "trying too hard" but I enjoyed the way JCO played with words and structure. It gives the book a duality: flimsy, yet gritty, much like the life of our protagonist after she's involved in a fatal car accident.

I understood Jenna all throughout the book, even when I wanted to slap her.

I liked the character of Crow, but his involvement in the storyline was the weakest part for me, and the most forced thing. There was a bridge scene that had me rolling my eyes, because it takes Crow like 10 minutes to get Jenna through some issues she's been battling all book long. Okay.

Either way, I can appreciate this book for it's merit and substance.
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Format: Hardcover
If you have ever known a teenager who sullenly withdraws into herself, begins doing poorly at school, denies cutting classes, drinks, lies, steals, and "accidentally" OD's on Christmas Eve--then you might recognize Jennifer Abbot, the 15-year-old protagonist in Joyce Carol Oates' young adult novel, After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings, and Flew Away.
After Jenna's mother is killed in a freak car accident in which Jenna is severely injured, she is left feeling guilty (the accident must have been her fault) and angry (rehab is painful, her house is sold to pay for the medical bills, her teachers and friends feels sorry for her) and powerless (she has to move to New Hampshire to live with her aunt- there is nowhere else for her to go). Her father, who abandoned the family years earlier for a new wife and family, is of no help and Jenna's bitterness towards him fuels the flame of her anger and despair.
In her loneliness, Jenna finds acceptance from `Trina, a bulimic teen who befriends Jenna, but also uses her. A dramatic scene at a party gone bad shows Jenna the direction in which she is heading. Although the reader only sees him briefly, Jenna's one true friend is a young man nicknamed "Crow" who speaks words of truth that resonate in Jenna's heart. His own traumatic experiences (including his brother's death, living with a father who is an injured Vietnam vet, and his own accidents) enable him to come alongside of her and provides the exact help that she needs--a firm hand that pulls her out of her fears and self-incrimination and pushes her to move on with her life.
Oates use of symbolism is powerful. When you read this book, be aware of how birds and bridges are important in the story.
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