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When a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hits California, Ruby is trapped in a laundromat with Charlie, a boy she had her first conversation with only moments before. She can’t see anything beyond the rubble that she’s trapped beneath, but she’s sure someone will come save them soon. As the hours and days tick by, Ruby and Charlie struggle to stay hopeful—and stay alive. Ruby has o When a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hits California, Ruby is trapped in a laundromat with Charlie, a boy she had her first conversation with only moments before. She can’t see anything beyond the rubble that she’s trapped beneath, but she’s sure someone will come save them soon. As the hours and days tick by, Ruby and Charlie struggle to stay hopeful—and stay alive. Ruby has only Charlie’s voice and her memories to find the hope to keep holding on. Will the two make it out alive? And if they do, what will they have lost to the earthquake? Riveting, tense, and emotionally complex, Aftershocks weaves together the terror and hope of a catastrophic event while showing the ways that disasters can change and unite us.


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When a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hits California, Ruby is trapped in a laundromat with Charlie, a boy she had her first conversation with only moments before. She can’t see anything beyond the rubble that she’s trapped beneath, but she’s sure someone will come save them soon. As the hours and days tick by, Ruby and Charlie struggle to stay hopeful—and stay alive. Ruby has o When a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hits California, Ruby is trapped in a laundromat with Charlie, a boy she had her first conversation with only moments before. She can’t see anything beyond the rubble that she’s trapped beneath, but she’s sure someone will come save them soon. As the hours and days tick by, Ruby and Charlie struggle to stay hopeful—and stay alive. Ruby has only Charlie’s voice and her memories to find the hope to keep holding on. Will the two make it out alive? And if they do, what will they have lost to the earthquake? Riveting, tense, and emotionally complex, Aftershocks weaves together the terror and hope of a catastrophic event while showing the ways that disasters can change and unite us.

30 review for Aftershocks

  1. 5 out of 5

    Pine Reads Review

    “Heavy things drop. Shift. Move. Walls and windows blow out. The building rains down around me. A boom. A screech. A bump. A roll. And just as quickly as it had started moving, the earth takes a final gasp. Its waves slow like it is out of breath. Until finally, stillness.” When Ruby decides to skip water polo practice, she never thinks she’ll end up in a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Now, she’s trapped in the rubble of a laundromat with Charlie, a boy she met minutes before. With only a sliver of l “Heavy things drop. Shift. Move. Walls and windows blow out. The building rains down around me. A boom. A screech. A bump. A roll. And just as quickly as it had started moving, the earth takes a final gasp. Its waves slow like it is out of breath. Until finally, stillness.” When Ruby decides to skip water polo practice, she never thinks she’ll end up in a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Now, she’s trapped in the rubble of a laundromat with Charlie, a boy she met minutes before. With only a sliver of light, each other’s voices, no water or food, and pain from injuries they can’t even see, Ruby and Charlie struggle to keep their hopes up…and stay alive. Will they survive? And if they make it out, how will their lives have changed? I can’t stop thinking about this book. I read it in a matter of hours because I could not put it down. Gripping, tense, and emotionally complex, it grabs you from the moment the earth starts shaking and refuses to let you go. Ruby is a fantastic heroine: strong yet flawed, positive yet terrified, and persistent. Reichardt’s writing is fast-paced and urgent but also lyrical and fluid, making it easy and enjoyable to read this high-stakes survival novel in one sitting. Having never experienced an earthquake myself, Ruby’s narration placed me directly in the center of her situation and taught me so much about what happens when disaster strikes. Readers will be able to sympathize with themes of loss, fear for those we care about, and the fight to find one’s courage. Fans of young adult survival stories will love this powerful book. (Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing us with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.) Trigger Warnings: Strong language, death, alcoholism, graphic descriptions, underage drinking, referenced death of a parent Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @pinereadsreview and check out our website at www.pinereadsreview.com for reviews, interviews, blogs, podcast episodes, and more!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jen Ryland

