Aftercare Instructions
In the tradition of Jandy Nelson and Rainbow Rowell, a big-hearted journey of furious friendship, crazy love, and unexpected hope after a teen's decision to end an unwanted pregnancy“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.

Aftercare Instructions Details

TitleAftercare Instructions
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 27th, 2017
PublisherFlatiron
Number of pages265 pages
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Health, Mental Health, Romance, Teen, Social Issues, Relationships, Love

Aftercare Instructions Review

  • Destiny ➳ Howling Libraries
    June 23, 2017
    Genesis did everything she could to prepare for the abortion, but nothing could steady her for how it would feel to walk out into an empty waiting room, without so much as a good-bye text from the boyfriend who left her there: alone, wounded, and sixty miles from home. He won't answer his phone, and rumors are flying that he's already moved on to her former best friend, Vanessa.Living as a seventeen-year-old with a deceased father and an emotionally absent mother, life hasn't been easy, but this Genesis did everything she could to prepare for the abortion, but nothing could steady her for how it would feel to walk out into an empty waiting room, without so much as a good-bye text from the boyfriend who left her there: alone, wounded, and sixty miles from home. He won't answer his phone, and rumors are flying that he's already moved on to her former best friend, Vanessa.Living as a seventeen-year-old with a deceased father and an emotionally absent mother, life hasn't been easy, but this form of grief is all new territory for Gen, and she's going to have to find healing in any way she can get it: even if it means returning to the stage she never thought she'd have the strength to face again.---When I first heard about this book, I knew I had to snatch it up, because I can't say that I've ever read a YA contemporary book that was willing to tackle abortion as a main topic - especially not in a pro-choice lighting. As a tremendous advocate for keeping one person's opinions out of another person's uterus, I was almost a little bit wary - would this book be problematic? Would it highlight abortion as an act of evil, or a move of desperation from a teenage girl not yet fit for motherhood?It turned out that I was cautious for no good reason. Not only did this book paint abortion in a fairly neutral shade, it turned out that the abortion wasn't even necessarily the main plot line. I mean, yes, it was certainly the catalyst for everything that happened in the book, but Bonnie focused a great deal more on Peter leaving Gen, Gen's grief over her dad's passing and her mother's mental health illnesses, and Gen finding healing anywhere she could get it - in the arms of her best friend, her loving cousin, or the new shaggy-haired boy from New York who drags her back into the theatre that her father loved so much.There is a lot of back story to Gen's situation, but Bonnie tackles it so smoothly by alternating present-day chapters with flashbacks in the format of a play's script. It makes for such an enjoyable and easy read that I finished it in two sittings, in the same day. Not only is the formatting and writing style likable, but the characters themselves are just genuinely enjoyable and real-feeling. Despite Gen being seventeen years old, Bonnie didn't play into the guise of the "all high schoolers are evil except the protagonist" trope; instead, Gen is surrounded by a lot of genuinely decent people, and - at risk of posing a small spoiler - even the douchey ex-boyfriend isn't all bad in the end (though he's still pretty crummy).All in all, I enjoyed being in Gen's head. I liked watching her cope with her father's death and Peter's disappearance. I felt sorry for her as she explained how her mother's grief had made her a shell of a human being, and I ached right alongside her when things went south with her mom's mental health. I rooted for the new guy, cheered for the badass friends who supported her, and was overall really pleased that I picked this title up. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good, solid YA contemporary about grief, love, friendship, and healing.Thank you to Bonnie Pipkin and the lovely folks at Flatiron for sending me an ARC of this book! All opinions here are my own.
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  • Kathleen Glasgow
    December 1, 2016
    An incredibly brave book that examines abortion, grief, adolescent relationships, and heartbreak in a timely and authentic way.
  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    June 18, 2017
    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 4.5*First, I must say, the topic of abortion is one that is woefully unspoken about in most books. I love that the author and publisher took such a heavy, important topic and channeled it into a really responsible, well-thought out novel. Lest we get into some kind of political/religious debate, no one enjoys talking about this sort of thing, but unintended pregnancies are a real part of You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 4.5*First, I must say, the topic of abortion is one that is woefully unspoken about in most books. I love that the author and publisher took such a heavy, important topic and channeled it into a really responsible, well-thought out novel. Lest we get into some kind of political/religious debate, no one enjoys talking about this sort of thing, but unintended pregnancies are a real part of people's lives. And I feel like young people especially have so few places to turn (in most cases, anyway) in the event that this happens to them. I can't imagine the havoc this kind of decision would wreak on a young woman's life, so I absolutely applaud this book for handling the subject so respectfully, and so honestly.I loved that the author didn't make this exclusively about Genesis's decision, though. She portrayed Genesis as a well-rounded and thoughtful young woman with a lot of promise. But she also shows the difficulty of Gen's life, her family, her boyfriend (who you'll probably want to punch, just saying). And of course, the aftermath of her life changing decision to end her pregnancy. Genesis was confident of her choice, but that doesn't mean it didn't still have a huge impact, and I loved how honest that felt. We get glimpses into how Genesis got to the point she is at, how her relationship evolved, how her home life was, as the story goes on. These are told as a play script, which was fun- and made it really easy to decipher what parts were flashback and which were present time, and I appreciated that. Bottom Line: This is a lovely story, woven by both past and present situations, that not only shines a light on the effects of a young woman's decision, but how her life continues and how she grows after the decision. *Copy provided for review
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  • Kelly
    May 26, 2017
