Saturday, July 1, 2017

AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS BY BONNIE PIPKIN - BOOK REVIEW

I was really hesitant going into this book. I wasn't sure if any author would be able to portray such an intense topic well. But, I am happy to report I have found a new favourite book.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another review, today it is for a new favourite of mine, Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin. Thanks so much to NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.



The book follows seventeen-year-old Genesis, or Gen as many call her, and opens with her walking into the waiting room of Planned Parenthood after terminating an unwanted pregnancy, looking for her boyfriend, Peter who brought her... and left her there. This story is not only about the choice Gen makes but how she moves forward without Peter who has apparently fallen off the face of the planet. Gen's home life isn't great either: after her father died of a drug overdose, her mother hasn't been able to hold it together. Gen struggles to care for her mother and herself.

Obviously, this book addresses the big elephant in the room: abortion. I'm not going to get into the politics of it, I'm just going to talk about Pipkin's portrayal of it in the story. The book isn't really about an abortion so much as it is about the "after" of an abortion. Each of the chapters is headered (headed?) with an instruction that one is supposed to follow after the procedure. We don't really see a lot of the discussion between Peter and Gen to get the abortion, there are snippets here and there but this book isn't so much about the decision to have an abortion but what happens after. I think it would have been hard to deal with this book if it was more about the decision.

Moving onto the book more as a whole, I loved it. The writing style was phenomenal and I flew through every chapter at lightning speed. Each chapter alternates with a play script, theatre is an important part of this book, and is set in the past, giving an impromptu acted flashback. I really loved this technique not only because I've recently discovered I really enjoy reading plays, but also because it was an easy way to differentiate timelines. Anything in the script format was a flashback. It helped ensure everything flowed and it was an interesting addition to the story.

I really loved the characters of this book, Gen was a really great, well-rounded character and her support system of her best friend Rose, her cousin Delilah, even her grief-stricken mother was fleshed out. After reading a couple books before this where the characters were flat, I loved how Pipkin gave every single one, even the minor characters, a distinct personality.

I adored every aspect of this story, I was immediately swept up into the story and I couldn't stop until it was done. Even now that I've finished it, I can't stop thinking about it. It has been so long since I've felt this way about a book and to know that it's only Pipkin's debut... I think I found another auto-buy author!

Overall, I cannot recommend this book enough!