ARC Review: Aftercare Instructions

Aftercare Instructions


Why aren’t more people talking about this book?! It was amazing! Is it because it has the topic of abortion? Let me put to rest the fears that this book is all about that topic, because it is not. It does not go into gross detail, nor does it beat the topic to death. What it does do is address the topic in a very realistic manner. I loved this story so much that I want to scream from the rooftops.

Short recap: Genesis Johnson has a rather broken homelife but does the best she can. Everything changes when she and her boyfriend, Peter, have sex and Genesis becomes pregnant. They make the decision to have an abortion but Peter leaves Genesis at the clinic and she must figure everything out on her own.

There were such strong characters and voices in this story and I loved it more for that. Genesis had one of the strongest voices I have read in awhile. She has had a very, very tough life but as her story went on, she always stuck to her guns and stood up for herself.  She never wanted pity for anyone. Her father died of a heroin overdose. Her mother is in a severe depression and can barely leave the bedroom on most days. Her ex-best friend, Vanessa, told the school everything that happened to Gen’s parents at the same time she is trying to steal Peter, Gen’s boyfriend. Gen’s sister left to live with their grandparents which meant Gen was left to deal with their mom on her own. The only thing Gen has going good in her life is her best friend, Rose, and her boyfriend, Peter, who comes from a super religious family. When Peter leaves Genesis at the clinic with no notice, Gen does her best to make sense of what happened. There is so much more drama, suspense, coming of age, and growing that happens but I won’t ruin it for you.

I felt a little concerned for Gen in the middle of the book because it felt like she was all over the charts. She did not make some great choices and she put herself in some danger. I wanted to reach through the pages and slap some sense into her. That’s a sign of a good book because I was invested in what was going on. I felt like I was on this crazy journey with Genesis. I really did feel like I was right there on the bus rides with her because Genesis’ character felt real. I believed her. I believed in her. She was full of spunk, witty comebacks, sarcastic comments, and wise beyond her years. The poor girl had to grow up far too quickly so she came across as an old soul.

As I mentioned, this story does talk about abortion but Pipkin does it brilliantly. However, that is not the entire focus of this story. It also talked about family, relationships, recovery, and simply being human. We are all human and we all make mistakes. Nobody is perfect so nobody has the right to judge. They way that abortion was not the main focus of the story was amazing. Everything else that happens gave more insight into Genesis and who she is as a character. It made her feel real and that made her feel believable. It made the story believable. It made me not want to put this book down until the very last page was turned. Even then, I kept thinking about the story. I wanted to know more about Gen and what happened to her after.

I hope people give this story a chance. It really is very well done and I will not stop recommending it to everyone.




Waiting on Wednesday: Aftercare Instructions

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:


Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin

Aftercare Instructions



From Goodreads:

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.”


This sounds like a remarkable story and I cannot wait to read it. How about you?