    I wouldn't put this in the camp of "like Jandy Nelson and Rainbow Rowell" at all when it comes to contemporary YA. It's got more edge than either of them and it's got less literary angling than Nelson. There's also virtually no quirkiness nor witty banter a la Rowell. So don't go in expecting that. If that comp is code for THIS IS CONTEMPORARY REALISTIC FICTION there are so many better comps. Siobhan Vivian, maybe? Amy Reed? CK Kelly Martin? Trish Doller? This is an excellent debut novel about a I wouldn't put this in the camp of "like Jandy Nelson and Rainbow Rowell" at all when it comes to contemporary YA. It's got more edge than either of them and it's got less literary angling than Nelson. There's also virtually no quirkiness nor witty banter a la Rowell. So don't go in expecting that. If that comp is code for THIS IS CONTEMPORARY REALISTIC FICTION there are so many better comps. Siobhan Vivian, maybe? Amy Reed? CK Kelly Martin? Trish Doller? This is an excellent debut novel about a girl named Genesis (after the band and after the Bible) who has an abortion. Peter, the baby's father, leaves her alone at the Planned Parenthood, and the story weaves backwards and forwards from that moment. The flashbacks are written in play format, with the three act structure, and it's woven in smartly, as Gen is a former actress. This is a well-paced story about a girl growing up in a dysfunctional household marred by drug addiction and mental illness, as well as a family that's literally in pieces. The voice is fresh, the style is engaging, and it tackles so many tough topics in a thoughtful way. Many might find Gen to be "unlikable" -- she is, after all, starting with an abortion and then evading everyone in her family who loves her and oh, she leaves a party to make out with the ex when she brought her new love interest along for the ride -- but she's just making poor choices in light of having a million pounds of expectations upon her. Sign me up for the next Pipkin read.
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  • Julie
    May 9, 2016
    This was beautiful and fun and full of imperfect characters and the importance of friendship and I LOVE what it adds to the conversation in YA.
  • Hannah
    June 19, 2017
    I received this via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I am a broken human. Genesis and her story have absolutely broken me. This book is a beautiful exploration of mental health, death, addiction, teen pregnancy, abortion, love, heartbreak, friendship & family and I love it.It's raw and it's gritty and it's hard to read at times but it's worth it. I laughed and cried. I was angry and thrilled. I loved and hated characters. This book will make you think and it will make you feel and I received this via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I am a broken human. Genesis and her story have absolutely broken me. This book is a beautiful exploration of mental health, death, addiction, teen pregnancy, abortion, love, heartbreak, friendship & family and I love it.It's raw and it's gritty and it's hard to read at times but it's worth it. I laughed and cried. I was angry and thrilled. I loved and hated characters. This book will make you think and it will make you feel and you should read it.
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  • Jamie (Books and Ladders)
    January 10, 2017
    Full review to come closer to release date on Books and Ladders !This was really enjoyable and I loved the story and the characters but I wasn't a huge fan of the format with the flashbacks being in script. I think I would have enjoyed it more without that aspect. But I still really liked it!
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  • Allison
    June 30, 2016
    Absolutely wonderful, but it's not out til Summer 2017 so I'll hold off on a rating/review until the fall at least!
  • Tirzah Price
    September 16, 2016
    I read an early copy of this novel, and it is a brave, bold, beautiful story. I couldn't put it down.
  • kb
    April 28, 2017
    UNPOPULAR OPINION COMING THROUGH! (view spoiler)[I really tried with this one, but there were several things about this book I didn't particularly like/subscribed to, and so, even with the promise of 'In the tradition of Jandy Nelson and Rainbow Rowell', I had to put this down.To be quite frank, this annoyed me. I knew I was going in for some heavy shit with this book—teenage pregnancy, abortion, mental health, problematic relationships, but oh god, it had too many things going on. A bigger prob UNPOPULAR OPINION COMING THROUGH! (view spoiler)[I really tried with this one, but there were several things about this book I didn't particularly like/subscribed to, and so, even with the promise of 'In the tradition of Jandy Nelson and Rainbow Rowell', I had to put this down.To be quite frank, this annoyed me. I knew I was going in for some heavy shit with this book—teenage pregnancy, abortion, mental health, problematic relationships, but oh god, it had too many things going on. A bigger problem? I didn't find myself caring about/feeling for any of the characters at all. At first, I was like, 'I gotta be patient, this might just be a slow start,' but even as early as 5%, I was already,I know. I'm sorry I had to do this, but just to give readers another perspective (I mean, so far, there are all but high praises here on Goodreads and elsewhere), here are a few cringe-worthy moments and some scenes I had issues with, arranged in chronological order:"A text telling me he will be right back for me. That he just had to go get something real quick, some city errand he wanted to take the opportunity to do, and that he's so sorry it seemed any other way.""I have to figure out where Peter went. Why he left me at the clinic. Why I'm suddenly all alone again."That's Genesis, the MC, right there, talking about her boyfriend who (got her pregnant and told her to get an abortion and) left her at the clinic."Peter Sage? With a girlfriend? You think his nutso religo-freak parents would let him even talk to a girl? Much less slip his hand up her blouse?"Gen has a BFF in Rose who stereotypes people, of course. (It seemed lost on her that her BFF is named after the first chapter in the Old Testament. Intentional? NO, I DON'T THINK THAT'S BRILLIANT.) Here's more from them:GENESIS: No! Come on. Get real. Peter doesn't like girls like me.ROSE: Girls like you? You're the best girl there is. Perfectly respectable.GENESIS: With some pretty heavy baggage.ROSE: Are you kidding me? Guys love baggage. Besides, your baggage is, like, totally mysterious. I need some baggage.GENESIS: Do you think he only likes girls who are... Christian?ROSE: I don't know. Probably.GENESIS: Yeah.ROSE: Seriously, do you like him or something?GENESIS: Me?ROSE: No, your imaginary friend next to you.GENESIS: We come from different worlds.ROSE: That's not an answer."You know she writes romance novels? How gross is that? Can you imagine Ms. Jones, like, doing it?"Subtle genre-shaming? BITE. ME."I don't even believe the story myself as I say it out loud."YOU AND ME, GIRL. YOU AND ME."What was that? I thought she never cared when you don't come home."That is in reference to Gen's mother. I am so effing tired of parents cast in a bad light.PETER: I might ask you some other time if you’re busy after school. Is that okay? GENESIS (Blurting): Do