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3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  122 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
CJ has been banished to the country to live with his grandparents.

His attempt to fade into the background at his new school is thwarted when Luke Bennett, a boy suffering from a brain injury, befriends him.

Here he learns that no matter how hard you try to run from the past it is always right there in front of you, waiting.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 2009 by Black Dog Books
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Steph Bowe
Aug 06, 2009 Steph Bowe rated it really liked it
Initially, this was a book that didn’t really grab me; Callum started out as an annoying and difficult character, whose actions and behaviours made no sense. Gradually, however, as snippets of the past were revealed (‘Before’), his attitude changed. I think about a third into the novel, I really started to enjoy it. I think Callum’s initial behaviour is necessary, as he grows a lot as a character through the book.

The story was suspenseful and well-written – even though Callum’s day-to-day life l
Watermelon Daisy
Jun 14, 2012 Watermelon Daisy rated it really liked it

I picked up After when I found a new love for Sue Lawson’s Pan’s Whisper.

Figuring the author was graciously talented, I found myself engrossed in yet another book. It has a similar plot to Pan’s Whisper, but not the same. What Callum did was what he brought onto himself, although an accident. It really was a freak accident that brought him to his grandparent’s place –you’ll find out what I mean after reading the book.

The main aspect of this book, just like Pan’s Whisper, is character developmen
Jul 08, 2011 JusMe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A difficult book to put down, it had a believable story line. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although it ended beautifully I wanted the story to continue.
Aug 06, 2009 Larissa rated it liked it
Shelves: own
In one moment your whole life can change. For Callum, a moment of thoughtlessness has turned his world upside-down.

Before, Callum was popular, cool; a city kid active with friends and in sport, and everyone had known him as Cj. After, no one wanted him around. Callum had been shipped away to the country, dumped on his grandparents whom he had never met before.

Callum was feeling isolated and alone, but most of all he was feeling angry. Angry at his mother for forcing him to leave, angry at his gr
Jul 02, 2016 Heather rated it really liked it
Callum has been sent to live with his grandparents, whom he has never met, on a sheep property after something terrible happens at his old school in Melbourne. Full of anger and self-loathing, Callum finds it hard to fit in and rejects anyone who tries to befriend him, including his grandparents.

