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3.50  ·  Rating details ·  1,849 ratings  ·  283 reviews
School has become a prison.
No one knows why.
There's no way to stop it.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 11th 2004 by HarperTeen (first published March 1st 2003)
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Maddie i loved he book but thought that the ending was just awful. like they were in a hurry to finish it and just decided, 'oh, well, im too lazy to finish…morei loved he book but thought that the ending was just awful. like they were in a hurry to finish it and just decided, 'oh, well, im too lazy to finish it so im just gonna leave a bunch of plot holes and not finish the book correctly.'(less)

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Average rating 3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,849 ratings  ·  283 reviews

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Spider the Doof Warrior
Somehow I am slightly dissatisfied by this ending.

It was just so abrupt, so sudden. All of these terrible things happened in the form of a school being shot up and that was used as an excuse to make things stricter for the main character's school. There's metal detectors, there's people going, you will probably shoot up the school if you wear long jackets and listen to music we find scary.

Things just kept getting worse in terms of kids being sent to scary wilderness reform camps and
Jackie "the Librarian"
As I read this book for the Teen Book Discussion Group I run, I kept hearing news reports on the ten year anniversary of the Columbine high school killings. Which reassured me that this book, while not great, was at least still relevant.

Tom and his friends are in class on an average school day, when everyones' cell phones start ringing. There has been a school shooting at another high school, not too far away, and parents are calling to make sure their own kids are okay.

The next thi
Callie Rose Tyler
This was actually painful to read.

The first and biggest problem is the writing. Our main character is supposed to be a 15-year-old boy but he sounds like he is in 6th grade and so do his friends. At first I thought that the characterization was off because Ms Prose simply could not write from the perspective of a boy and make it believable, but then there's the problem of the other students, and the teachers, and the parents. Either the author has never come into contact with another
Dec 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
After was probably the most frustrating book I have read in a long, long time. It began pretty well, with a decent plot:
Because of a school shooting in a nearby school, a guidance counselor comes to a boys school. He is evil and sly and scheming and part of some mastermind plot (that's pretty vague) to "conquer" all the schools and eventually the world. Or something like that. The "Mwahaha" factor.

Soon, people are dying, things are getting pretty bad, and the main character, a boy,
Oct 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: high schoolers and suspense novel lovers
A truly terrifying, edge-of-your-seat, if slightly over-the-top thriller. Those who find it farfetched may want to read the book Help at Any Cost, a nonfiction study of the "troubled teen" industry.
Jan 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Scary... After, by Francine Prose, is certainly a horror story of very different proportions. There is spooky, creepy crawly, murder-in-the-night type of horror stories, and there is the one where the horror is all around you, but you don't know what it means, where it comes from, what it is. One of the things that scares us most is the unknown. When you know what you are facing, you feel a lot more secure than if you didn't. The other scare in this book is knowing that you have no one to count on, no ...more
Jay G
Aug 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my YouTube channel:

One day, while at school, Tom and the rest of his classmates receive phone calls from their parents informing them of a school shooting a few towns over in Pleasant Valley. Dr. Willner, the new grief and crisis counsellor arrives at the school the next day and begins to enforce new rules that the students believe to be ridiculous and unfair. As time goes on and the rules become stricter, kids begin to disappear. As T
Feb 06, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm not sure what to make of this book. The following review may contain LIGHT SPOILERS.

I was expecting a book about dealing with the aftermath of a school shooting, but it turned full on conspiracy theory and it just felt weird. Especially with a topic like this which I don't think there are a lot of books about it, I would have liked it to stay a bit more... realistic. It just went absolutely crazy towards the end and got kind of scary and I can't say it was bad, but it was neither
Aug 09, 2008 rated it liked it
This book takes a look at a school after a shooting occurred at a high school in a nearby town, and focuses on the changes that are instituted by the school administrators in name of security.

The story is told from the point of view of a teenager, Tom, who witnesses steadily increasing paranoia causing rapidly diminishing privileges and escalating punishment, which started after a new "grief counselor" is hired by the school.

Dress codes, backpack searches and random drug tests soon
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult-teen
I really liked this book, although I agree with the Booklist review: it is "caught somewhere between allegory, dystopian fantasy, and YA problem novel." This could be a good book to read with Animal Farm, since this too seems to be an allegory of the rise of Stalinism. Equal parts Stalinist oppression and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, I'd say. I liked the characters, the suspense, and the struggle of good and evil.
Jun 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: dystopian lovers, history lovers
Recommended to Deidre by: a teacher
Shelves: own, leisure
Grade: 8/10
Pages: 336
Summary: School has become a prison.
No one knows why.
There's no way to stop it.
Thoughts: A very powerful book I read shortly after the affects of Columbine. It was very interesting reading a book where schools take things to an extreme to prove a point. Although it gets a little weak at the end, it’s still pretty good.
Favorite Scenes:
--The red bow in the girl’s hair