you want to come with me? PETER: To the hospital? GENESIS: Sorry, that’s actually kind of weird, isn’t it? PETER: I don’t know. GENESIS: Never mind. It was a stupid idea. PETER: What I should say is: Do you want me to come with you?SHE JUST ASKED YOU, GENIUS.GENESIS: It’s not a happy scene. PETER: We’ll make it a happy scene. (GENESIS shifts awkwardly.) You don’t need to explain anything you don’t want to. GENESIS: She’s not doing very well. (Beat) But she didn’t try to kill herself. (Another beat) I’m sorry. Is this too heavy? I know that’s what people think. HE SAID DON'T EXPLAIN."We’re not broken up." Rose gathers my hair together and out of my face. "We’re not. People don’t break up without a conversation, right? Can I still be with him, Rose?"I get the pain, seriously, but I'm just thinking about how there are 18-year-old girls out there going through the same thing who would HATE to be portrayed this way. Give them a little credit. They've done stupid things, but they are not this dumb."Who cares if I still want to be with him after what he did to me? Our relationship is more than that."Who the fck am I kidding? I didn't like Genesis—or anyone, at that. There was nobody to root for here.PETER: Is this the best date you’ve ever been on? GENESIS (Smiling): Yes. Is this the best date you’ve ever been on?PETER DID NOT SAY YES, LET ME TELL YOU. His best? The one in sixth grade where he barfed on a girl while riding the 'Tilt-A-Whirl.' GENESIS: I don’t come easy, Peter. PETER: I can tell.At this point, I wondered if it was possible to give this a zero-star rating. But then again, I gave it one last chance but another villain appeared, as if the story needed one more:Here stands Vanessa, who used to be my best friend. Maybe one of convenience, but nonetheless a best friend. The one who let out the secret of my dad’s death. The one who thought everyone should know it wasn’t just any special heart attack , but a heroin overdose. Junkie’s daughter. The one who thought I needed that added to my social résumé. Hi, I’m Genesis, and you heard me right, my dad overdosed from shooting up more heroin than his body could handle, so he died.“You knew it was coming.”“Excuse me?”“You had to know I’m much more his type.”You know what the last straw was? This:“What happened, Gen? I’m worried about you. Like, worried about your mental health.”'Like, worried about your mental health'? Like, that's how you express your care and worry? Like, you know all about Gen's heavy baggage and you phone in and say things like, 'worried about your mental health'?(hide spoiler)]Note: I received a copy from the publisher via Net Galley.
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  • Dahlia
    February 4, 2017
    Still trying to figure out what to say about this book, but I do know that in a time it seems impossible for me to focus on reading anything (hence being behind on my GR challenge for the first time in forever and also Currently Reading 400 books), I was totally sneaking reads of this one when I should've been getting dressed to go out, and sped through it like I haven't through anything in a longass time.
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  • Danielle Guzzardi
    March 19, 2017
    *Received this book as a giveaway on Goodreads*As a long time reader, I'm always on the lookout for books that tell the story in a unique way. Either by using pictures, text messages, interviews, etc. This book does just that in a way I've never seen, combining the story with acts in a play. The story centers around Genesis, an teenager with a painful past who finds love and acceptance in the arms of her classmate Peter. Genesis and Peter have a great relationship until Genesis becomes pregnant. *Received this book as a giveaway on Goodreads*As a long time reader, I'm always on the lookout for books that tell the story in a unique way. Either by using pictures, text messages, interviews, etc. This book does just that in a way I've never seen, combining the story with acts in a play. The story centers around Genesis, an teenager with a painful past who finds love and acceptance in the arms of her classmate Peter. Genesis and Peter have a great relationship until Genesis becomes pregnant. We start her journey while she is in the clinic getting an abortion. Genesis walks out to the waiting room after the procedure and Peter has left, doesn't answer his phone and Genesis has no way to get home. We follow the story of what unfolds after Genesis gets an abortion and then in alternating chapters we get scenes from a play that tell of how Genesis and Peter first met and feel in love. I really loved Genesis as a character, she had been through so much, but still is a strong female character. I enjoyed her relationship with her best friend, how they interacted together was supportive and just plain fun to read. And Seth..there relationship was too adorable, I need another book with just them. I really enjoyed this book, it was creative, different with enjoyable characters and an important story that needs to be told about teenage pregnancy, addiction, mental illness and love. 5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kerri
    February 2, 2017
    2.5 stars. The first chapter of this book made me go "YES THIS IS GOING TO BE AMAZING" but it sadly did not quite live up to my own hype. This book had so much promise! But I feel like there were a couple of real issues with it that made my enjoyment dwindle steadily as each chapter went on. The first was that the voice was all over the place. One chapter it was your contemporary voice, the next it was almost stream of consciousness. I would imagine that the author wanted to tie this in with Gen 2.5 stars. The first chapter of this book made me go "YES THIS IS GOING TO BE AMAZING" but it sadly did not quite live up to my own hype. This book had so much promise! But I feel like there were a couple of real issues with it that made my enjoyment dwindle steadily as each chapter went on. The first was that the voice was all over the place. One chapter it was your contemporary voice, the next it was almost stream of consciousness. I would imagine that the author wanted to tie this in with Genesis's mental state, but to me it just read as poorly edited. The second, and probably bigger issue I had, was that this book tried to do way too much in way too short a time. It was a book about teen abortion (but only peripherally, only as the cause of action,and that was a major disappointment), it was a break-up book, it was a mental health book, it was a family dynamics book, it was a drug abuse book, it was a friendship book, a new romance book, a New York book, a theater book...I could seriously go on here. When it started I thought this book was going to delve very specifically into teen romance, teen pregnancy, into Genesis's autonomy with a boyfriend from a very religious family. That was a story I wanted to get into more. But this was just allllll over the map, so that we only got snippets of each story arc. If the book had been more focused, had known the story it wanted to tell and really told it, I think it would have been infinitely more enjoyable and emotionally hard-hitting.
