book review: aftercare instructions by bonnie pipkin

***thank you to netgalley for providing me with an early digital copy of this book!

aftercare instruct

goodreads summary:

“Troubled.” That’s seventeen-year-old Genesis according to her small New Jersey town. She finds refuge and stability in her relationship with her boyfriend, Peter—until he abandons her at a Planned Parenthood clinic during their appointment to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. The betrayal causes Gen to question everything.

As Gen pushes herself forward to find her new identity without Peter, she must also confront her most painful memories. Through the lens of an ongoing four act play within the novel, the fantasy of their undying love unravels line by line, scene by scene. Digging deeper into her past while exploring the underground theater world of New York City, she rediscovers a long-forgotten dream. But it’s when Gen lets go of her history, the one she thinks she knows, that she’s finally able to embrace the complicated, chaotic true story of her life, and take center stage.

This powerfully immersive and format-crushing debut follows Gen from dorm rooms to diners to house parties to auditions—and ultimately, right into readers’ hearts.

my thoughts:

i loved this book. in fact, i loved it so much that not only would it have been a book that i finished in one sitting had i not fallen asleep (contrary to popular belief i do actually sleep sometimes) but it also managed to completely tear me away from my most recent gilmore girls marathon (the fact that i marathon gilmore girls on a regular basis is beside the point).  this was a book about love, heartbreak, friendship, loss, & everything in between.

this book starts off with the main character, genesis, discovering that her boyfriend, peter, has abandoned her at a planned parenthood clinic after she gets an abortion.  both the abortion, and peter’s decision to leave her stranded, leads genesis down a painful, yet eye-opening & ultimately fulfilling path of self discovery that she may not have gone down otherwise.  this story takes place over the span of one week, & what a hell of a week it is.  as you delve deeper into the story, it becomes apparent that there is even more going on in genesis’ life than first meets the eye, & that both her abortion experience, as well as her breakup with peter, weren’t her first experiences with grief & loss.  this was such a heartbreaking book, but it was also brave & hopeful & inspiring.  genesis went through so much for someone who was so young & i found myself rooting for her throughout the book. despite her painful circumstances, she still managed to have such a strong & capable head on her shoulders, & even when she thought she would never be okay again, she perservered, & i really admired her for it.

despite the bleak picture i may have painted, this was also a really fun book to read. i loved genesis’s friendships with her best friend, rose, & her cousin delilah, & i really enjoyed watching (or reading, rather) the development of her friendship/relationship with seth, a boy she meets one night at a random party in new york city. speaking of new york city: i also loved how a good chunk of it took place in new york city! (i love NYC even though i haven’t been there in a very long time) and that we got a glimpse into NYC’s underground theatre life.

i really loved & connected with the author’s writing style & it was easily one of my favorite things about this book.  at first i wasn’t so sure about the fact that the flashback scenes in the story are written in script format, but i actually didn’t mind it, and the further i got into the story, the more i understood why it was written that way.

this was an absolutely stunning debut of a book, & i am SO glad i happened to stumble upon it on netgalley.  i can’t wait for it to be officially released this summer, and i will definitely be picking up a hard copy when it is!

my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️