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The Aftermath Paperback – December 21, 2016
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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About the Author
Kay Simone is a Florida-based author, writing gay and LGBTQA+ friendly romance on Amazon.com. Her other recent books include One Giant Leap, You’re the One That I Want, The Love Song, and The Game Changer. www.kaysimone.com
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Top customer reviews
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I’ve had the same Favorite Book at the top of my list for the past decade – a book about fairy tales and drug abuse and sexual awakenings – but I am proud to say that, the second this book got published, it took out the other favorite without a second glance. Reading it before it was published was a privilege, one of the greatest gifts anyone has ever given me, and being able to purchase it and own a little piece of the story is the greatest feeling in the world. I have, at my fingertips, access to these feelings of joy and despair, of nervousness and embarrassment, of love and compassion and forgiveness.
I have the ability to physically put down my book/device and walk away, yelling at the characters to get their acts together. And I know that sounds terribly silly, but that has me incredibly excited.
This is not the most technical of reviews, but I hope you take it to heart anyway.
You want to feel the emotions that Simone’s writing brings out in you. You want to meet Daniel, to meet Will, to meet their emotionally-stunted acquaintances. You want to be able to throw down your book in exasperation, to tenderly pick it back up and grudgingly forgive them because the story has you wrapped around its sadistic little finger. You need this in your life.
Besides – who hasn’t fantasized about dating a gorgeous, tattooed, scholarly young gentleman with a sharp wit and an inferiority complex matched in size only by his love for poetry? … Is that just me? Well, here. Read this book. Let me convince you.
Daniel was a great character, and pretty mature for his age. He has the right amount of snark and humor that makes him a nice character to see the world through, and you see the appeal he has for Will (and other people).
Will, on the other hand.. While I like the idea of his character - his hipster/bad boy appearance that clashes with his teaching career and soft personality - he is kinda just an immature drunk.. He is less of an adult than Daniel is, but he continues to call Daniel a kid and fixates on their age difference ALL THE TIME.
Furthermore, it baffles me how several people - including Will himself - can focus on him drinking too much and not stage an intervention, or call him an alcoholic. His friend even argues against him when Will says that he is an alcoholic. I mean - come on! If you drink yourself to stupor every other day, you clearly have a problem.
I liked Daniel a lot, and to some extents their dynamic, but Will's behavior was a big turn-off for me with this book.
I read online that a sequel about Manny and Arthur is in the works, for which I am super excited, though! That seems like a really interesting story.
Normally when I read a love story about two male characters, that is the focus, that they are homosexual and in a relationship because that is the taboo. Rarely do I find a story where their sexuality is more secondary, or at least even with the other events in the story. The Adrien English series by Josh Lanyon was the first series that hooked me because of that idea. The Aftermath has a similar feeling, that the issues with their relationship is not just some man on man action, but that they are student and teacher. As a teacher this story should have made me cringe, but as someone who has lived abroad and seen similar situations in which there was no issue involved, I can honestly say that even though the relationship between student and teacher should be completely defined, the blurring between the two made the story come to life. I am sure many people overlook their professional relationship; I think it strengthened Daniel and Will's bond.
The way Simone writes Daniel, though, is with a thoughtful maturity. Not every eighteen year old individual is as insightful as he, then again, many in their mid to late twenties are not as mature. Had Daniel appeared completely ignorant of what their relationship could do to Will, then I'd have thought better of the decision that these two characters belong together. Daniel has so many growing experiences in this series and at times seems to be the one who is more adult in his way of thinking and acting.
Will is one stubborn individual. He made a comment about how Daniel has grown and he has not, and obviously he's not going to grow when he does not let Daniel into his life. Whether it was intentional or not, or because he was the teacher and was trying to be all noble, he stunted his own growth because Daniel has that personality that could easily have helped Will cross through the wall he built around his life. Obviously, it states at the beginning of the story that this is an HEA, so readers go into the story knowing they will be fine. I like that his stubborn nature did not disappear and that Daniel accepted all of him without trying to change him because Will needed to grow up and make those changes himself.
At over 700 pages, this book was massive, which was why it took so long to read, but I didn't feel overwhelmed. The writing had a flow that pulled me in and I could feel everything along with the characters. I was excited to see so many good books mentioned in this story, most of which I'd read years ago. It felt like I was having a conversation along with the characters regarding these timeless books, rather than reading words on the written page. Daniel's sudden love of literature reminds me of my own; all it takes is one book. The Aftermath is not one that will go down in history like some of the classics, but for a contemporary story involving an ethical situation as well as a same-gendered couple, it is one of my favorites. If Simone's other stories are as fleshy as this and the characters as endearing, then they will be at the top of my reading list. I will probably read the book again and when it has an audio companion I will definitely purchase the recording.