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  • Rachel WritesThings
    January 28, 2016
    What an important and powerful book. Wow. EDIT: It's taken me some time to think about what I want to say about Bonnie Pipkin's debut. It is a suckerpunch of a novel, a look at how Genesis' decision affects her, her boyfriend, her life, and her actions. It's not about pregnancy or abortion, it's not a pro-abortion or pro-life book (though I mean she gets an abortion so there is that), it's about religion and friendship and grief and love. All kinds of love: friendship and romance and familial. I What an important and powerful book. Wow. EDIT: It's taken me some time to think about what I want to say about Bonnie Pipkin's debut. It is a suckerpunch of a novel, a look at how Genesis' decision affects her, her boyfriend, her life, and her actions. It's not about pregnancy or abortion, it's not a pro-abortion or pro-life book (though I mean she gets an abortion so there is that), it's about religion and friendship and grief and love. All kinds of love: friendship and romance and familial. It's about fathers and daughters. And best friends. And first loves, whether that's people or things you enjoy doing. It's about being scared and chickening out but finally owning up to it. It's about the way being on stage makes you feel alive, alive, alive. It's about one girl and her journey. I don't want to say too much to give it away. Going into this book with an blank slate is absolutely what you need to do. It's a must-read.
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  • Amanda
    April 13, 2017
    My reviews are first published on [a cup of tea and an armful of books]. This is an upcoming release!Ever since the death of her father, Genesis has had to take on more than the average seventeen-about-to-turn-eighteen girl should have to. When her mother fell into a depression after her father’s death, Genesis took on the responsibility of taking care of her family. She can’t just leave her mother to her grief. But then Genesis gets pregnant. It’s not how she expected her year to go–pregnancy i My reviews are first published on [a cup of tea and an armful of books]. This is an upcoming release!Ever since the death of her father, Genesis has had to take on more than the average seventeen-about-to-turn-eighteen girl should have to. When her mother fell into a depression after her father’s death, Genesis took on the responsibility of taking care of her family. She can’t just leave her mother to her grief. But then Genesis gets pregnant. It’s not how she expected her year to go–pregnancy in high school was never her plan. She and her boyfriend, Peter, decide that getting an abortion is the only option for them because they’re seventeen and not ready for a child. After the procedure, Genesis expects to find her boyfriend waiting for her in the lobby of the Planned Parenthood. Instead she discovers that Peter abandoned her there. She’s alone. It’s something that she hasn’t really addressed before. The girl and her escort have the same wild hair and deep-set eyes. This has to be her mother, and I try to imagine my own mother helping me out, escorting me. But I can’t conjure the faintest image of this. Not anymore.* What follows is a heartfelt exploration of first loves, friendship, and understanding that your–and others’–actions may not be so black and white.While Aftercare Instructions puts an abortion at the forefront of the novel–and indeed the opening scene takes place at the clinic–it’s very decisively after: it focuses on what Genesis is going through after the abortion and after the realization that her boyfriend has abandoned her. She needs to learn how to move on from both events and figure out how they’re going to change her. Genesis doesn’t always address everything, but since the chapter titles deal with aftercare and details about what your body goes through after an abortion, the reader is constantly reminded of where the novel started and what Genesis will eventually have to come to terms with.I thought that Bonnie Pipkin did a good job of showing Genesis’ processing; she goes through an array of emotions from betrayal, to second guessing, to wanting to forget, all while trying to hold herself and her family together. She’s very much a girl who thinks that she has to keep it to herself to protect others, even her best friend. I think there’s an important release when she’s able to confide in others. I also think it’s equally important that she wasn’t shamed for having an abortion. Instead we were shown female relationships where there was only concern.Genesis does not become the Girl that had an Abortion–partially because few people know, but mostly because she doesn’t allow herself to use that as one of her personal definitions. She’s so much more. However, I think the book lost a little bit of its potential because of that.When I first heard about Aftercare Instructions, I thought that it was going to really focus on the abortion and the after. It gets pushed to the background instead. The fact that Genesis had an abortion is constantly there, but it becomes more about Genesis worrying about her mother. Or a budding friendship/relationship. Or being called out on neglecting friends. It’s about abortion and teen pregnancy, but it’s also not about abortion and teen pregnancy. I feel odd describing it that way, but there’s no other way to explain it. While it’s good to have a book that shows a character learning how to balance her before and after, I did expect that Genesis’ abortion would be in the forefront of her thoughts more than it actually was. The novel was instead about the relationships–friendly, romantic, and familial–and the ins-and-outs of them. As much as I enjoyed the book, it’s tempered by my disappointment that Aftercare Instructions didn’t do something entirely new. I hope that it’s the first of many books that deal with real issues that teens may