    Aftershocks was a fast-moving book about a girl who suddenly finds herself trapped under debris after a huge earthquake. While she's stuck there with no way to move or call for help, she gets to know the guy who's trapped there with her, and thinks about her life: her friend's drinking problem and the fact that her mom is dating someone she's not sure she approves of. I think this book would be a great fit for reluctant teen readers and for anyone who likes plot driven books. At times to me it fe Aftershocks was a fast-moving book about a girl who suddenly finds herself trapped under debris after a huge earthquake. While she's stuck there with no way to move or call for help, she gets to know the guy who's trapped there with her, and thinks about her life: her friend's drinking problem and the fact that her mom is dating someone she's not sure she approves of. I think this book would be a great fit for reluctant teen readers and for anyone who likes plot driven books. At times to me it felt a little heavy handed on the emotional manipulation, but I know there are readers out there who will really enjoy it. Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Let's be friends on Bookstagram! Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Howard

    In this gripping young adult novel set in Los Angeles just as ‘the big one’ hits the San Andreas fault, two strangers trapped together in the rubble of a laundromat find themselves sharing their deepest secrets as they wait to be rescued. Marisa Reichardt has created an intensely captivating story that centers around Ruby, a teenaged water polo star, and Charlie, a Stanford dropout. Charlie was at the laundromat to do his laundry. Ruby was there, avoiding water polo practice after she found out In this gripping young adult novel set in Los Angeles just as ‘the big one’ hits the San Andreas fault, two strangers trapped together in the rubble of a laundromat find themselves sharing their deepest secrets as they wait to be rescued. Marisa Reichardt has created an intensely captivating story that centers around Ruby, a teenaged water polo star, and Charlie, a Stanford dropout. Charlie was at the laundromat to do his laundry. Ruby was there, avoiding water polo practice after she found out that her coach and her mother had recently started dating, and hoping that she could talk Charlie into buying her some beer at the liquor store next door. Then the earthquake hits, and Charlie and Ruby are each trapped beneath a table, with mountains of debris atop them. They can’t see each other, but they can hear each other, and the thin connection of their voices is all that is keeping them sane and alive as the days drag slowly by. The reader will be engrossed as Ruby shares her worries about her mom and her water polo teammates, and Charlie tells her about the fraternity night that went so terribly awry. Reichardt does a brilliant job balancing the immediate terror that Ruby and Charlie face with the mundanity of their pre-earthquake lives. Not to be missed, Aftershocks is a wonderful, nuanced look at exactly what is lost in the wake of a terrible tragedy; and the sheer power of storytelling against incredible odds. Thanks to the publisher/Netgalley for the advance copy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Flynn

