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Every Moment After

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  567 ratings  ·  118 reviews
Best friends Matt and Cole grapple with their changing relationships during the summer after high school in this impactful, evocative story about growing up and moving on from a traumatic past.

Surviving was just the beginning.

Eleven years after a shooting rocked the small town of East Ridge, New Jersey and left eighteen first graders in their classroom dead, survivors and
Hardcover, 364 pages
Published April 9th 2019 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

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This book broke my heart, and nobody is talking about it. That is so not fair. I want everyone else to read this book so they can be just as miserable as I am, because this book absolutely shredded me-- and it is so, so, worth it. Seriously, am I even allowed to give out this many positive ratings in a row? Pretty sure I'm going to lose my McComplainy badge if I don't start being just a teensy bit more obnoxiously picky, per usual. But
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Because my family lived in Sandy Hook when the shooting occurred, I was very reluctant to read this book. Thankfully, a colleague who knew my relationship to this event convinced me that I could handle it. She was right. This is, in my opinion, one of the few books that understands the grief, confusion, rage, discomfort, shame, and indifference that such trauma can yield... even years later. Once I started this story, I couldn’t stop. But as I neared the end, I found myself savoring the time I h ...more
Christian Douglass
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I got an early reading copy - buying for kids in my family when it comes out. A good YA book for all kiddos (and adults - I loved it), but especially boys. Yes, it's about the traumatic aftermath of a school shooting (all too familiar - but the book doesn't feel like it was trying to be timely). The difference here, is it's not the immediate aftermath but several years later. It's the trauma that creeps up over time after the immediate media show. But more importantly, it's about boy's friendshi ...more
Leah Kathleen Parker
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I had the unique opportunity to be an early reader for this amazing novel by Joe Moldover. Moldover has created a story that captures the lasting impact of what it means to be a survivor of a school shooting and the legacy that imparts on an entire community. The story is told in the two voices of Cole and Matt...two graduating seniors who survived a school shooting in elementary school. Moldover portrays both individual voices with incredible authenticity while also showing the depth of their s ...more
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Every Moment After follows the story of two teenage boys, Matt and Cole, in the summer after their high school graduation. When they were in first grade eighteen of their classmates were killed in a school shooting. In the summer after their senior year they’re still navigating guilt, grief, and what it means to move on.

This was an interesting take on a school shooting story that I haven’t seen before. Most of the other books I’ve read take place during the shooting itself or maybe one or two y
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Cole and his best friend Matt are part of *that* class. You know, the one a shooter killed seventeen kids and their principal. Now they’re graduating with eighteen empty chairs draped in black. Matt feels guilty for being home sick from his diabetes, is self-destructive and tacitly suicidal, acts like a jerk sometimes and is thoughtful and kind. Cole was the boy in the picture than won the prize for best photo of the year, stone-faced, covered in blood, carried out by the cop. He still has PTSD, ...more
Mark Cecil
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually read YA, but I got an advance copy of this book, and the description just got to me right away. The premise of the story - what happens to the kids left behind after a school shooting? - was powerful and original.
The topic couldn't be more sensitive, but I'm both happy and relieved to say, the author pulled it off. You get your heart strings pulled, and you get to seriously engage a topic in a safe way.
Rest assured: the school shooting isn't presented in detail. It happened year
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An extraordinary book, with an important message, written and expressed so beautifully. Thank you for sharing these characters and this important story with us all, Joseph Moldover. Bravo!
Christine Higgins powers
4.5! I loved this book! Having 3 sons, I wasn’t sure I could read a story about a school shooting, but it wasn’t about the was about the aftermath (or the “every moment after” which is the aptly named title). The relationship between Cole and Matthew was so touching and genuine and more importantly realistic. The dialogue between the two of them is exactly how 18 year olds speak to each other. I also loved the interactions with the other characters, especially the autistic survivin ...more
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance copy of this book and am so glad I did. Every Moment After is one of the most genuine and insightful stories of friendship I’ve read. Set a decade after a devastating incident, it examines the repercussions of that event, looking most closely at how it has bound the survivors to one another. The two main characters, Cole and Matt – both of whom have rich and distinct voices – are tied to one another through a mix of love, need, guilt, and resentment; their mutual dependency ...more
Kristy Q
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Best friends Matt and Cole grapple with their changing relationships during the summer after high school in this impactful, evocative story about growing up and moving on from a traumatic past.
Surviving was just the beginning. 
Eleven years after a shooting rocked the small town of East Ridge, New Jersey and left eighteen first graders in their classroom dead, survivors and recent high school graduates Matt Simpson and Cole Hewitt are still navigating their guilt and trying to move beyond the s ...more
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I actually ended up liking this book a lot more than I thought I would. It’s obviously relevant with the current gun control debate in the US, but it’s also just a really good, well-written book. Rather than looking at the immediate trauma of a mass shooting, the book focuses on the long term trauma of a mass shooting for the survivors and their families and even the whole community. It’s about two boys graduating high school and figuring out how to navigate relationships, starting college, and ...more
CEB Library
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Too many children know exactly how it feels to be present at a school shooting, or to be the kid-who-stayed-home-sick. This novel takes on this heavy topic in a readable yet challenging way. Told in two voices, the plot develops over the summer after high school, when two friends are struggling with what it means to be a survivor and where there life will take them when they are no longer bound to the place it all happened. The character development is strong, and the voices authentic. There are ...more
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a story. Written in the frame of mind of the event being in the past, and the outlook of the survivors. What the story does not have is descriptions of the actual school shooting, or the shooter. What is does have is stories of the the survivors...the main characters and their families and community. I think it does justice to not only the kids that survived, but the town that survived. It offered insight that I don't know I had thought about too much. And I appreciated that the insights we ...more
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's been awhile since I've read a young adult realistic fiction novel that is centered upon teen boys. Every Moment After is Joseph Moldover's debut novel, and I'm glad I selected left a large impression. The book is very well-written, with sensitivity toward the complex emotions of teens. Moldover does a strong job with dialogue....something that, in my opinion, is hard to do when crafting teen conversation. A few of my thoughts (I'm going to do my best not to reveal any spoilers):

Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemporary
Oh lord. This one hurts. Two stars is only because this book had important themes. And a nice cover.