Jul 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ethan S.
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pleasant Valley wasn't a very fitting name after a kid pulled a gun at the high school, shooting kids and them themselves. Not only was this a wake up call for Pleasant Valley, but for the nearby city that Tom, another High school student, lived in. Tom realized after the shooting in another city that the shooting may have effected his school as much as Pleasant Valley. Metal detectors, searches at the door, rediculous new restrictions and a hostile grief counselor all combine to make school wor ...more
Lisa Rathbun
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
I have definite mixed feelings about this book. The book seemed to have been marketed and presented as contemporary realistic fiction but as believable events turned into unbelievable ones, it started sounding like science fiction. I thought the premise was great and the theme important in our world: how far should we go to provide security and how cautious we should be when those in power use fear to destroy individual liberty. *SPOILERS* But with parents being "brainwashed" and whole populatio ...more
May 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I first heard of this book when a kid I knew in middle school did a book report on it. At the time, I was obsessed with the implementation and outcomes of zero-tolerance rules in public school districts, so I set out to find the book with a preconception that it would be at heart a story solely constructed about that topic. Many years later, I found this book in a bookstore, bought it, and read it.
It has been many years since then now, as I write this review, but I still have the book, and am
Lars Guthrie
Jun 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
What could happen (and may be happening to some extent) after a Columbine or a Paducah? That's the premise Francine Prose uses to create this dark, dystopian novel. She carries the premise far out there, as a shooting at the high school in nearby Pleasant Valley (don't know if modern YA readers will get the Monkeys association) turns the midwest Central High into '1984.'

Stretching credibility? Maybe, but for me, 'After' was a bit too believable, in the aftermath of overprotective psy
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another brief note:

In the wake of a school shooting nearby, Tom Bishop's own school brings in a new kingpin and extreme new security measures. At first these seem a tolerable precaution, but as the new regulations become ever more complex and arbitrary and transgressors find themselves being sent off to "training camps", Tom and his friends realize that something far more sinister is at work. The question is: Can their parents be persuaded of this?

Francine Prose wrote thi
Jeanine Allen
Jeanine Allen
Contemporary Realistic Fiction

After by Francine Prose talks about how a small town school deals with the aftermath of a neighboring school shooting. The town is traumatized by the school scooting and the school brings in a grief and crisis counselor to help the students deal with their emotions. It starts out innocently enough at first. The school would like to bring in metal detectors to ensure the safety of their school. After that, there will be random locker searches and drug t/>
Patra Kennedy
Jan 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What can I say about this book? It kept me on edge from the begining. From the start you know there something strange about the councelor Dr. Willner. As you get into the story you come across things you don't expect like students dissapearig for no reason and sevear punishments if you don't do what Dr. Willner says. This book will make you think about what is really going on in this world. Are there really secret facilaties that are similar to concentration camps for kids? Do children around t ...more
Stacey B.
Dec 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: i-own, reviewed, read-2009
MY REVIEW: I loved every minute of this book. The subject matter is so scary based on the fact that something like this could actually happen, and how easily it would be to accomplish something like this. The only thing that I would say I didn't like was the ending of the book. It seems as though it was left open for the possibility of a sequal, but I don't think it was. Now, if a sequal ever does come out, I'll be the first one there to buy it. Basically, this book is worth your time to read.
Jun 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
A little too predictable and preachy at times. I groaned and almost tossed the book aside when the school's administration banned Catcher In The Rye. PUHlease. (I suppose it does not help that I have never gotten what the fuss is about that book.) But at the end, when the author clearly sets things up for a sequel - don't worry, no spoiler alerts - THEN it gets interesting, or at least it sets up an interesting premise for the sequel...a sequel that could be more interesting than this first inst ...more
Meredith Abdelnour
Mar 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
No. Just.. no.
The premise was interesting but the characters were flat, the plot was very illogical, and THE ENDING MADE ME WANT TO SLAM THIS BOOKS INTO A WALL (view spoiler)

Jul 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
Terrible. The concept of this book seemed interesting, but the author goes in such a weird direction that I found myself begging to be finished so I could stop reading the repetitive plot and writing. Ending couldn't be worse, even if it ended with, "and then he woke up and realized it was only a dream." Do not waste your time.
Sep 16, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: none
Recommended to Danny by: none
the length of this book is 330 pages but, dont let that scare you because this book is about 3 kid who kill 5 kids from their school with a gun and kill them selfs,so this event was all over the news and kids from schools close to the shootings got call from their parents.
Michael Prier
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What started as a school shooting turned into a thriller story. What a weird ending. Invasion of the Body Snatchers is right.
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Ok.. So overall this book was great. However the ending just didn't satisfy me, after all the suspense the ending was pretty bland. I would have liked to see what happened to them after.
Shana Duval
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
"After" by Francine Prose tells of a school shooting in a fictional high school, Pleasant Valley and the after effects for nearby high school, Central High. The shootings of Pleasant Valley led Central High to undergo major changes in enforcement and loss of privileges upon the arrival of grief counselor, Dr.Wilner; privileges such as an uncompromising dress code, increased bag searches, metal detectors, and spontaneous drug tests. The parents are brainwashed by nightly emails sent by Dr.Wilner ...more
Lauren Lee
Jun 09, 2018 rated it liked it
After by Francine Prose is a book centered on the dystopia of a twisted school system, centered on a group of four close friends who attend Central High. The story opens as a normal day in the lives of the four attending school, when a sudden shooting at a nearby high school shocks everybody from students to teachers and parents. To prevent shootings and violent behaviors at Central, Dr. Willner, a grief counselor, comes to Central and takes over the school to change how the school runs allegedl ...more
Jason Pham
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Francine Prose is the author of twenty works of fiction. Her novel A Changed Man won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Blue Angel was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent works of nonfiction include the highly acclaimed Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, and the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer. The recipient of numerous grants and honors, including a Guggenheim and a Fulbright, ...more
“Minutes after the shootings, everybody’s cell phone rang.” 0 likes
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