Messy & Beautiful – Put This on Your TBR – Aftercare Instructions (Review)

Oh, what a glorious and messy book this is. It’s so fast and yet deep – I was left satisfied AND wanting more! I know, what a conundrum.

The Thing I Wish I’d Known: I love you doesn’t come with any guarantees.

There are so many ways a book about abortion could go wrong but Aftercare Instructions gets it right. It explores the issue from many angles and as a teenager would. But this book is so much more than the abortion. It’s the story of how messy teen lives can be and about choices and living and transition. It’s about imperfect parents and imperfect friends and imperfect relationships. There’s a lot of good that comes out of some tough situations, and some tough situations you just wade through. 

I’m the first one they will see. I stand on the stage, looking into the darkness and waiting for the voices in the audience to settle. They are a blur of shadows, but I know who sits out there, and who will wait for me after the curtain call. And I wouldn’t have made it here without her. Or any of them. I take another deep breath. The lights rise.

I loved that Bonnie narrates the audiobook. Her tone, inflection, and voice are perfect. She knows, and loves, this story. It’s raw and modern and she portrays it perfectly. I also love that it’s partially told like a script. This book is imperfectly perfect. I can’t wait for next story; she’s made a fan of me!


by Bonnie Pipkin
Source: Audible

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.

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