be going through but aren’t often addressed in literature (that I’ve read). I hope that there’s a trend that starts and gets on my radar.I agree with another reviewer who said that even though it isn’t entirely focused on this, it still gives young readers–who may be experiencing the same thing–a protagonist who isn’t judged for having an abortion and who has a variety of emotions about what happens after. Aftercare Instructions was written really thoughtfully. In that sense it succeeded in opening up a discussion about abortion. It has the potential to be uncomfortable for some readers, and there was a moment where I got queasy because I’m not good with doctor visits, but I think overall it will be something that is talked about in the book community. A lot of times contemporary novels seem to deal with cotton-candy issues–Will I get into college? Will this friendship last through the struggles of senior year?–instead of things that are labeled as tough. It was refreshing to read something different.My absolute favorite part of Aftercare Instructions is the unique way that it was given to the reader. It’s prose with sections of a play–Genesis’ before–interspersed throughout. There’s the before and the after, which I thought was a great way to show Genesis and her relationships. When they eventually collide, as all things must, Genesis is forced to reevaluate herself through the lens of the after. I thought it was a very realistic way of dealing with how we can willfully be blind to certain things in our lives. Genesis’ coming of age comes from her tracing her past.As for the characters themselves, I wish that they had been fleshed out further. I expected more from Genesis because of what she’s going through. Even though the novel is written in first person, I didn’t feel that delved very deep into Gen’s psyche. There were times when I didn’t quite connect with her during emotional moments because I wasn’t given enough meaning. I felt like I was occasionally told how I was meant to be feeling rather than shown. However, I think that Pipkin does do a good job of examining all of the different ways that her choice ripples through her life. Pipkin examines them all in turn.Another thing I liked about this this novel was how female relationships were portrayed. Although there is a small part that deals with girl-on-girl hate, it isn’t stuck in that position. While there are many female characters in this novel, I didn’t feel that all of them were on equal footing. Some of them existed for Gen to grow in some way, then they disappeared. It does makes sense as this novel is in first person and understandably focused on Gen, but I think there could have been strength in allowing these secondary characters to shine through the page. Instead they’re kind of there in the background, only coming to the foreground when necessary. For example, Rose is Genesis’ best friend, yet she doesn’t appear as much as I would expect, especially with the circumstances in Gen’s life. I understand that there’s some element of healing that Gen needs to go through alone, but it was odd to me that Rose wasn’t in Gen’s life more. I wish that the friendships had been explored more in Aftercare Instructions.For all of my minor complaints, I felt that Aftercare Instructions was a really engaging novel. I liked the writing style a lot. I thought the choice to have different styles–prose and script–in the novel really showed how people interact with one another, especially when you strip it down to dialogue. Aftercare Instructions took a subject that is oftentimes considered taboo and talked about it in a way that doesn’t judge either way. It’s good to see a book like this in the young adult contemporary genre.4 stars.I received a copy of Aftercare Instructions from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Aftercare Instructions will be published on June 27th.*Quotes are taken from an ARC and subject to change before publication.
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  • Jordan
    June 5, 2017
    This is the first YA book I’ve read that has dealt with the sensitive and extremely relevant topics of teenage pregnancy and choosing abortion. We definitely need more of these heavy-hitting subjects because despite the tendency for society to pretend sex doesn’t happen in high school, it does and a lot. Kids make mistakes, especially when it comes to mixing alcohol and unprotected sex (which is not even the case in this story, the condom actually breaks). This is 100% a story that needed to be This is the first YA book I’ve read that has dealt with the sensitive and extremely relevant topics of teenage pregnancy and choosing abortion. We definitely need more of these heavy-hitting subjects because despite the tendency for society to pretend sex doesn’t happen in high school, it does and a lot. Kids make mistakes, especially when it comes to mixing alcohol and unprotected sex (which is not even the case in this story, the condom actually breaks). This is 100% a story that needed to be written, explored, and experienced. Okay, let me get off of my soapbox about this and talk about the book.The story centers around a girl who is very much in love with her boyfriend, they have sex, and unfortunately the condom breaks and she ends up pregnant. He comes from a very traditional, upper class, church-going family, and has been raised to believe abortion is the highest form of sin, much worse than the pre-martial sex he indulged in. Gen comes from a broken family. Her father OD’d, her mother is dangerously depressed, and she is left to pick up the pieces after their tragic loss. Their home situations are vastly different and yet, he adores her quirkiness and her big heart. He is compassionate and understands her home life is less than ideal and he’s there for her when some truly devastating and horrific stuff happens. So what’s the problem?Read more here:https://youngadultbookmadness.wordpre...