    I was utterly enraptured by this book. I can't think of another author who handles the combination of emotional heft and physical suspense so beautifully. Marisa Reichardt creates the kind of tension that will make you keep turning pages, and the way she draws relationships between her characters is so complex. A gripping, compelling read on so many levels, and one of my favorite 2020 books!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own. This was fantastic. I devoured this book in less than 24 hours and loved every minute of it. It is a great blend of adventure/survival (two strangers are trapped in a laundromat under rubble after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in California) and contemporary fiction (their time spent trying to survive is intermixed with vignettes and stories from their past about their relationsh Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own. This was fantastic. I devoured this book in less than 24 hours and loved every minute of it. It is a great blend of adventure/survival (two strangers are trapped in a laundromat under rubble after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in California) and contemporary fiction (their time spent trying to survive is intermixed with vignettes and stories from their past about their relationships) and both blend to make a compelling story about what really matters in life. To be fair, the last 15% does get a bit cliched, but the rest of it is so amazing, I couldn't even hold that against it. Ruby is a talented water polo player, but when she finds out that her mother has started dating her coach, she seriously considers quitting the team. It would be awful to have him at her house, in her life in that way, so she blows off practice and heads to the local laundromat. There she sees a boy writing in a notebook with paint on his knuckles. The next thing she knows, the walls are rattling, the floor is shaking and she's heading to the ground with her hands over her head to protect herself from the rubble. She and Charlie are trapped and help doesn't seem to be coming anytime soon. As they try to keep each other awake and hopeful, they begin to share stories about themselves. A bond is formed in their tragedy and it is what keeps them pushing on until the end. Highly recommend. Appropriate for grades 9 and up.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    How long could you survive? Faced with life and death, could you do what it takes to make it through a major natural disaster? And if you do survive, how do you know what to do next? Aftershock is an original and insightful novel about survival, friendship, doing the right thing, facing your mistakes and learning to continue to live after surviving it all, all set against the heart-stopping suspense of an earthquake. We often hear about natural disasters on the news. The number count of who survi How long could you survive? Faced with life and death, could you do what it takes to make it through a major natural disaster? And if you do survive, how do you know what to do next? Aftershock is an original and insightful novel about survival, friendship, doing the right thing, facing your mistakes and learning to continue to live after surviving it all, all set against the heart-stopping suspense of an earthquake. We often hear about natural disasters on the news. The number count of who survived and who didn’t. But what about the stories of those who live through such an event? I don’t often see disaster novels come across my radar and I’m so glad I found this one. It a great mix of realistic fiction and action. Every moment is both tense and yet also introspective. It’s a story about connections. It’s a story about mistakes and learning to live with them. It’s also a story about doing the right thing in really hard situations. Aftershock touches on some interesting and important themes alongside the main story of surviving an earthquake. Ruby has blown off water polo practice after learning her mother is dating her coach. She knows how her friends will react, especially volatile Mila. Her plan is to convince the cute guy waiting at the laundromat to buy her alcohol. What better way to drown her sorrows than getting drunk? That plan goes awry when a massive earthquake brings the building down around them. Trapped and alone, Ruby and the guy - Charlie, she learns - struggle to survive. But as they wait hours for a rescue that might never come, they find themselves sharing their secrets, regrets and a desire to do things differently once they escape. I’ll start by saying this book didn’t unfold like I expected it to. In fact, I think it was the opposite of expected. But in a really good way. It isn’t a romance, as I expected. And the story isn’t just focused on the immediate events of the earthquake. Flashbacks and reflections to times in Ruby’s life give readers a better picture of her life and the relationships with her family and friends. It gives power to the emotions Ruby and Charlie are feeling - the guilt and regret over their last conversations with loved-ones, the desire to do something different if they could have the chance again, a new perspective on something that seemed so important but seems trivial now. This also allows the story to delve into other themes. Both Charlie and Ruby have friends who are connected to alcoholism. Charlie shares with Ruby a story in which he tried to help someone who overdosed on alcohol and died. Ruby reflects on her best-friend’s constant need for alcohol and the ways in which it has changed her and their friendship. Both Charlie and Ruby reflect on their actions and their guilt that they couldn’t do more. It’s a powerful way of addressing teen alcohol use and abuse. A gripping story about survival - both in the midst of a disaster and in all the moments that follow - that will stay with readers long after they finish the story. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tonya

