Sunday, September 22, 2013

After Alex Died by Dakota Madison

Title:  After Alex Died
Author:  Dakota Madison
Published:  July 19th 2013 by Short on Time Books
Page Count:  216
Genre:  NA Contemporary Romance
Shelf:  Review Copy
Rating:  ★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“Don’t be someone who defines her life by someone else’s death.”

Dee Dee DeMarco’s brother, Alex, was funny, free-spirited and creative. He was also gay. Tormented by bullies, Alex killed himself on his 15th birthday.

Two years later, and now in college, Dee Dee believes getting a summer job working with a college-prep program for disadvantaged high school students is a stroke of luck, until she discovers that the guy assigned to co-lead her group is Cameron Connelly, a star basketball player and one of the bullies who tormented her brother to death. How can Dee Dee possibly spend the entire summer working so closely with one of the boys she blames for her brother’s death?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I think this is a little story with a lot of heart. I hope you think so, too!

My Review:

There is a very natural, mellow flow to this story that makes a shocking counterpoint to the intense and deep subject matter of the novel. They combine to create an enjoyable yet thought provoking read that will keep you captivated. Madison approaches a very difficult and at times controversial subject with tact and class to provide a platform for conversation and understanding. This novel is intense in a hard hitting, real life way.

Madison lays all of the background information out for you in a logical manner while keeping you in the present day and allowing you to immerse yourself in this world. All of the plays on words that the author works into this novel really draw your attention to certain aspects of the novel and the characters without stopping the flow of the novel.

Madison makes very good use of writing in the 1st person to draw you in and let you get to know the more intimate parts of the main character. The number of intense situations worked into the lives of this cast is astounding. They all seem realistic too. Nothing is forced or over the top, just heart wrenching. Also, the unique yet straightforward and natural character names make everyone stand out.

Overall this was a quick and enjoyable read even if the subject matter is quite tough at times. There are a lot of life lessons wrapped up in a captivating package. This is a heart wrenching novel that will take you through the ringer but that will also let you see the hope and joy in life.

Add to your Goodreads shelves.
Buy online via Amazon,, B&N, Kobo, or Smashwords.

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