My Thoughts On… Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin
10 May, 2018
Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin
Today is my stop on the Aftercare Instructions blog tour and I am here with my review of this very addictive book.
Troubled. That’s seventeen-year-old Gen according to her small New Jersey town. She finds refuge and stability in her relationship with her boyfriend, Peter, until he abandons her at a Planned Parenthood clinic during their appointment to terminate a pregnancy. The betrayal causes Gen to question everything.
As Gen pushes herself forward to find her new identity without Peter, the flimsy story of their undying love begins to unravel. But it’s when Gen lets go of her past, the one she thinks she knows, that she’s able to embrace the complicated, chaotic true story of her life.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when it came to this book but after reading the synopsis and falling in love with the book cover, I decided that I wanted to give it a go. Fortunately, I am very pleased that I did because I ended up really enjoying this book. It is a book that deals with very sensitive subject matter but does so in a very good way. The characters are all unique and fascinating to read about. It is also a character-led book and we all know that I absolutely love those kinds of books. The story is a heavy one and certainly isn’t for the lighthearted but it is well worth the ride. I would definitely recommend this book if you enjoy Louise O’Neill’s books. It is a powerful, emotional read that I simply could not put down until the end. (Honestly, I was walking and reading at the same time so that I didn’t have to stop reading!)
From the premise of the book, you can probably tell that this book is going to be heavy – and possibly not for you depending on your views and opinions. Genesis is at Planned Parenthood having an abortion after an accident occured between her and her boyfriend. When she exits the operating room and comes to the waiting, her boyfriend has disappeared. The rest of the story is about how Gen deals with this and everything else that is and has been thrown at her over the last few years since her father died. The story switches between past and present in such an interesting and unique way. Her past moments are set out like stage play directions, so all we really get are the conversations between characters and a few stage directions. Whereas the present moments are from Gen’s perspective. It was a really fascinating style of writing which made the book that much more interesting and addictive to read.
As mentioned above, the book is a character-led one which means it is obviously important that the characters are all unique and full of depth. Fortunately this is definitely the case. Genesis is a character who doesn’t really know how she is, let alone who she is. She’s a girl who is just trying to navigate through life, one step at a time. I really connected with her and wanted to shake her all at the same time. She was on a journey that was going to change everything for her. I also really liked Rose and Delilah too. They’re the closest people in Gen’s life and I loved that it wasn’t always plain sailing for their relationships either. I think they were both really interesting characters to read about.
Overall this book was one that I very much enjoyed reading. It was entertaining, emotional and fascinating to read. I was addicted from the beginning and ended up liking the book a lot more than I initially thought I would. If you’re a lover of contemporary, coming-of-age, character-led stories with an array of sensitive topics involved, then this is likely to be the book for you. It is the type of book that will pull you in, make you feel for the main characters and make you wish that you could help them in some way too. It is a book that will also probably stay with you too. And by the end of it, you might just wish that the book didn’t have to end at all. So if that sounds like the type of book you like to read, I would definitely suggest getting your hands on a copy!
** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **
About the Author
Originally from California, Bonnie now lives in Brooklyn. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, teaches literature courses at Kean University, officiates weddings, and looks after a very cute cat. Aftercare Instructions is Bonnie’s first novel.