Thursday, 31 May 2018

Review: Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong

Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong
Publication date: May 22nd 2018
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
My rating:  3 Stars
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo
Three years after losing her brother Luka in a school shooting, Skye Gilchrist is moving home. But there's no sympathy for Skye and her family because Luka wasn't a victim; he was a shooter.

Jesse Mandal knows all too well that the scars of the past don't heal easily. The shooting cost Jesse his brother and his best friend--Skye.

Ripped apart by tragedy, Jesse and Skye can't resist reopening the mysteries of their past. But old wounds hide darker secrets. And the closer Skye and Jesse get to the truth of what happened that day, the closer they get to a new killer.

My Thoughts:
Aftermath is a story that’s relevant to current times.  Living in the States, school shootings are sadly becoming more and more frequent. I’ve often thought of the family of the shooter, how they’re affected when one of their own commits such a horrible crime.  Often the family is shocked, blindsided and branded as villains as well.

Aftermath is a fictional story centering on Skylar, the sister of one of the school shooters of a shooting that took place three years ago.  My heart went out to her.  The brother she knew would never have done what Luka did, and with him gone she’s been left to bear the brunt of hate aimed his way.  More now than ever when she’s forced to return to her hometown where the shooting took place.  Skylar expects hostility, but not the sinister pranks, bullying and phone calls she experiences.  Is someone trying to punish her for her brother’s crimes or question his guilt?

I’ve enjoyed Kelley Armstrong’s writing for quite some time, lately with her Casey Duncan series.  Love that series!  While I liked Aftermath, I can’t say it wowed me.  Skylar was a likable and sympathetic character and I liked Jesse as well, but their romance was a bit underwhelming.  It was sort of a second chance romance and they both had gone through so much, so of course I wanted them to be together, there just wasn’t really any spark to it, IMO. Kelley Armstrong usually has me on the edge of my seat with suspense, and there were a couple of tension filled moments in this story, but I think the danger was downplayed by the characters when the panic button should’ve been pushed!  They didn’t feel the urgency (stupidly, IMO) and so I think the story didn’t feel as suspenseful.  Maybe this was because the story is Young Adult?  I don’t know.  Still, I was entertained, and felt the need to push on and find out what exactly was going on.  


  1. Yeah this one sounds like it might hit close to home, with all the craziness here in the States lately! Talk about a timely topic! Sorry this didn't work a little more for you, but I can see it being polarizing or maybe just works for some and not for others. I'll probably skip it because I don't want to read about school shootings much, but I agree w/ you- her Casey Duncan series I am LOVING right now. Ha ha I need that next book! :)

    1. I know! You never hear about this happening in Canada or the UK because they don't allow guns! No brainer here. Very sad for ALL parties! This wasn't so much about the actual school shooting, more the aftermath (thus the title, lol) so it might work for you Greg. :) Yes, Casey Duncan is amazing!

  2. I do love her Casey Duncan series, it's a favorite by far. This was good, I liked how certain things were handled for sure. Glad you did like it even if it didn't wow you.

  3. I've really enjoyed her books, but I think I'll be sitting this one out. It just sounds like a difficult book to read. I'm sad that the romance wasn't all that enjoyable.

  4. Definitely a timely book. Sorry to hear there wasn't as much suspense as there should have been. I definitely assumed it would have more of that! Also, I'm not really sure this is the type of book that NEEDS a romance, but sorry to hear it didn't really work for you. I'm still curious about this one so hopefully I can check it out.


  5. I appreciated readign your thoughts on this one, Rachel. Most readers are liking it, and I am glad you highlighted some of the problems with it. I am still considering this one.

  6. That's too bad it didn't have the spark! Otherwise, it sounds like a story that would resonate a lot in the US right now.

  7. aww sorry this did not wow you, I've been wanting to read it but only have it on ebook and well that's not working for me at the moment :(

  8. I still need t read this author. I know I have her books on my TBR. The premise of this sounds good but sorry it didn't wow you. Great review!

  9. Lovely review Rachel :D I'm glad you liked this one. <3 But aw, I'm sorry it wasn't all that awesome. I did enjoy it a bunch, but I do agree with you; wanted better romance, haha. And more thriller feeling too. Sigh. But it was good :) (I’m months behind on commenting, but will be slowly catching up, finally. <3)

  10. Bit difficult to get into,but I'm glad I stuck with it. Good book overall. Romance was a bit clunky but was happy for Jesse and Skye after all they've been through. Ending had me feeling really emotional. "Make me a hero, Skye."


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