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  • alice (arctic books)
    June 28, 2017
    I was interested to pick this one up because I had heard a few things about it, and it covered abortion, something that I've never read before in YA fiction. AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS follows a girl name Genesis as she recovers emotionally and physically after she has an abortion. Told in a non-linear writing style, with a four-part play unravelling throughout the novel as she and Peter fall in love, AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS was written incredibly well. Genesis reminded me a lot of Grace in BAD ROMAN I was interested to pick this one up because I had heard a few things about it, and it covered abortion, something that I've never read before in YA fiction. AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS follows a girl name Genesis as she recovers emotionally and physically after she has an abortion. Told in a non-linear writing style, with a four-part play unravelling throughout the novel as she and Peter fall in love, AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS was written incredibly well. Genesis reminded me a lot of Grace in BAD ROMANCE, with their common interest in theater and their developing relationship with a new boy. I did find that Genesis was more defined than her procedure—readers learn more about her home life, her friends, and her interests. However, I did feel kinda...icky with the growing relationship between Genesis and Seth. That being said, I'm quite happy with Genesis's development at the end of the novel, learning to be comfortable and content again. Overall, while I did find AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS moving, I do wish that this novel was longer and gave more opportunities to further emphasize Genesis's recovery, rather than throw in another love interest into the mix. I do recommend this book if you or someone you know has gone through an abortion, as it can be scary and disorienting, but I hope this book might be able to help someone towards recovery. Thank you to Flatiron Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Camryn Garrett
    April 16, 2017
    I'm not sure how I feel about this yet. I mean, it was really good. I have a ton of feelings, and I read it in an entire day because I just couldn't put it down. But wow. So many feelings.
  • Ali (the bandar blog)
    May 24, 2017
    See more amazing (!!) reviews like this one at the bandar blog.A quick-packed, easy read YA contemporary, coming-of-age novel about a girl who is abandoned by her boyfriend at Planned Parenthood when she goes to get an abortion. The story is simple and emotional, but I did think it lacked the poignancy of some of the YA greats (I'll Give You the Sun, Eleanor and Park, etc). I did enjoy the formatting where the past was told as a screenplay, but it didn't contribute anything particularly ground b See more amazing (!!) reviews like this one at the bandar blog.A quick-packed, easy read YA contemporary, coming-of-age novel about a girl who is abandoned by her boyfriend at Planned Parenthood when she goes to get an abortion. The story is simple and emotional, but I did think it lacked the poignancy of some of the YA greats (I'll Give You the Sun, Eleanor and Park, etc). I did enjoy the formatting where the past was told as a screenplay, but it didn't contribute anything particularly ground breaking. Overall an enjoyable story, but not one that is particular memorable. Full review to come closer to release date!
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  • Sharon
    January 14, 2017
    Heartrending and funny and unexpected!
  • Susie
    April 26, 2017
    I received this title as an ARC from NetGalley. The reason I requested it was because it was characterized as having to do with abortion and I believe that is a topic that gets little to no quality attention in YA, where it really needs to be. And, luckily, I was not disappointed.With regard to the debate surrounding abortion, the author found a way to allow for and feature both sides without judging either of them...rather, the sides just existed side by side without judgment from her, allowing I received this title as an ARC from NetGalley. The reason I requested it was because it was characterized as having to do with abortion and I believe that is a topic that gets little to no quality attention in YA, where it really needs to be. And, luckily, I was not disappointed.With regard to the debate surrounding abortion, the author found a way to allow for and feature both sides without judging either of them...rather, the sides just existed side by side without judgment from her, allowing the characters to speak to their positions, I liked that. I think it's fair and I think it allows the reader to decide. Now, since an abortion happens, I suppose you could say that the author took a position. But, truly, I didn't feel that way. I also enjoyed the theatre directions and other associated parts of the play that appeared throughout the book. It made the plot sail! I often find myself thinking of the characters in a book as those in a play, working through the scenes, so this worked well for me. The almost stream-of-consciousness writing style reminded me OF me, too, so I dug that!I will be buying this one for my Library when it comes out.
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  • Tegan (The Rowdy Librarian)
    February 27, 2017
    This is fantastic!!! I highly recommend it! Thank you School Library Journal for giving me the chance to review it! Full review here to come.
  • Chelsey
    April 13, 2017
    When Genesis walks into the Planned Parenthood in Manhattan, she knows her life will never be the same. What she doesn't expect is that her boyfriend, Peter, will not be there waiting for her when she walks out. But Peter has deserted her at the time she needs him most, setting off a week that is unpredictable, emotional, and cathartic. Genesis will never be the same, but is that for the better?This was a book that took some getting used to, but it explores some really tough issues in a very aut When Genesis walks into the Planned Parenthood in Manhattan, she knows her life will never be the same. What she doesn't expect is that her boyfriend, Peter, will not be there waiting for her when she walks out. But Peter has deserted her at the time she needs him most, setting off a week that is unpredictable, emotional, and cathartic. Genesis will never be the same, but is that for the better?This was a book that took some getting used to, but it explores some really tough issues in a very authentic way, so I applaud its daring. I wasn't into the style (switching from prose to play script and back) in the beginning because it felt forced, but as I grew to understand Genesis's character, it ended up fitting well. This was not as emotionally difficult a read as Allegedly, but it could still have some trigger warnings. Overall, I'm satisfied by what happened here, and I'm glad this book exists.
