Sunday, August 20, 2017

Author Spotlight: Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 10:00 AM
Bonnie Pipkin believes in prose, performances, puppet shows, and public displays of affection. 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.

Title: Aftercare Instructions
Genre: YA Contemporary with a lot of triggers
Author: Bonnie Pipkin
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication: June 27th 2017
Cover Rating: 3/5

This book... This book, man. If you think you are having a bad day, read this book. Some people are just born unlucky and the main character of this book is one of those poor souls. But I think part of your luck in life is led by the choices you make. Yes, having bad luck is crappy, but it's how you handle the bad luck that decided whether you will end up succeeding or becoming destitute.

Gen has been given a pretty crappy hand in life. We start the book out with Gen getting an abortion. Yes, everyone has their opinion on this subject but let's just skirt over that shit right now and focus on the fact that Gen is a teenage girl who slept with her boyfriend that she trusted and ended up getting the short end of the stick. She is scared and sad and doesn't want to lose her boyfriend. When she walks back to the waiting room... That is exactly what happens. 

As soon as the abortion is over, Genesis starts down this path of self-destruction. I understand that she was in a lot of emotion and physical pain but she wasn't going to hurt anyone but herself so it was really pointless. This girl is just extremely lucky that Seth turned out to be an extremely decent guy and that her friends loved her as much as they did or she would have ended up a lot worse off. Notice my overuse of the word EXTREMELY. 

The story is told through some very interesting means. The present day story is told normally but then when it switches to anything about the past the format then switches to a script. I thought this was a wonderful way to get to know Gen and her background without it being too long and drawn out.

I couldn't help but feel angry and sad for Gen. Her father is dead. Her mother cannot see through her own agony long enough to realize she still has a daughter to take care of. Instead, the daughter ends up taking care of her. Her boyfriend abandons her because she made the right decision but his mother and religion told him it was wrong. Just so many horrible people and situations for one girl to deal with. Such a burden.

This book was full of nothing but pain and heartache. I didn't think anyone had as unlucky of a life as me but, if Genesis was real, she would give me a run for my money. She had nothing good going for her. Nothing at all. And she just kept running into more trouble and pain and, honestly, regardless of how much I hated Peter, I think he helped keep her straight. Without him, I think she would have been another teen drug statistic. Also, judging a child because of the path her parents chose to take is a very horrible thing to do. So, don't do it, ever, okay?

In the end, I am glad Gen chose the path that she did. I know how badly she wanted everything to just go back to normal but she would have been living a life of doubt because she would never truly know if he would up and vanish again when things got hard. The breakup was very calm considering how Gen was feeling and acting throughout the entire book. I am also glad that she reconnected with a part of herself and her father that she lost so long ago. She could have view acting as the evil thing that took her father away but instead she viewed it as his passion and saw that it was her passion as well. Gen will succeed in life as long as she keeps going down this path. 

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.


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