Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong
Published May 22, 2018
Hardcover, 384 pages
MY GOODREADS RATING 4/5 STARS
(Thanks to Netgalley & Crown Books for Young Readers, I received an eARC)
Three years after losing her brother Luka in a school shooting, Skye Gilchrist is moving home. But there’s no sympathy for Skye and her family because Luka wasn’t a victim; he was a shooter.
Jesse Mandal knows all too well that the scars of the past don’t heal easily. The shooting cost Jesse his brother and his best friend–Skye.
Ripped apart by tragedy, Jesse and Skye can’t resist reopening the mysteries of their past. But old wounds hide darker secrets. And the closer Skye and Jesse get to the truth of what happened that day, the closer they get to a new killer.
This isn’t the first book I’ve read through the eyes of the shooter’s family, but it is the first that has had multiple shooters involved, and took place so much after the actual incident. I think the story starting with a bit of what happened on the day of the shooting, while the rest go the book takes place years later, was a great way to pull us in. I feel like the author handled an extremely sensitive situation with empathy. I thought that having not just the focus on one situation a great way to make this story unique.
I think having duel points of views (Skye, one shooters sister, and Jesse, brother of one victim) works really well in this case. You get a look into how each of the families are handling things. Throughout the book you see how some people are cruel in nature, and some are extremely kind. It shows how differently people deal with tragedies and are affected in much different ways. I really grew to like like Sky’s aunt Mae, she was blunt but very protective and only wanted the best for Skye. I had a lot of mixed feelings about Jesse, but ultimately like his character.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is curious as to what goes through the mind’s of a school shooter’s family, while also seeing how a victim’s family is handling the situation years later. I found this whole story very unique in that it took place so long after the tragedy and had other storylines as well. It was definitely a heavy book, but one worth reading in my opinion.