    This book was nothing like I expected. In a good way, though. I thought I would be reading a book equivalent to a disaster film, like San Andreas starring The Rock. I.....ahem, admire The Rock. To be honest, I love a good disaster adventure. The regular Jane (or Joe) always triumphs, no matter how many obstacles. Aftershocks was about a devastating earthquake, but it was far from the popcorn action I had expected. It was introspective and quiet much of the time, but no less powerful for that. It This book was nothing like I expected. In a good way, though. I thought I would be reading a book equivalent to a disaster film, like San Andreas starring The Rock. I.....ahem, admire The Rock. To be honest, I love a good disaster adventure. The regular Jane (or Joe) always triumphs, no matter how many obstacles. Aftershocks was about a devastating earthquake, but it was far from the popcorn action I had expected. It was introspective and quiet much of the time, but no less powerful for that. It's not just about Ruby in the aftermath of "The Big One", it's a journey of many strings woven together. And there are some deep issues tackled, which you wouldn't expect, but make so much sense. So, if you're just wanting an apocalyptic action story, Aftershocks may not be for you. If you let yourself be open to a bit of a more meandering path, you just might come away amazed all the same. 4 stars I was provided a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you to Amulet Books and Netgalley.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Aftershocks is a positively lovely and heart-wrenching story of what happens when the "big one" hits.  True story, I have been high key scared of earthquakes ever since I saw an episode of Full House where Stephanie has some real trauma after an earthquake. (Also good on you, Full House, for actually promoting mental health and therapy positivity back in the '80s! I digress, but the poin You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Aftershocks is a positively lovely and heart-wrenching story of what happens when the "big one" hits.  True story, I have been high key scared of earthquakes ever since I saw an episode of Full House where Stephanie has some real trauma after an earthquake. (Also good on you, Full House, for actually promoting mental health and therapy positivity back in the '80s! I digress, but the point is, earthquakes are terrifying.) Ruby is physically trapped in a laundromat after a hugely devastating one hits her California home. She's alone, save for Charlie who is a stranger who was also in the laundromat at the wrong time, and is injured and scared. And the bulk of this book takes place exactly in these moments, moments in which Ruby has to fight to stay alive- and face the possibility that she might not. She and Charlie share stories, and the reader is given insight into Ruby's life through both flashbacks and her current thoughts about her family and friends. The story is compulsively readable, both because I wanted to learn the fates of Ruby, Charlie, and everyone they care for (and the city at large), but because they're incredibly sympathetic characters who I genuinely wanted to know more about. The author also does a great job of making the reader feel the desperation and horror that Ruby would have been feeling, and it's so clear to see how easily this sort of disaster can happen to any one of us. Also, as a random aside, Ruby is a water polo player and this is the first book that I have ever encountered a water polo-playing main character, and the author did a great job depicting the sport. Bottom Line: Both beautiful and devastating, I could not put this book down as I yearned for positive fates for the characters I had grown to love.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenn of The Bookish Society

    People my age have been hearing about “the big one” all our lives. Someday there is going to be a colossal earthquake, the biggest ever. This is the story of some teens and what happened to them when it actually hits. A YA thriller/love story, nearly the entire book, occurs at a laundromat where Ruby and Charlie nervously chat while both wonder if they will survive. It’s a heavy book. Definitely, maybe not the stress you need during COVID, but a different kind of disaster, so perhaps that makes i People my age have been hearing about “the big one” all our lives. Someday there is going to be a colossal earthquake, the biggest ever. This is the story of some teens and what happened to them when it actually hits. A YA thriller/love story, nearly the entire book, occurs at a laundromat where Ruby and Charlie nervously chat while both wonder if they will survive. It’s a heavy book. Definitely, maybe not the stress you need during COVID, but a different kind of disaster, so perhaps that makes it okay? For kids who love Hatchet, this is a similar kind of survival tale. I read it in one late night binge because I had to know what would happen to these kids. I’d keep this for 9th grade and enough just because there is an emotional toll with this story that I’m not sure if pre-teens can handle.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Martina

    This book surprised the heck outta me. I was fully expecting this to be a book about survival. But it was so much more. It’s about friendship, family, appreciating life and the importance of kindness. I read this in a couple of hours. I just couldn’t stop reading. In this story we follow Ruby who is having a bad day and decides to skip school. She ends up in a laundromat when “The Big One” hits. From then on it’s nothing but suspense and we get to see how strong Ruby is. This book had me crying, This book surprised the heck outta me. I was fully expecting this to be a book about survival. But it was so much more. It’s about friendship, family, appreciating life and the importance of kindness. I read this in a couple of hours. I just couldn’t stop reading. In this story we follow Ruby who is having a bad day and decides to skip school. She ends up in a laundromat when “The Big One” hits. From then on it’s nothing but suspense and we get to see how strong Ruby is. This book had me crying, I’m not even gonna lie. Aftershocks has suspense, action, but it also has love. It is YA but it didn’t always feel like it was. I truly enjoyed it and I loved the writing style of the author.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to be an early reader of Aftershocks. This YA novel hooked me from page one and I read in within 12 hours. Ruby plays water polo and finds out her mom is dating her coach. She storms out of the house after lashing out at her mom. After skipping practice, she winds up at a laundromat hoping to find someone who will buy her beer. She meets Charlie and before she can ask for beer, their town is hit with a 7.8 earthquake. While Ruby and Ch Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to be an early reader of Aftershocks. This YA novel hooked me from page one and I read in within 12 hours. Ruby plays water polo and finds out her mom is dating her coach. She storms out of the house after lashing out at her mom. After skipping practice, she winds up at a laundromat hoping to find someone who will buy her beer. She meets Charlie and before she can ask for beer, their town is hit with a 7.8 earthquake. While Ruby and Charlie are trapped in the rubble, they speak honestly and openly with each other. It’s a quick read, but the message is deep. I’ll be sharing this one with my students.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    I won this ARC from Goodreads. I’m not really into YA, but this story sounded good and I was not disappointed. The author sure knows how to write a good story. I felt like I was in there with Ruby especially the earthquake. Ruby and Charlie are trapped in a laundromat after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hits California. They don’t know each other but become friends through this trauma.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Gadberry Johnson

