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Every Moment After by Joseph Moldover

Friday, June 7, 2019

Best friends Matt and Cole grapple with their changing relationships during the summer after high school in this impactful, evocative story about growing up and moving on from a traumatic past.

Surviving was just the beginning. 

Eleven years after a shooting rocked the small town of East Ridge, New Jersey and left eighteen first graders in their classroom dead, survivors and recent high school graduates Matt Simpson and Cole Hewitt are still navigating their guilt and trying to move beyond the shadow of their town's grief. Will Cole and Matt ever be able to truly leave the ghosts of East Ridge behind? Do they even want to? 

As they grapple with changing relationships, falling in love, and growing apart, these two friends must face the question of how to move on—and truly begin living.

Goodreads Summary

I loved receiving this book because I enjoy books that are about current political and social events. I enjoyed that the author handled the topic sensitively and gently while still allowing reality to play a role.  One boy stayed home during the shooting and the other has no memory of it occurring. There aren't too many books concerning male friendships and I've always found that a shame. Matt and Cole are the main protagonists and two best friends. They've supported each other through growing up and many difficult times. When life inevitably pulls them in opposite directions they struggle with the idea of letting go. There were many poignant events that tugged on my heartstrings and made me wish that we could freeze our lives at one moment where we are happiest.

I liked the acknowledgement of mental illness and diabetes in this novel. Although both conditions affect so many people, I rarely find them a focus of any level in a young adult/teen book. I liked how the boys weren't perfect and both had their own struggles. In my line of work, it is rare to see people handling health conditions ideally (it's just difficult). I loved that they leaned on each other and were a stabilizing force in each others' lives. The ending was more or less what I expected, but still a reminder of what is to come for all of us. Not everything can stay the same. I love this author's writing style and realistic take on sad events.

4 Stars

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