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  • Shannon Wise
    March 14, 2017
    I do not think I can say enough great things about this book. I do not think I can quantify how much I loved it. Aftercare Instructions is the story of Genesis Johnson, who is a senior in high school. Her father has died of a heroin overdose - which the entire school has found about. Her mother is not recovering from her father's death. Her sister lives with her mom's religious parents. Her life is her best friend, Rose, and her boyfriend, Peter, whose mother us uber religious and uber judgmenta I do not think I can say enough great things about this book. I do not think I can quantify how much I loved it. Aftercare Instructions is the story of Genesis Johnson, who is a senior in high school. Her father has died of a heroin overdose - which the entire school has found about. Her mother is not recovering from her father's death. Her sister lives with her mom's religious parents. Her life is her best friend, Rose, and her boyfriend, Peter, whose mother us uber religious and uber judgmental. The book opens with Genesis getting an abortion in New York City and being left there by Peter. She is struggling with everything in her life. Peter's disappearance is worsened by the fact that he isn't talking to her. Her ex-best friend, Vanessa, likes Peter and leads Genesis to believe that Peter left Gen for Vanessa. There is a fight. There is a suspension. There is adventure. There is drama. What made this book so great to me was Genesis' voice. She is strong, but vulnerable. She is tough, but has a soft heart. She misses her father, but knows she has to function for her mother's sake. She is an old soul, with a teenager's view of love. She is quick and witty and sarcastic. Most importantly to me, she is real. Very, very real. Bonnie Pipkin did such a fantastic job developing all of her characters in this book. Even the two dimensional characters pop off the page and come to life. Don't read any more of my gushing about this book. Just get it and read it. You will love it. I won this book from Goodreads and received no other compensation for my review. The opinions expressed herein are mine and mine alone.
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  • KTReads
    December 1, 2016
    This book knocked me flat. Wow. One look at the description--the story of a girl who has been dumped just after having an abortion--and you know it will be a brave book. (It is.) But what you won't know just from the premise is that it's also an incredible nuanced, graceful, heart-tuggingly beautiful story about love, family, and friendship. It's rare to see friendships and first loves rendered with such realness and sensitivity. People are messy in real life! And Genesis is messy. She makes bad This book knocked me flat. Wow. One look at the description--the story of a girl who has been dumped just after having an abortion--and you know it will be a brave book. (It is.) But what you won't know just from the premise is that it's also an incredible nuanced, graceful, heart-tuggingly beautiful story about love, family, and friendship. It's rare to see friendships and first loves rendered with such realness and sensitivity. People are messy in real life! And Genesis is messy. She makes bad decisions that ring 100% true. She's also such a compelling character who has been through so much. I wanted to wrap her up in a big warm blanket and make her life easy and neat. I am so glad the author was brave enough to do the opposite because she has given teens a gorgeous story that they can really wrestle with and in which they will recognize bits of their own hearts.
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  • Sheryl Scarborough
    January 19, 2017
    Gen (short for Genesis) has 99 problems, but this book isn't one of them. This book is bold and risky. It's heart-breaking and life-affirming. It handles delicate subjects with extreme skill and care. I don't want to tell any more about this story than is already written in the synopsis, but definitely don't judge a book by it's story...unless you've read it. This seems like a really important book at a very important time.
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  • Mariam
    May 30, 2017
    Originally posted on my blog!I received an electronic advance reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.Trigger warning: suicide (attempted and actual OD) and abortion.It doesn't take much to stay. It takes far more effort to leave. Leaving breaks inertia. Leaving mans a whole new energy source is needed to make a change in course like that. You have to make a decision, then stand up, then leave.This book truly grew on me. It took me around an afternoon to finish it and it was jus Originally posted on my blog!I received an electronic advance reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.Trigger warning: suicide (attempted and actual OD) and abortion.It doesn't take much to stay. It takes far more effort to leave. Leaving breaks inertia. Leaving mans a whole new energy source is needed to make a change in course like that. You have to make a decision, then stand up, then leave.This book truly grew on me. It took me around an afternoon to finish it and it was just so good both to my emotions and to my hungering stomach. Aftercare Instructions has the perfect pacing that doesn't try too hard with the plot, but gives you a lot of the main character Genesis who has so much to deal with BESIDES the fact that she gets an abortion. For example: her boyfriend leaves her at the Planned Parenthood where she gets it done and has to go through a week of haziness. Breakup stories are always so difficult to read because they’re simply so painful.What this book did amazingly was introduce Gen and Peter’s relationship to the audience in a script method. The straightforward style gave the past a really honest and raw feeling. There were not meddling emotions and he said she said. It was sweet and to the point. I had my concerns about the script style because it often left me unable to connect with the characters. But that is where Genesis’ point of view comes in.While the script deals with past events, Genesis relays events in the present time following the abortion she gets. You get a very close look into the messy emotions that overwhelm her. I understand the blurb’s intention of preparing reviewers for something equivalent of JN and RR, but I believe this book deserves its own branding. It wasn’t as purple or as quippy as JK and RR. It was honest and realistic which I really liked. It gripped me from page 20 onto the very end. I couldn’t help but want to reach into the pages and hug Gen so tight she’d just let go of all the stress on her shoulders.I saw reviewers saying that Genesis was selfish which made no sense to me. This is a 17 year old girl who has been taking care of her own mother since she was 15 following her dad’s overdose. PLUS, she is separated from her baby sister BECAUSE her mother attempted suicide shortly before Gen and Peter happen. Gen totally felt sympathetic and the circumstances were far too intense for her to be coddling everyone. Plus, characters don’t need to explain their actions, she’s a teen, she’s allowed to be selfish. Who’s to say that selfishness is bad. She went through something as traumatic as losing someone as important to her as Peter, and I believed she had every right to put herself first. Sure, she made questionable decisions but that doesn’t automatically brand her as ‘bad’!I’m so fed up with reviewers, especially adult ones, taking liberty calling characters who are teenagers certain negative words just because they don’t behave as angels. There is more than one way of reacting to something shitty happening in your life. I understand that abortion is her decision and all but it still isn’t something pretty to go through even when it’s something you WANT. Plus, Gen prioritizing herself and making somewhat hasty decisions eventually solved so much for her.In the end, Gen still has a strong group of people who love and support her, which I liked. There is her extended family (her aunt and cousin) her best friend Rose and even a boy who's pretty goofy called Seth. Even the very ex-boyfriend Peter, who made me boil over with anger, had such a good redeemable scene that made me rethink my hatred for him.To say that the end didn’t satisfy me would be a lie. It was brilliant. It didn’t leave me with false pretenses of a world ‘perfectly’ where it should be neither did it leave me go ‘huh? What? No… nothing is resolved!’ I applaud Pipkin at putting so much into writing this book.I recommend Aftercare Instructions because although it’s not the pinnacle of diversity, it still offers a great insight and very beautiful writing about a girl dealing with so much.
