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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,238 ratings  ·  262 reviews
When Caroline's little brother is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of Ethan, a teenager who has been living with the kidnapper since he was a young child himself. In the aftermath, Caroline can't help but wonder what Ethan knows about everything that happened to her brother, who is not readjusting well to life at home. And although Ethan is desperate ...more
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by Roaring Brook Press
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Arshi ethan's last name is jorgensen, as said in the article clipping they have towards the beginning of the book.…moreethan's last name is jorgensen, as said in the article clipping they have towards the beginning of the book.(less)

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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  1,238 ratings  ·  262 reviews

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C.G. Drews
This was actually extremely slow but also INTENSE AND BRUTAL. I kind of feel like a sad ball right now. It's about the after of being a kidnapping victim so like...mate. This is NOT a light snack. But it's not graphic or anything and it felt really true to teen voices and I just??? I really really liked it but I was expecting something a little different. I JUST HAVE SUCH GREAT FEELINGS OF SAD RIGHT NOW.

Also: what is with the red balloon. There is no red balloon in this book. There is not IT in
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This is a really tough book for me to rate and review. Before I started listening to this audiobook, I had no idea that the story would so closely follow a kidnapping situation that happened in my hometown. At first, I thought it was a coincidence but the more I listened and the more I realized that the real event had to be the inspiration for this book. I have no problem with books that are inspired by actual events but I do think i
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, kindle
Received from: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Received Via:


Why this book?

It seemed interesting

What I thought

This book is about healing after Ethan and Dylan are Kidnapped and found and how their families deal with the situation. This was a beautiful written story. This is the kind of book you don't want to put down, unless you absolutely have to. The characters are well developed and the friendship between Caroline and Ethan warmed my heart. There really is no rom
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Jennifer Mathieu hasn't written a bad book yet. I loved her shocking contemporary debut, The Truth About Alice, and Devoted, following a girl in an oppressive religious community. I'll admit Afterward wasn't as good as her first two books, but it was still a solid contemporary, especially for being about topics that have been written so many times before - trauma, abuse, and recovery.

I think it's Mathieu's writing that makes her books so good. Something about it is so fast paced and full of anti
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This absolutely heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time.

I loved being in Caroline and Ethan's head. They're both going through different sides of the same horrible thing and I really enjoyed seeing how they grew and got stronger. There are some great secondary characters, but I loved Ethan's therapist the most.

The plot line is realistic and touches on serval different aspects of the aftermath. I would have loved to see a bit more from the ending, but how it ended was still perfect. I'm just
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
ETA I also enjoyed the audiobook very much.

Grade: B+

Caroline's younger, autistic brother returns from being kidnapped, but can't tell anyone what happened due to his profound limitations. With Dylan, sixteen-year-old Ethan, who was taken four years earlier, is finally rescued. Attempting to understand Dylan, Caroline befriends Ethan and the two connect on a level only they understand.

I love Jennifer Mathieu's writing. She creates characters with great voices. Her writing is crisp, clean and enga
Jen Ryland
Sep 20, 2016 added it
Shelves: arcs
I really enjoyed Afterward. This month I've read two books about kids who were kidnapped and then returned home (the other was The Lost and the Found.) Similar premise, but completely different stories -- and I enjoyed them both.

While The Lost and the Found was more of a suspense story, Afterward was about two families recovering from an unimaginable trauma: each had a son who was abducted, then returned to his family. The story is told in two POVs: that of Ethan, the first kidnapping victim, an
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
some seriously twisted things were hinted in this book. for a such a serious topic, its a perfect read.
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight
This is my second Jennifer Mathieu book, and while I didn't love this one quite as much as Devoted (my review for that is here !), I still really enjoyed this one! Definitely solidifies the author's place on my "must read" list.

Anyway, Afterward is a dual POV story about a boy who was abducted and has now returned (Ethan) and a girl (Caroline) whose brother was also taken by Ethan's c
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it

Afterward. It’s a hopeful word. Isn’t it? A word that implies that there will be a later on. A word that says you made it through something. You survived.

Ethan survived.

