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This is Not the End Hardcover – August 8, 2017
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"When I first dove into This Is Not The End, I was not prepared for the onslaught of feels that Chandler Baker was going to send crashing down on me. I never expected to care what happened to Lake, Will, and Penny within the first few pages, but I found myself as grief stricken as Lake was when she experienced her loss. In fact, Chandler was able to tap into my emotions all the way through. The chaotic nature of Lake's emotions mirrored so many of the things I was feeling in real life at the time of reading and helped me feel like I had a much needed friend on my journey. I love the complicated nature of every relationship in This Is Not The End, it gives the book a very real feel, and keeps you constantly wondering who Lake will choose for her resurrection all the way to twist at the end. A great read for anyone looking for a chance to explore their feelings about life, death, and what happens when you get to choose who walks the path with you. " -- Shannon Brewer, BookPeople in Austin, TX
"Chandler Baker captures the intimacy of young friendship with heartbreaking accuracy in THIS IS NOT THE END. Set in a beautifully relatable future world with the technology to bring back deceased loved ones, this read was equal parts page turner and thought provoker. I genuinely had to find out the ending!" -- Melanie J. Thompson, Interabang Books, Dallas, TX
"Chandler Baker's story is almost compulsively readable, and you'll be tearing through the pages to the final twist reveal, but it's celebration of life and living along the way that makes it so powerful" -- Bustle
"The way this unique and thoughtful look at death, grief and self-discovery reveals the relationships between the characters in two alternating timelines teases you to the suspenseful outcome, GAH...that twist!" -- Justine Magazine
"The book smartly deals with grief on many levels and among all the characters. Losing two friends at and being close to the families of the deceased compounds the overwhelming sadness, grief, and guilt that Lake feels. While the author makes sure the reader does not drown in such weighty issues, Baker also does not use the resurrection technology as an easy fix concerning Lake's choice. The technology actually intensifies the questions and issues Lake must confront...a provocative, twisty story with appeal across genders and genres" --VOYA
PRAISE FOR ALIVE
"Give to fans of ghost stories and conspiracy theories with a touch of romance."―VOYA
PRAISE FOR ALIVE
"Plentiful blood-slicked scenes will please horror fans, but the eerie tone surrounding the central mystery is what works best in this supernatural thriller."―Kirkus
PRAISE FOR ALIVE
"A tense supernatural thriller with a plethora of teen appeal."―School Library Journal
PRAISE FOR ALIVE
"The story is cinematically engaging with some sharp touches... This will be a satisfying gallop of a read for those who hold low-gore, high-concept supernatural horror dear to their non-transplanted hearts."―BCCB
"This Is Not The End uses the abundant drama of Lake's predicament as a powerful fulcrum of self-exploration and revelation... Thought provoking and emotionally satisfying, readers will turn the book's last page and wish ironically that This Is Not The End was not really over."―Kenny Brechner, DDG Booksellers in Farmington, ME
"This Is Not the End is full of characters to connect with... Chandler beautifully captures the difficult emotions that come with grief, acceptance, and unimaginable choices... She has taken a human desire: to bring loved ones back from the dead - to have just a little bit longer, and brought it to life, forcing her readers to examine this dream, to want it, and to doubt it."―Hannah Walcher, Books Inc in San Francisco, CA
"THIS IS NOT THE END captures a teen's voice nearly perfectly. Despair is pronounced in this futuristic novel that reads as a suspenseful thriller - the secrets, the twists and the turns will keep the pages turning... Read on, because even the last pages hold huge surprises!"―Kristen Hess, Let's Play Books! in Emmaus, PA
"Chandler Baker's THIS IS NOT THE END.... is on one level a twisty, unputdownable journey, a dark crowdpleaser that does not let up, even in its final pages-- think: We Were Liars. And it's also a deeply moving meditation on love, loyalty, and grief, and one of the best YA novels I have read since A.S. King's I Crawl Through It. A book you can hand as easily to a teen as you can to a loyal book club." ―Rob Dougherty at Clinton Bookshop In Clinton, NJ
"THIS IS NOT THE END by Chandler Baker is unputdownable. Literally, I read it in one sitting and these characters--and that twist, oh the twist!!-- have stuck with me for days. What if resurrection was a reality? This twisty, mesmerizing novel is like We Were Liars and Sophie's Choice with a trace of Unwind. A story of impossible choices that is as layered as it is exciting."―Holland Saltsman, The Novel Neighbor in St Louis, MO
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Without giving too much away, I have to say that I was most pleasantly surprised to see a realistic and positive representation of a differently-abled character. The book delves into the mental and physical struggles associated with disability, while also discrediting the social narrative that differently-abled is in some way inferior to a "normal" life. As someone with a differently-abled family member, I am fairly sensitive to portrayals in books/tv/media. However, the story hit all the right notes for me. It was balanced and thoughtful in its portrayal of the character as a true, complex, fully formed person - not a one dimensional plot device. I was constantly surprised by the path the story took, but I thoroughly enjoyed every twist and turn of the emotional journey! Highly recommend.
