Blythe's Reviews > After Ever

After Ever by Jillian Eaton
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's review
Jun 25, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012-reads, didn-t-see-that-coming, hand-me-some-tissues, i-totally-saw-that-coming, judge-a-book-by-the-cover, read-reviewed
Read from June 24 to 25, 2012

I'm not sure as to what I should be writing in this review, because I have conflicted feelings when it comes to After Ever, but I suppose I'll start with the things I really liked when reading After Ever, the things I thought were okay when reading After Ever, and then the not so good.

The (Really) Good

Honestly, I think the good outweighs the bad and the okay, if ever so slightly. The plot is somewhat original, the banter between the characters is witty and entertaining, and the After is an incredibly interesting world. Eaton provided us with a wonderful villain in After Ever, who is very creepy, and each and every one of the action scenes in After Ever were extremely well done. I'm at a loss trying to put my feelings of the world Eaton created in After Ever, but some of the things she incorporated were very original, making up for the somewhat original plot (girl dies, tries for redemption, etc). The concept of the doors that you conjure out of nowhere that can transport you to where ever you desire was cool, as was the concept of levels in the After. I think that's it for The Good in After Ever, and while it may seem like a little, trust me, the things I've mentioned above take up a very large part in this book, and the things that are good in After Ever are really good.

The Okay

While the world in After Ever is interesting, the world building isn't the best. If I'm not given plausible world building, obviously I'll have a hard time believing in the world you've built, and that's exactly the situation in After Ever. Eaton's provided us with an interesting afterlife where the dead can still eat, sleep, and do anything humans can do. They're able to jump around the After, and the real world, using aforementioned Jump Doors. However, they can only visit the past or present when using Jump Doors, and they're not allowed to interfere with the lives of the living. Sounds interesting, yes? It is interesting. In fact, the world Eaton created is highly interesting and creative, however, we're never given an explanation as to how or why everything in the After is what it is. It's just... there. If you find yourself engrossed in the story and the world like I was, though, this may not be a problem for you. It wasn't a huge problem for me, hence the reasoning why it's on The Okay, but it's something to mention.

As well as the lack of plausible world building in After Ever, I never cared about any of the secondary characters, and I actually believe we're barely given any time to care for them. The lack of character development for everyone other than Sam and Winnie (barely) is quite overwhelming, and while they're really the only characters in the book who take a large role, the lack of character development is, too, something to mention.

The Not So Good

Okay, so I believe that After Ever's greatest downfall is its main character, Winnie. This flaw relates to the flaw previous to this one, which is the lack of character development. Like I mentioned, there really isn't any character development for any characters other than Winnie and Sam, and I still don't think that their characters were fleshed out well enough, and in the end, when I thought about it, I just didn't care about the characters. I love Winnie's wittiness, and she was a clever character, but honestly, I think that's it. I have a high respect for her, and her strive to take care of her brother, though, and I may be going a bit too hard on Winnie, but, while her character was at times strong, I found her to be whiny too often. The last flaw I have for The Bad in After Ever was the ending, but I really think that's because I had, to be blunt, a better expectation of what the ending would be in my head, and the ending provided to us in After Ever was unsatisfying. (view spoiler)

Looking back on my review, I made this a lot more critical than I intended it to be, but, in the end, I thought After Ever was an extremely clever and emotional book, and did end up really liking it, and I would definitely recommend it, despite its flaws, and I definitely believe Eaton is an author to look out for in the future.

*Rating raised from 3.5 stars to 4 stars after thinking about the book and the rating I gave it. I notice my review may seem too critical to be a four star book, but... I don't know. I just really liked it, and I'll definitely be remembering it, and that's what I'm basing my rating off of.*
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Reading Progress

14.0% "I'm enjoying it so far, and the witty banter is entertaining, but Winnie seems a little too harsh concerning the recent death of her mother, and that's a little off-putting, because so far I'm not liking her, and she's the main character."
28.0% "I'm still finding it hard to like Winnie, but at least now I hate the other characters, and my dislike for her pales in comparison. Other than the characters, though, I'm really enjoying this and can totally empathize with Winnie. I'm just hoping for an attitude change, but I can totally understand why she has said attitude." 1 comment
44.0% "Something tells me I'll be crying when I read this. And if it ends the way I think it might end... Oh yeah. I'll definitely be crying."
55.0% "Just a little tip: Never say, "What's the worst that can happen?".

The worst will always happen."
100.0% "Hmm... Not the ending I was hoping for, but okay..."

Comments (showing 1-2)

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message 2: by Katie (new) - added it

Katie Tuccelli This is a great review, Blythe. The Jump Doors sound really intriguing, but I can see how the lack of world-building would put a damper on an otherwise excellent story. Is After Ever a stand-alone? I wonder if there might be more of an explanation in a second book?

At any rate, I appreciate your thoughtful review and will definitely be on the look-out for this book.

Blythe Thanks! I'm not sure if there will be a sequel, but the Jump Door concept, while a little confusing at first, is incredibly interesting. Aside from the flaws I mentioned in the review, this is excellent. I think I might eventually raise my rating to four stars. If you own a Kindle this is $.99 and highly recommended.

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