    Ruby, shocked to learn her mom is dating her water polo coach, is thinking of quitting the team, so she skips practice. When an earthquake hits -- The Big One -- she is trapped, injured, in the rubble of a laundromat with a stranger who becomes a friend. Will they be rescued? And will the awful words Ruby said to her mother be the last words she ever said to her? A story not just of survival but of friendship, family, kindness, and finding the will to push on when all seems lost, Aftershocks seam Ruby, shocked to learn her mom is dating her water polo coach, is thinking of quitting the team, so she skips practice. When an earthquake hits -- The Big One -- she is trapped, injured, in the rubble of a laundromat with a stranger who becomes a friend. Will they be rescued? And will the awful words Ruby said to her mother be the last words she ever said to her? A story not just of survival but of friendship, family, kindness, and finding the will to push on when all seems lost, Aftershocks seamlessly blends the heart-pounding, page-turning tale of a major disaster with an introspective emotional journey through survival, grief, and coming out on the other side. Lovely, devastating, and ultimately uplifting.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kurt Dinan

    A well-paced, tense novel about the importance of kindness, friendship, and family. I love YA that doesn't tread the same trope-y paths, and this one does not. More people need to be reading Reichardt. Hopefully, this will be the novel that moves her into the upper echelon. She deserves it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    This book grabbed me immediately and didn't let up. Two strangers, trapped in rubble. So simple, but so full of heart and fear and life. The beautifully clean writing lent strength to the book's superb tension and pacing. LOVED this book. Would make an incredible movie.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Andria Sedig

    This was an incredibly powerful and touching story about a young woman's determination to survive horrible situations. Some of the descriptions in this book were hard to read, but that added to the gravity of the story. Ruby's guilt over surviving and her desperation to find her mom felt real and believable; the way that the author used time was really powerful and helped to keep the plot moving and also show some of the desperation and delirium that Ruby was feeling as well. I did feel that the This was an incredibly powerful and touching story about a young woman's determination to survive horrible situations. Some of the descriptions in this book were hard to read, but that added to the gravity of the story. Ruby's guilt over surviving and her desperation to find her mom felt real and believable; the way that the author used time was really powerful and helped to keep the plot moving and also show some of the desperation and delirium that Ruby was feeling as well. I did feel that the friendship issues wrapped up a little too neatly at the end of the story but otherwise this was a solid read that I highly recommend.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to ABRAMS for providing a digital ARC of Aftershocks in exchange for an honest review. I'm always hesitant about giving particularly high ratings because at the end of the day, a book being good is a subjective opinion. Aftershocks is going to be incredibly incredible. This is the kind of book that is destined to top goodreads and library lists years from now. The type of story that's bound to get targetted by multiple movie agencies within the first year its published. I can't see a way a Thanks to ABRAMS for providing a digital ARC of Aftershocks in exchange for an honest review. I'm always hesitant about giving particularly high ratings because at the end of the day, a book being good is a subjective opinion. Aftershocks is going to be incredibly incredible. This is the kind of book that is destined to top goodreads and library lists years from now. The type of story that's bound to get targetted by multiple movie agencies within the first year its published. I can't see a way anyone could possibly dislike this. Aftershocks has action and suspense and survival. It has teen drama and adult drama and commentary on things small and large. The voice is incredible, the writing is incredible, and I loved every word.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marci Curtis

    All right, so every now and then, A BOOK comes along. You know the sort of book I'm talking about--the one that completely guts you, not because it's sad (which it is, though only a little), but because it reminds you of All The Things: the importance of kindness, the vulnerability of the now, the significance of friendship, family, and love. This story, y'all. It's gripping, brimming in voice, and expertly crafted. Another beautiful Marisa Reichardt masterpiece.