Lake Devereaux is only weeks away from turning 18 and getting to use her resurrection. Her brother, Matt, sustained a horrific spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down. It was always assumed that on her birthday she would use her wish to restore him back to health, only she and her best friend and boyfriend get in a terrible car accident that claims both of their lives, leaving Lake to decide who to bring back. I knew this was the premise going to this story but having to actually read about how gut wrenching this whole scenario is for Lake packs a mean, mean punch. I thought the book was going to be on the more sci-fi spectrum and delve into this technology and how it works but it isn’t that at all. We learn that this technology is a thing but that’s about as science fiction as it gets. This story is much more about a girl who wars with herself on what is right, what is ethical, and the repercussions from making her one and only choice.
First of all, I couldn’t imagine having the weight of a decision like this on your hands. The parents of her best friend and boyfriend are just terrible when it comes to the possibility of their child coming back in the hands of a 17-year-old. Lake’s parents are terrible too because they’ve always anticipated Lake would use her resurrection on her brother, only her brother is a complete jack ass. He has lived a miserable existence since his accident which I get, I do, but he treats Lake like she is the scum of the earth and any problem she faces should not even be mentioned. Her parents all but basically shut her out too. It just is a sucky household all around. So anyway, I thought Baker did a really good job with developing the monumental implications and ramifications of what life is like from Lake’s accident leading up to her 18th birthday. This is not a fluffy novel and I actually felt my heart breaking back and forth along with Lake’s as she struggled with her new life without the people who meant the world to her.
Lake makes an unexpected friend in Ringo who has had his fair share of hardships as well. I’ve seen a couple of reviews on Goodreads mention that while they like Ringo, they don’t like the budding relationship between the two of them. Y’all, Lake is in mourning. Her family life is whack and these two people were her everything. Now not only has she lost them both at the same time but she’s got all these people judging her and wondering who she’s going to choose. Like how on earth could you pick between your best friend and your boyfriend, especially as a teenager who thinks these people are going to be with her forever? It sucks. So of course when Ringo enters the picture as a true friend and someone who Lake can lean on, there may or may not be some feelings getting mixed up in there. I thought Baker handled this in a very realistic and tasteful way, especially given the secrets Lake discovers along the way. I liked Ringo. (where’s my girl emoji sticking her hand out to the side?)
So while you really never did get to learn how the whole resurrection thing works, Baker creates a story here that just cuts down deep leaving you wondering what you would do if you had to choose and hoping that you never have to. She also throws in a crazy plot twist that I never saw coming which then turns my own personal thought process all around again. I was intrigued by the synopsis but This is Not the End is a good emotionally driven story that caught me by surprise. Chandler Baker delivers a great, but sobering story worth reading that proves there’s more to everybody than meets the eye.
A heart breaking tale about what happens when you can only choose to bring back one of the most important people in your life. Likable main characters that despite their flaws you can’t help but emphasize with.
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I received an ARC from Disney-Hyperion in exchange for an honest review.
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