Ethan was kidnapped four years ago. Taken away from his family and home by a stranger. Ethan endured a life of fear and abuse and loneliness. He’s rescued when his captor kidnaps another boy (Dylan) and is caught. It not only breaks my heart but fills my heart and soul with anger to think about what this 11 year old boy had to do
Feb 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, 2017, dl
AFTERWARD focuses strongly on the aftermath of trauma & takes a tender insight into two families trying to put the pieces back together after the unthinkable happens. Ethan & Dylan were abducted as kids (Ethan for 4 years; Dylan for several days) & after being found must return back to their prior lives. The book divides between alternating POVs between Ethan & Caroline, Dylan's older sister.

There are many positives here. I liked how therapy was shown in a favorable light; Ethan receives treatm
*Physical ARC kindly provided by Macmillan*

This was a wonderful book. I’m especially happy with how therapy-positive this book was, and how Jennifer Mathieu showed Ethan’s PTSD and healing process. Most of the book was focused on that, and how Caroline was connected to it. Because when they start to become friends, and perhaps something more, the kidnapping is there between them. But the author treated their relationship, and Ethan’s trauma, with such care and respect. And I loved the two of the
Ginger at GReadsBooks
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-read-2016
This was my first Jennifer Mathieu book to read & certainly won't be my last! I have not experienced a lot of stories centered around kidnapping, especially those focusing on the trauma of after. This story is every bit emotional, yet uplifting in the most darkest moments. I found myself rooting for these two broken teens as their nightmares collided and somehow began to heal. Definitely add this one to your TBR! ...more
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-read
I tried to like this book, but everything was so disconnected. Ethan disappears when he is 11 yrs old and then Dylan goes missing. Ethan had a lot of freedom with his kidnapping but never took off, we are never told any backstory on this time period that settled any questions on what happened, why or the actual freeing of the boys.

Second story Dylan is has nonverbal autism and when he returns home no outside help is given to him. His mom tries to fix him and pretend all is normal. This causes t
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
Dec 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from the publisher for review.
*Ethan has PTSD
*Caroline’s brother Dylan is autistic, but the author cites poisonous org Autism Speaks

Jennifer Mathieu can write some incredible novels. Both The Truth About Alice and Devoted occupy precious space on my bookshelf and the latter especially has stuck with me since I read it. Of course I was going to read Afterward! Sadly, I come away from the novel with mixed feelings and without the sa
Veronika's ReaderFeeder
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
4-4.5 stars
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Afterward is as much about relationships as it is about the story of two teens. It's about diverging paths, alternate universes and yet it's certainly not a sci-fi. It's about coping with the situations with which you are dealt, serious trauma and other types of trauma and coping with them both and never comparing which is worse, and with just getting through as best you can.

The day Caroline's brother was kidnapped was day that changed everything for her family. But it also changed everything f
Michelle (Michelle's Book Ends) Shealy
"I think about what Dr. Greenberg said about having time to figure out God. I don't know if I can figure out God, but I remember God. Or I remember my idea of God from before. He was this nice guy in the sky would help me out with math tests. When I was in the closet, though, I prayed to God so much, begging for help. For someone to find me. And it didn't happen. "......

Dylan is 11 years old and has been kidnapped. His rescue leads to the discovery of a second child, 15 year old Ethan. Ethan had
Oct 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
3.5 stars.

I think Afterward does a very good job of portraying the trauma a person goes through after being kidnapped as well as how those around them cope with it. It also has an autistic kid in it which I found very interesting and there's no romance which I think was a great decision as it would have felt unrealistic.

Both Caroline and Ethan were fleshed-out characters and relatable in their own way. I liked them both and I loved their friendship. Also, there is a bunch of very good quotes.

I snagged this off of the new books cart at the library because it looked interesting and proceeded to read it over my lunchbreaks for the next few days. It was interesting. I enjoyed reading it, though the ending was bit abrupt and Caroline was a bit annoying at times. I loved Ethan.

Content: Lots of language.
Nov 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
Is this book for real?

It quite literally cut off with no conclusion, no explanation.

And don't tell me that it hints at resolution or problem fixing.

It's like the author wrote half of it and gave up.