  19. 4 out of 5

    S.M. Parker

    I shook while reading this story. My knuckles turned white as I grip the edges of the book. Ruby is strong and determined and literally fighting for her life and I could barely breathe as I tore through the pages.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Steff Pasciuti

    | Read on Reader Fox | "I really am going to come watch you play water polo..." Eh, I don't think I can actually say that there is anything inherently bad about Marisa Reichardt's Aftershocks as a novel. That said, I really hated this one. Believe me when I say I did not want to hate it. But I think the problem really lies in the fact that the reason the author wrote this novel is not the reason I picked it up. Thus, the final direction that Reichardt took with her story was not one that I ev | Read on Reader Fox | "I really am going to come watch you play water polo..." Eh, I don't think I can actually say that there is anything inherently bad about Marisa Reichardt's Aftershocks as a novel. That said, I really hated this one. Believe me when I say I did not want to hate it. But I think the problem really lies in the fact that the reason the author wrote this novel is not the reason I picked it up. Thus, the final direction that Reichardt took with her story was not one that I ever could have liked. There's nothing wrong with it, but it wasn't what I wanted. Why Do You Pick Up a Story? I don't know about you, but very often I read stories to get away from the horrors of reality. And despite the general premise of this novel, I guess a part of me was expecting a happier ending than the one that I got. And sure, I could say that this book is a study in human resiliency. I could say that the book's ending was still somewhat happy. I could even say that the book sends a good message about living life to the fullest. But I hated it. How to Write a Heartbreak For me, honestly, the issue I had with this is very much attached to one event within the novel, but it ties closely together with the manner in which the author wrote it all. You see, there's a way to write a tragic even that captures your readers' hearts and simultaneously breaks it. Aftershocks was not it. You see, a reader needs to deeply care about a character for the events that occur in this novel to matter as much as they should. And as much as I liked these characters, I didn't love them. I wasn't quite there yet. And a big part of that reason was because I didn't get to spend enough time with the important ones. We're barely introduced to the characters when the disaster strikes, resulting in very little time to get to know and like them in a normal setting. Next thing you know, the amount of time we spend with these characters within the setting is minimal because half the story is filled with flashbacks for one of the two main characters. And honestly? This just irked me so much. I get that it can be hard to write about characters who are trapped under fallen debris, but so much was lost when the author decided to spend minimal time with the trapped characters and focus the majority of her book's introduction on flashbacks. Tragedy Minus Emotional Investment When I think of a novel that had an amazing amount of emotional investment in it that resulted in complete heartbreak, I think of Me Before You. And that is what I would consider an adequate way to write it. With Aftershocks, you don't get to spend a sufficient amount of time with the characters before tragedy strikes. Thus, you don't really have the emotional investment necessary to be deeply impacted by the hardships and misfortunes. And so, instead of being heartbroken as I should have been, I was just annoyed that these were the events I was reading about. And, yes, I can say that there is merit to a story about human tragedies. There's also merit to experiencing the harsh realities of them through a novel. But I'm not the sort of person who reads to go through tragic events because they really happen in life. In fact, I read to get away from all that. Thus, not only did I not have the emotional investment necessary for me to be upset in the ways I should have been, I hated the story I was reading. I Wasn't Looking for Tragedy Ultimately, I guess this book just wasn't a match for me. I wasn't looking for something that was going to focus on deeper aspects of a tragedy and rather something about two human beings connecting over shared trauma and tragedy. And sure, we got a little of that connection, but then Reichardt threw it all away rather quickly. This book really isn't about building connections with people because of a shared trauma. Instead, it's about one girl's journey through regular struggles in her life that happen to coincide with a natural disaster. This isn't a bad book. But it's not the kind of book I wanted to read and the author didn't give me enough time in the beginning to love the characters. I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. | Instagram | Twitter | Reader Fox Blog | Bloglovin’ | Facebook |

