Aftermath [Book Review & Giveaway!]

Aftermath [Book Review & Giveaway!]
Hello there!
Title: Aftermath
Author: Clara Kensie
Publisher: Merit Press
Published Date: 1st November 2016
Rating: 5 Stars
*Thank you to publisher for the review copy*

Synopsis: Charlotte survived four long years as a prisoner in the attic of her
kidnapper, sustained only by dreams of her loving family. The chance to escape
suddenly arrives, and Charlotte fights her way to freedom. But an answered
prayer turns into heartbreak. Losing her has torn her family apart. Her parents
have divorced: Dad’s a glutton for fame, Mom drinks too much, and Charlotte’s
twin is a zoned-out druggie. Her father wants Charlotte write a book and go on
a lecture tour, and her mom wants to keep her safe, a virtual prisoner in her
own home. But Charlotte is obsessed with the other girl who was kidnapped, who
never got a second chance at life–the girl who nobody but Charlotte believes
really existed. Until she can get justice for that girl, even if she has to do
it on her own, whatever the danger, Charlotte will never be free.

Review: Please.
Please don’t let that happy, almost fantasy looking cover fool you like it
fooled me. I completely understand why that cover was used for this book, and
even though I read the synopsis, for some reason I thought this book was going
to be a happy story. In a way, you can say it is. But in the same way, you can
also say it isn’t at all…
This is a serious story about a girl who was kidnapped,
held for four years and then escapes by a twist of fate. But when she gets home
she realises a lot has changed in four years… and she won’t ever be able to
have the life she had back then.
What really surprised me, and maybe impressed me too, was
how clean this novel was. It must have been hard to write this novel in such a way,
to be handling what could’ve easily become a very sexual topic and keeping it
clean. Because in those four years, Charlotte (the main character) was raped
and abused day in and day out. Yet, Kensie manages to write about this in a
clean manner and really make the reader feel for what has happened to her. I
think what most stood out to me about her recovery when it comes to the abuse
is the way that Charlotte describes people looking at her. She either says that
they manage to see her, or they have the look of pity, or they don’t see her at
all. Instead, the see all the nasty things the man who kidnapped her did to
her. It’s scary how she can tell when people are truly paying attention to her
or seeing something else when they look at her. But it was incredibly clever
for the author to be able to transmit the emotions Charlotte or someone who was
abused could feel in a clean, but so meaningful, manner.
My heart went out to each and every character in this
novel. I felt for Charlotte’s mother, who must have been devastated to lose her
daughter and forgot how to function as a mother for the rest of her family
because of it. I felt for her father who did everything possible to find her. I
felt for her stepmother who was trying to be there for Charlotte when she was
someone entirely new to her, who she didn’t know or want to understand at
first. I felt for Alexa, Charlotte’s twin sister who lost both parents (in some
way) when she lost her sister, and makes sure any kids she sees on the street
is being supervised because she is worried they are going to be snatched as
well. And of course, Charlotte. They’re all hurting, in their own ways, and the
author managed to convey that in the tiny details of their actions, rather than
what they said.
This novel was so heartbreaking, but it was also hopeful.
I cried several times towards the end because I saw how twisted the story
really became. Although this is a character driven story and mostly
straightforward, don’t think there can’t be any plot twists. That’s what made
me the most impressed with the author. Because there were two plot twists at
the end of the novel, and seeing as I wasn’t expecting any, I was completely
surprised. But of course, when you read them, it seems like it makes complete
sense because the author has left clues throughout the novel. It’s just
impossible to put them together until it’s too late and the plot twists have
been revealed.

I found it incredibly hard to write this review because
for once, I didn’t really know how to relate what I’d felt while reading this
book in words. I’ve tried my best. But the best thing that you could do is go
and read this novel for yourself. Because it’s not just about those people who
have been kidnapped and returned home. It’s about all those children and people
who haven’t been found ever again. It’s about all those who have ever been
abused or sexually assaulted and are moving on or trying to push through. It’s
about so much. This is a novel worth your time.
Gif Summary: 


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Links: Goodreads & Amazon!
Olivia’s Question: If you went away for a long time and
only one thing could remain the same as it was for when you returned, what
would you want it to be?
Olivia-Savannah x

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