Going into this book, I didn't realize that it was going to be different from Mackintosh's other books. I expecting another thriller, and while I got a really great book that wasn't a thriller, it took me a second to re-orientate myself and my expectations for the book.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, After the End by Clare Mackintosh. Thanks so much to Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review, as always, all opinions are my own.

When Max and Pip are forced to make a choice about their almost three-year-old son, Dylan's, life they can't decide. Should they let his terminal illness run its course or should they try any sort of experimental procedure they can find in an effort to prolong his life? Broken into two parts, the before and the after, Mackintosh explores what would happen if they could have both.

Like I said, going into this book, I was expecting something a little bit different. Nonetheless, Mackintosh shows her skills as a writer of both fast-paced thrillers and slow, intimate contemporaries. There were a number of times when the alternate storylines could easily have gotten twisted together, but Mackintosh's skill as a writer ensures that this doesn't happen. At first, I was a little jarred by the beginning chapters in the after section because I wasn't really sure what was happening, but once I got the hang of it, I really got into it.

This is one of those books that you read in one sitting, not necessarily because you are glued to your seat in anticipation, but because you don't dare leave the characters until you know they will be alright. I loved the messages in the book about acceptance, grief, and most importantly, how the end is really a new beginning. These types of messages aren't something that I've seen a lot of in Mackintosh's other books, probably because there's less character reflection in thrillers, but I really appreciated it here.

The timing of this book is also brilliantly done - I'm only just realizing it now, upon reflection. The before seems like a whirlwind of stress, anxiety, and sadness while the after seems to take up more space in my memory of reading this book if that makes sense. I, like the characters, can remember and acknowledge the hard parts, but there is more to the story, to the character's stories than just the before.

Overall, this was a really amazing book and while it was so different from Mackintosh's other books, I'd still highly recommend you pick it up.