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.
With school shootings becoming all too heart-breakingly common, this novel may not be for everyone. I will say the content is more about the aftermath (hence, the title), and focuses more on the grieving loved ones left behind.
With hints that the details of the shooting may not be entirely truthful, this book kept me turning the pages – and also because of Jesse and Skye. Both are well-developed characters who struggle to reconnect and revive their friendship years after a horrendous tragedy. Their relationship depicts what a strong friendship should be built on – support, humor, common interests, shared experiences, and steadfast loyalty.
Although the author offers several suspects, I guessed who the ‘villain’ was before the halfway point, but never really bought into this person’s motives and actions. Things still seemed a little unclear when all was said and done. The behavior and actions, or lack of action, of a couple of adult characters also required me to suspend my disbelief a bit.
Aftermath deals with sensitive subject matter and handles it respectfully, but don’t look for commentary on the politics surrounding gun control. This is a straightforward YA thriller with an intriguing mystery.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.