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  • kelly
    May 11, 2017
    I liked this book. A couple of online reviewers have called this book "brave," and I will capitulate on that. This IS a brave book. There is friendship, heartbreak, an abortion, and a teenage girl in the middle of it all just being herself. What more can I say? I get it, and it's great.Aftercare Instructions" is about Genesis Johnson (called 'Gen' throughout the book), a high school senior who is abandoned by her boyfriend immediately following an abortion at an NYC Planned Parenthood clinic (wt I liked this book. A couple of online reviewers have called this book "brave," and I will capitulate on that. This IS a brave book. There is friendship, heartbreak, an abortion, and a teenage girl in the middle of it all just being herself. What more can I say? I get it, and it's great.Aftercare Instructions" is about Genesis Johnson (called 'Gen' throughout the book), a high school senior who is abandoned by her boyfriend immediately following an abortion at an NYC Planned Parenthood clinic (wtf?). Her father has died of a heroin overdose and the whole school has found out. Her mother is not handling his loss well (pill popping, being absent, etc). She can't stand her grandparents, who take care of her sister and whose faux-religiousness she despises. Genesis' life is pretty much her friend Rose and her boyfriend Peter. And Peter has just left her and won't take her calls.To top all of this off, another friend has been cozying up to Peter in Genesis' absence. There's drama. There's a catfight. Genesis is suspended from school. In the meantime, she discovers herself and her true passion: theater. As the story flashes back to the past, it is completely in play dialogue. I liked it. I loved the fact that Genesis was a strong character, yet unafraid to be vulnerable. She has issues, and yes, those issues hurt. I liked that. I can't tell you how many YA books I've read in which the author seems so stuck on the idea of a strong female voice that he/she forgets to make the character believable. I also liked the fact that abortion was explored in the book, minus any yay or nay political message or proselytizing by the people in the character's orbit. Anywho, read this book when it comes out. You won't regret it. [Note: A free digital copy was provided to me from the publisher, St. Martin's Press, and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion and review.]
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  • Sarah (Books Before Bandaids)
    June 26, 2017
    A strong divide between the past and present of Gen’s life takes center stage as two disparate formats, scenes from of play versus first person stream of consciousness lead up to the opening scene of Aftercare Instructions with Gen abandoned by her boyfriend immediately after her abortion. Overwhelmed by grief after the loss of her father and the ensuing emotional abandonment by her mother, the loss of friends, the recent loss of her baby and the loss of her boyfriend, Gen reacts with rage and d A strong divide between the past and present of Gen’s life takes center stage as two disparate formats, scenes from of play versus first person stream of consciousness lead up to the opening scene of Aftercare Instructions with Gen abandoned by her boyfriend immediately after her abortion. Overwhelmed by grief after the loss of her father and the ensuing emotional abandonment by her mother, the loss of friends, the recent loss of her baby and the loss of her boyfriend, Gen reacts with rage and despair. While her story was compelling, the focus on Gen’s boyfriend and the loss of his love, overshadowed the abortion, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, and mental health issues to the point that I wondered why so many serious issues had been included. The drug abuse came off as a plot device to add to Gen’s characterization which was a disappointment. The way the new love in her life ultimately saved her mental health was a major disappointment to me as well. I had really hoped that Gen would be able to survive on her own and not need a romantic savior to somehow make her whole again. Abortion is a very important topic and I picked up this book with high hopes, the unique format and topic were intriguing, however despite the relevant premise the narrative suffered by trying to do too much. Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
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  • Hallie
    June 21, 2017
    I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewThis book is messy, It shows the real emotions, weight, and struggles of making a decision for you, in spite of what other people may tell you. It shows the bravery in choosing for yourself. Aftercare Instructions helps to fill a hole in YA by talking openly about an abortion. Unintended pregnancies are real and they deserved to be represented in YA literature. Genesis was so raw throughout the whole story. She has struggled with I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewThis book is messy, It shows the real emotions, weight, and struggles of making a decision for you, in spite of what other people may tell you. It shows the bravery in choosing for yourself. Aftercare Instructions helps to fill a hole in YA by talking openly about an abortion. Unintended pregnancies are real and they deserved to be represented in YA literature. Genesis was so raw throughout the whole story. She has struggled with her parents, her living situation, and now has to deal with the aftermath of an abortion. I felt so deeply for her. I really enjoyed the style of this book--with flashbacks and theatrical stage directions. It's a unique format to tell a common story. Genesis and Bonnie Pipkin will resonate with readers.
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