Not After Everything

Michelle Levy. Dial, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-8037-4158-4
For a while, Tyler Blackwell had it all: great grades, a cheerleader girlfriend, football stardom, and a probable scholarship. But after his mother kills herself, he quits football, alienates his girlfriend, and spends most of his time dodging his brutally abusive father. Guilt-ridden and broke (his father cuts off all support), Tyler is ghosting his way through senior year when he gets a job at a photography studio. There he realizes that a coworker he had dismissed as a goth loser is actually his childhood friend Jordyn. Their relationship changes Tyler’s life: he can be honest with Jordyn, she urges him not to give up on football or the scholarship, and her parents provide a model of family affection. By the end of the school year, Tyler’s life is back together; if it’s all a little too good to be true, given the tragedy Tyler has endured, readers won’t begrudge him a happier future. Believable dialogue and emotions—especially Tyler’s simmering rage at the outset of the novel—make this a solid first showing. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/18/2015
Release date: 08/04/2015
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