After The Rain by Natalia Gomes

Still Me

After The Rain by Natalia Gomes is a powerful, contemporary YA novel that will sink deep into your heart and soul.

The book follows two teens who are caught up in a terrorist bombing leaving both with deep-seated traumas. Sometimes the injury is to our physical body and sometimes it is a mental injury – invisible to others but very real.

PTSD is a major theme. Natalia Gomes has sensitively portrayed characters in deep emotional pain. We witness triggers that paralyze a character. Support groups, therapists, love and care are needed to heal. Those who were there offer huge support as they can empathise.

Fear has infected lives as characters no longer feel safe. “Where it’s safe… But nowhere’s safe. Not here and not in my mother’s arms. Not anymore.”  The after effects of the terror attack have far reaching arms.

Life changing injuries are sustained. Old dreams are dead. New ones need to bud. When our identity is found in our activities, depression may move in. “Never again will I be able to do all the things that define me, that make me ‘Me.’ “

Survivor’s guilt looms large. Some lived. Some died. It was all pure chance but still the guilt remains.

The novel is written in alternating chapters between Jack and Alice. We witness events from the two differing points of view.  Both characters are realistic and likable.

I adored After The Rain and read it in just one sitting. It was such a powerful, emotional read. I cannot wait for more by Natalia Gomes.

I received a free copy from Harper Collins via Net Galley. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.

JULIA WILSON

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