Callum is a wonderful character. Despite his anger and hostility, he has a gentle, caring side to his nature which makes him extremely likeable. In short chapters, interspersed between the first person
Nov 25, 2013 Anoushka rated it it was amazing
This is the second time that I've read this book, and I enjoyed it even more. CJ has been banished to the countryside to live with his patient grandfather and uncaring grandmother, who later changes for the better. His grandfather encourages CJ to play football, but CJ refuses to do so, after what happened before. In the meantime, CJ has social issues of his own. Jack Frewen, the star of the football team hates CJ because he is the only one who is not intimidated by him. However, when Jack goes ...more
Nov 25, 2016 Ruth rated it really liked it
I think I'm in love with Sue Lawson!
She has this amazing way of drawing a reader in and making them actully want to what the big bad thing that happened is. She did it amazingly in "You Don't Even Know" and she did it again in "After".
I read this book in one night right after reading "You Don't Even Know" and oh my goodness, it was amazing! I wasn't particulrly interested in his (Callum's) homelife with his grandparents etc but I loved seeing him grow and seeing his actions and reactions to big
Aug 17, 2012 Marita rated it really liked it
A complex family drama with a backstory slowly revealed. Trauma and family secrets from the past get more complicated when a new traumatic event leads to Callum being sent from his formerly happy life in Melbourne to stay with his unknown grandparents in rural Victoria. The contrast of lives in the city and country and the similarity of peer pressure, family tensions and finally facing up to the truth make for an interesting story with an ensemble of characters, from teens to oldies. The main pr ...more
Emily Rawlings
Mar 31, 2015 Emily Rawlings rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down which resulted in me reading it within a few hours.
But oh my god this book was so fantastic. The plot twists were all throughout this book and now that I've read it I can understand why the main character was a little rough to everyone and why everyone else treated him like they did and it just made me love the character more. I loved his friendship with Benny and Benny in all honesty was my favorite character and words can't explain how much I hated jack frewen an
Shirley Marr
Apr 27, 2011 Shirley Marr rated it liked it
When YA full of dramatic action and high concepts becomes too much, I can always turn to Sue Lawson for something down-to-earth, believable and warm. This novel is a wonderfully solid read about a boy stuck in the 'After', trying to get over what happened 'Before'. Slowly the multiple threads weave the two halves of the story together toward an ultimately satisfying conclusion, making the main character whole again. I love the last few sentences and the simple impact they have. Sue Lawson has a ...more
Mar 06, 2016 Gloria rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down and read it in one sitting. I really wanted to know what came "before" and although it was a little predictable I still enjoyed the journey. I have read several of Sue Lawson's books for young adults and enjoyed them all. The characters were believable and the story was very Australian. I would highly recommend it to anyone who just loves a good, quick read.
Dec 30, 2014 Teena rated it liked it
Callum is banished to the country to live with his previously estranged grandparents, in tragic circumstances. Life is difficult for him and bullying is rife in the small country school he has to attend. The attitude of the adults in this book is strange but may be explained by the book being written from Callum's viewpoint.
Sana Khan
This book was really good. At different parts of it I almost wanted to cry and there were parts in the book where I wanted to laugh. The way the book is written is really cool because it is happening in the present but there are chapters that say what happened in the past and by the end of the book you know the full story.
Apr 03, 2014 Sue rated it liked it
CJ has a terrible secret that is causing his life at school to be awful, so his mum sends him to stay with his grandparents in the country, whom he has never seen. It is a novel about discovery and how accidents can happen so easily. A compelling look at human nature.
Chrizia Nicole Cayanan
Apr 02, 2016 Chrizia Nicole Cayanan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
I enjoyed it so much . I just couldn't stop reading . I finished it in just two days! Haha. I felt like the ending wasn't satisfying. I needed to know what happened when Callum and Luke went to the football training, whether her Mum agreed to go and so many moreeeee. I want more !
Feb 15, 2011 Vyurisich rated it it was amazing
Fantastic - great story from an Australian teenagers perspective. A little edgy, unputdownable - what was before? Has to start again because he has moved to the country to live with his grandparents and go to a new school - because of what happened before!!
Aug 31, 2012 Phoebe rated it liked it
Shelves: own-it, romance, ya, 2012
When i finished this book i felt like the book was missing a few chapters, I wanted to know what happened between Grace and Callum (CJ) and how Jack (frewan) and his friends reacted to Callum winning the fight. Overall i thought the book was good but would be better if i wasn't left guesing.
Aug 05, 2011 Trisha added it
It was good, and I enjoyed it, but I guess I wanted a little more. I pretty much knew what was coming. Recommended.
Debbie Roxburgh
Feb 24, 2014 Debbie Roxburgh rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
Enjoyed this - quite a quick and undemanding read.
CJ has been banished to live with his grandparents in the country where he is no longer the 'cool kid'. Unfortunately trouble seems to follow him.
Jan 14, 2013 Bree rated it it was amazing
Absolutely amazing book. I laughed and cried and fell totally in love with the characters. This book is a true example of not judging people by the things they have done.
Sam rated it it was amazing
Aug 30, 2014
it is good rated it really liked it
Oct 29, 2014
Emma rated it really liked it
Nov 12, 2013
Teghan Ruka
Teghan Ruka rated it it was amazing
Jun 10, 2013
Alisha rated it it was amazing
Oct 13, 2016
Parker rated it it was amazing
Dec 01, 2015
Killthelights rated it liked it
Jun 19, 2011
Petaa rated it it was amazing
Apr 01, 2013
Emily Irons
Emily Irons rated it it was amazing
Sep 25, 2013
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Sue Lawson is an award winning young adult and junior fiction author, with a passion for
young people, writing and reading. Her books are recognized for the sensitive way they
explore the exciting and heartbreaking complexities of adolescence.
A former teacher, Sue has also worked for both ABC and commercial stations and currently
works part time for Geelong's BAY FM.
Her book Pan’s Whisper was shortli
More about Sue Lawson...

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