Saturday, November 12, 2016

Blog Tour: Aftermath by Clara Kensie...Review and Giveaway!

Today I am so happy to be a part of the Aftermath Blog Tour!
I loved this emotional and heartbreaking book!
Please keep reading to learn more and to enter a giveaway so can experience the heartbreak and hope for yourself!

About the Book

by Clara Kensie
Publisher: Merit Press
Release: November 15th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery

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.

About the Author

Winner of the 2015 RITA Award for Best First Book 
Clara Kensie grew up near Chicago, reading every book she could find and using her diary to write stories about a girl with psychic powers who solved mysteries. She purposely did not hide her diary, hoping someone would read it and assume she was writing about herself. Since then, she's swapped her diary for a computer and admits her characters are fictional, but otherwise she hasn't changed one bit. 

Today, Clara is the author of dark fiction for young adults. Her debut, the super-romantic thriller RUN TO YOU BOOK ONE: DECEPTION SO DEADLY is the winner of the prestigious RITA Award for Best First Book. The RUN TO YOU series was named to several Best Books of 2014 lists, including RT Magazine Editors' Pick. The two-book series was originally published as a six-part serial by Harlequin Teen in 2014 (First Sight, Second Glance, Third Charm, Fourth Shadow, Fifth Touch, and Sixth Sense). By popular demand, the six-part serial is now available as two full-length books: DECEPTION SO DEADLY and DECEPTION SO DARK. 

Her next book is AFTERMATH, a dark, ripped-from-the-headlines contemporary about a girl who returns home four years after being kidnapped, only to find her family has fallen apart in her absence. To fix her broken family--and help find the body of her captor's first victim--the girl must first heal herself. AFTERMATH is a story of hope, healing, and triumph over tragedy, perfect for fans of ROOM and THE LOVELY BONES. Available November 15th 2016 from Merit Press. 

Clara's favorite foods are guacamole and cookie dough. But not together. That would be gross. 

My Review

Title: Aftermath
Author: Clara Kensie
Format: Hardcover 
Source:  Publisher...Merit Press

I have often watched movies and TV Shows, read books, or have seen stories on the news about kidnapped children and wondered about what happens to the families of the must be so difficult and stressful. And what about when they're found? Things are sure to be different as life doesn't stand still for everyone as it might have for the missing person.

In Aftermath, Clara Kensie does a wonderful job of answering these questions and more for one young girl and her family. For four long years, Charlotte was held captive in an attic.  Her only hope was that her family was happy and continuing to live their lives as always just without her. But after her "Keeper" suffers an accident and she is miraculously discovered, she realizes that her family was deeply affected by her disappearance and nothing is as it once was and she is once again heartbroken.

In Charlotte's absence, her father has started a foundation for missing kids in her name and seems to adore the attention it brings. Her once health-conscious mother has turned to alcohol to cope and is deeply depressed. And Charlotte's twin sister Alexa now prefers the name Lex and is fresh out of rehab. It is like coming home to a family of complete strangers. Charlotte is devastated by the effects her disappearance had on her family and blames herself for everything her family has endured.  She longs for the family she once knew and it's very difficult and emotional to read as both she and her family adjust to her reappearance.

As well as dealing with her own rescue and return home, Charlotte is also determined to bring closure to another family as she believes her kidnapper had another victim before her. The only problem is they can't find any evidence of, as she thinks of her, "The One Before." But Charlotte refuses to let the authorities give up and her motivation, as well as the outcome, is heartbreaking.

This book shows that it is not just the victims that suffer, but also the victims' loved ones. In this book it's the ones who find their loved one and must adjust their thinking and new life to include someone they weren't sure they were ever going to see again. It is not easy for any of Charlotte's family to deal with the situation as each blames themselves in some way.  Some have even attempted to move on. And the emotional and heartbreaking moments between Charlotte and her sister really got to me.

Aftermath is such a powerful and emotional book that touched me deeply and had me shedding a tear here and there. I felt for Charlotte and her family, but especially Charlotte. Can you imagine returning home and discovering everything you thought you knew had changed? And it's all because of something that happened to you? Something that you unknowingly caused?  It was difficult to see her blame herself for everything.  Plus she still struggles with everything that was done to her over the last four years as memories continue to creep up on her.  Not to mention everything she has missed out on in society and the outside world by being locked in an attic for four years.  She'll be living with the effects of the kidnapping for the rest of her life and I appreciated how the author dealt with this and showed the long term effects that Charlotte will probably go through.

And poor Lex...she lost her best friend and twin sister and then slowly lost her parents to her sisters' disappearance. And now she has to adjust having her sister back, a sister who has to get to know her all over again because she's changed so much.  You can't blame her for her anger or for feeling neglected. I just wanted to give her a hug because I can only imagine how hard it was for her.

The author made these characters feel like real people whose lives I cared about and whose story broke my heart...that ending! *sob* I admire Charlotte's strength, compassion, and determination to survive.   This story was so special and emotional even more so knowing that it could and has happened just in different ways.

I highly recommend Aftermath and definitely plan on reading more books from Clara Kensie in the future.

My Rating: 5 Stars

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*


Prize: Win (1) hardcopy of AFTERMATH by Clara Kensie (INT) 

1 comment:

  1. This book is already on my to-read list because it sounds exactly like the kind of book I love to read--emotional and unique for me.