Not After Everything
Author: Michelle Levy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Released: August 4th 2015
Publisher: Dial | ReadingTeen
A gritty but hopeful love story about two struggling teens— great for fans of The Spectacular Now, Willow, and Eleanor and Park
Tyler has a football scholarship to Stanford, a hot girlfriend, and a reliable army of friends to party with. Then his mom kills herself. And Tyler lets it all go. Now he needs to dodge what his dad is offering (verbal tirades and abuse) and earn what his dad isn’t (money). Tyler finds a job that crashes him into Jordyn, his former childhood friend turned angry-loner goth-girl. She brings Tyler an unexpected reprieve from the never-ending pity party his life has become. How could he not fall for her? But with his dad more brutally unpredictable than ever, Tyler knows he can’t risk bringing Jordyn too deeply into the chaos. So when violence rocks his world again, will it be Jordyn who shows him the way to a hopeful future? Or after everything, will Tyler have to find it in himself?
The book opens up as Tyler is being kicked out of class. I initially thought, oh great, he’s a troublemaker. But as the pages are read, the more I got to know Tyler. And boy, was I wrong. The way this novel focuses on Tyler is like seeing this happen in real life. After all, what he goes thru, happens on a daily basis. We learned that Tyler’s mom has committed suicide. And he was the first one to find her. It is tragical enough to know your mother is gone, let alone seeing in such condition. Tyler’s life is forever change at this very instant. His joyful life of being a football star, having a cheerleader as his girlfriend, having good grades is gone. Just gone. The boy is completely changed and now has to deal with a drunk father that blames his mother’s death on him. Who has to struggle two jobs in order to have daily meals. Oh the tears.
I cried a river with this story.
Don’t let this scare you because Tyler was able to find happiness, even in the darkest time of this life. With a little help from a friend, Tyler was able to conquer life. He defeated his inner demons and eventually grew to a mature and selfless person.
This story felt so real to me. Which is the reason why it brought me to tears. It was a roller coaster of emotions while reading. Because even if you think you know a person, you just have to open your eyes and put clues together. There may be someone that needs your help but is too scared to tell the truth. And sometimes it may be too late…
Not After Everything is a heartfelt story that many should read. Once you start the story, it will consume you and pull you into Tyler’s world. It is a hard read but it is a powerful tale. Read it, love it and learn from Tyler’s story.