Well, I give up too in that case.
Feb 23, 2018 rated it liked it
When I first picked up this book I was very interested in it. The 'summary' of the book on the inside cover talked about Dylan, a young boy with autism who was kidnapped and rescued a couple days later. But when they rescued him, they also found Ethan, a 15 year old boy "who had gone for a bike ride four years earlier and had never been seen again". The 'summary' later went on to reveal that a friendship starts between Ethan and Dylan's older sister Caroline. And Ethan helps Caroline understand ...more
Such an amazing unique book. If you don’t like slow books, I don’t know if you’d like it though. It’s definitely purely character driven only, which is something I love if I like the characters, and I liked Ethan and Caroline. Seeing their friendship grow and actually stay intact through everything the two of them have been through is awesome. The side characters of Jesse, Emma, and Caroline’s awful “boyfriend” are fine, but I did not care what happened to any of them. What I actually cared abou ...more
Mary H
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books, signed
What a beautiful, lovely, thoughtful, sorrowful yet hopeful story. Thank you for sharing it with the world with such care and tenderness, Jennifer Mathieu.

Full review posted here.

Wow. Afterward was the first of Jennifer Mathieu's books that I have read, and it won't be the last. This book really kicked me in the feels. Afterward is based on a real-life double kidnapping case in which one boy was taken and then a second several years after, but the book is obviously fictional and several details
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, physical-2016
My feels hurt for this book. It is raw and beautifully written. I cannot wait to see Jennifer in person and thank her for writing this book. I hope everyone will give this a chance.



I knew going in to this book that it would not be like other Jennifer Mathieu books. I knew it would be amazing and a strong story, but I was not prepared for just how much this story sank its claws into me.

Ethan was 11 years old when he was kidnapped. He had the most horrible and terrible things happen t
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Afterward is a book that gives you a peek behind the curtain of the type of high-profile kidnapping story you might see sensationalized on national news. What happens when the cameras turn off and the families go home and try to rebuild their lives? Ethan and Caroline knew of each other in their small town, but the bizarre set of circumstances that connects them was the opening that led Caroline to Ethan’s garage for answers that her brother couldn’t give her. Caroline is watching her family imp ...more
Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

This was such a beautiful book. Four years ago, Ethan was kidnapped. Caroline's brother, Dylan, was kidnapped several months ago and they are able to find him and Ethan. Dylan is autistic and can't communicate about what happened. Meanwhile, Ethan gets so much judgement from the press and he feels guilty because he thinks he should have been able to escape at some point. Caroline and Ethan meet because Caroline wants to try to g
(I received this copy on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!)

I'm thinking that maybe Jennifer Mathieu's books aren't my thing. I can totally appreciate that she writes very well about difficult subjects, but I'm not a big fan of the plots of her books and the way her books are written. If you REALLY like realistic books about teens, you might like this book more than I did. So note, my criticisms are all my opinion. You may end up liking this book for the reasons I didn't like it
Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
When Caroline's little brother Dylan is found after being kidnapped the police also discover Ethan, a boy who has been missing since he was a young child. Caroline strikes up a friendship with Ethan to find out what happened to her brother while he was gone. This book, wow! It took me less than a day to read. What I took from this story is the bold comparison between Caroline, her autistic brother Dylan and her battling parents not going to therapy versus Ethan and his stable-home parents having ...more
Kelly Hager
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Four years ago, Ethan was kidnapped. Several days ago, the man who took Ethan also kidnapped Dylan, an autistic boy. The two were rescued but both are having trouble getting back to normal. Dylan's sister Caroline thinks it might be better if she could talk to Ethan about what Dylan went through. And so the two become friends, sort of.

I loved Jennifer Mathieu's second novel, Devoted, and this is even better. It's a kidnapping novel that focuses much more on the aftermath, which I think is relat
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I'm a high school English teacher, writer, wife, and mom who writes books for and about young adults. My novels include MOXIE, THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, DEVOTED, and AFTERWARD.

My fifth novel, THE LIARS OF MARIPOSA ISLAND, will be out in September 2019.

My novel MOXIE will soon be a movie for Netflix directed by none other than Amy Poehler! It has a special Tumblr I adore that you can check out at www

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