Every Moment After follows Matt and Cole years after their class was shot, killing their best friend. Cole was a survivor; Matt was thankfully absent that day.

What does it follow them doing, you may ask? Well... nothing. At least, it felt like nothing. Plot what plot? is a tag on archive of our own - it should not be a part of a published, original novel. Matt and Cole have a friendship with each
Karyl Ahn White
Mar 06, 2019 marked it as to-read
Every Moment After by Joseph Moldover
Every Moment After is such a fitting title for this book. While it mentions and discusses a bit about the shooting, it doesn’t focus on it. Told in the alternating voices of Matt and Cole, the story is about the two, who have recently graduated, and are survivors of a school shooting that happened in first grade. Though it was many years ago, the young men still deal with PTSD and survivor’s guilt. They are very close friends and this story explores the bond
Nakesha Brown
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very good read. We never seem to think about shooting survivors every day lives following tragedy except maybe on 10th or 20th anniversaries. This book gave insight into the thoughts and lives of two young men who were involved in a school shooting when they were very young. It was very good. However I wanted more. More, like Matt, about the shooter and the other victims. I understand that this book was just really about the two main characters, Cole and Matt, but since Matt had such a thirst fo ...more
Jessica | Booked J
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Review originally posted here at Booked J. I was sent a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not change my view in any shape or form.

This novel was a different kind of heartbreaking than I expected. Every Moment After is filled with many emotionally charged moments; underlying beneath the story of survival and moving on, is one of coming of age. It is, of course, a timely release and one that will speak to its target audie
Tiffany Neal
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you NetGalley for providing me with this digital ARC.

I really liked this book. It’s a simple storyline in many ways, yet lots of complex themes and issues thread their way throughout. This is a realistic fiction YA telling the story through two male POVs. It’s the summer after graduating from high school, but what makes this story unique is that both MCs were a part of a 1st grade class that suffered a school shooting. The story does not focus on the shooting itself, rather the aftermath,
Gail Parker
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to read and advance copy of EVERY MOMENT AFTER and once I began reading I couldn't put it down. Schoolchildren today are painfully aware of the risks and stories of school shootings. This tells the story of a group of good friends who are preparing to graduate from high school. These friends were all in first grade when there was a deadly school shooting at their school. The author does a masterful job of avoiding graphic or upsetting descriptions and ...more
Karen Barber
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Told in alternating viewpoints this story takes a topical issue - school shooting - but does it in a way that is really quite unsettling.
The shooting in question took place when the kids were in first grade. They are now 18 and about to graduate. With Matt kept at home because of a diabetic episode and Cole unable to recall the event, there’s very little detail given about the shooting which I’m grateful for. The story focuses instead on the little details, the small parts of the story that show
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: a2, 2019, a3e, nyp, hmh, april
4.5 rounded up

It's so hard to rate a book like this. Although both main characters were unlikable at times...Matt rather more so, I felt...they were never anything less than real. For a story about a shooting, showing the actual shooting is neatly avoided by having one POV character be absent when it happened and the other suffering complete amnesia. Therefore, the shooting is never directly described, but the little bits we get are plenty enough to paint the scene.

I loved the friendship between
An extraordinary book, with an important message, written and expressed so beautifully. Every Moment After wonderfully depicts the effect that one moment can have on someone's life even years later.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an advanced reader's copy.
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very moving portrayal of teen boys struggling to find themselves in the aftermath of a school shooting. As the mother of teens so much rang true in the depiction of kids trying to find their way. Well done!
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
this book was just. so good. matt and cole’s friendship just warmed my heart. i really appreciated the angle the author took and the raw and emotional approach to the way this event impacted the character’s lives. i am thoroughly impressed and was shocked to find out it was a debut novel.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Over the past year and a half, I have struggled with YA. I've always loved YA, but recently, I have found myself struggling with it and not wanting to read it, because I've been burnt out on it. Every Moment After doesn't change that feeling, but it does capture everything I want in a YA novel right now.

Every Moment After is a beautiful story. It's a nuanced look at the complexity of grief and trauma and how people who experience both move through their lives. It doesn't offer solutions; rather,
Jul 19, 2019 rated it liked it
This was good.

Gave a great insight into the trauma that school shooting’s can cause and the lasting effects had on survivors and families.

3.5/5 stars ! ✨✨✨
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I went into this book expecting one thing and was surprised to find that I came out the other side adoring it for something else. I thought the portrayal of the characters and the long-term trauma they were going through was done very well, and I felt that the survivors guilt that some of the characters felt was written and expressed very well. Not only that, though, but the friendship between Matt and Cole could not have been done any better. Of course this book is excellent for its portrayal o ...more
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Joseph Moldover is a writer and clinical psychologist who lives and works in the Boston area. He has written a number of short stories (often under the name Joseph Sloan), as well as works of nonfiction focusing on issues of health and disability. He is the grandson of the novelist Sloan Wilson, author of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.

Every Moment After is his debut novel, and is currently ava

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