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kate Waggoner

    @Kidlitexchange Thank you to @piquebeyond for sharing an advance copy of Aftershocks by @marisareichardtbooks with the #Kidlitexchange Network. This YA novel will be released on September 29, 2020. After finding out that her mom is dating her polo coach, Ruby argues with her mom and begins to question whether or not she wants to continue playing polo. She decides she can't face her coach and skips practice to head to a local laundromat with hope of scoring some beer. There she meets Charlie. The @Kidlitexchange Thank you to @piquebeyond for sharing an advance copy of Aftershocks by @marisareichardtbooks with the #Kidlitexchange Network. This YA novel will be released on September 29, 2020. After finding out that her mom is dating her polo coach, Ruby argues with her mom and begins to question whether or not she wants to continue playing polo. She decides she can't face her coach and skips practice to head to a local laundromat with hope of scoring some beer. There she meets Charlie. The two know each other for only moments when a 7.8 earthquake rocks California. They find themselves buried in the rubble of the laundromat struggling to stay hopeful and survive. All Ruby has to hold onto our her memories and Charlie's voice. I LOVED this book. It is so suspenseful and wonderfully written. It had me on the edge of my seat turning page after page to find out what happens next. I found this novel particularly interesting because I live in the Pacific Northwest and we have been cautioned for years that the Big One will hit at any moment. In some ways this novel terrified me as it reminds me how woefully under prepared I am for a major event like this. Not only I am lacking in supplies, but more than anything I think I'm mentally unprepared, which is something that Ruby discusses in the novel. Having grown up in California, Ruby is used to earthquake drills and taking her earthquake kit to school on the first day, but even she isn't mentally prepared when the Big One hit. It reminds use that natural disasters don't just take a physical toll. I loved how memories were interwoven throughout the present-day narration and the use of poetry in the memories as it really helped to evoke emotion and added to the overall pacing of the novel. The characters are well-developed and their conflicts are intriguing. Because of the pacing and how engaging this book is, it's easy to read and you'll find yourself getting lost in the narrative. Though this is a young adult book, I personally feel that it would be okay to share with upper middle grade readers. It does have underage drinking, but the overall message about underage drinking is that it's harmful and shouldn't be done. I really enjoyed this book and will be recommending it to others.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Arlen

    Aftershocks by Marisa Reichardt Pub Date: 29 Sep 2020 read courtesy of http://netgalley.com ⭐⭐⭐⭐Very enjoyable. At first I wondered how the author was going to have a whole book told by someone caught in the rubble of an earthquake, but I was pleasantly surprised by the use of flashbacks and storytelling by the trapped characters. Then the narration changed as the story changed (I don't want to tell how, since that would be a spoiler. I'll just say that flashbacks were no longer needed.) I loved e Aftershocks by Marisa Reichardt Pub Date: 29 Sep 2020 read courtesy of http://netgalley.com ⭐⭐⭐⭐Very enjoyable. At first I wondered how the author was going to have a whole book told by someone caught in the rubble of an earthquake, but I was pleasantly surprised by the use of flashbacks and storytelling by the trapped characters. Then the narration changed as the story changed (I don't want to tell how, since that would be a spoiler. I'll just say that flashbacks were no longer needed.) I loved everything about the book with the exception of the lead character's (Ruby) 'best friend' Mila. No one handled her situation well - not the adults (her school, her parents) nor her friends. True, sometimes it takes a literal Earth-shattering event to wise up, but it's a shame the character was allowed to get so far gone that only a natural disaster helped her. I'm reluctant to say it, but I felt that the Mila character was there just so Ruby could have something in common with Charlie. Though, I will admit, alcohol is a major problem with teenagers, so it's quite possible that any two teens would have a Mila or a Jason in common. And if it weren't for the alcohol, Ruby and Charlie never would have met. The characters were real and developed. Though I'm someone who has never experienced a natural disaster, the author's clear and descriptive writing allowed me to sympathize with the characters' ordeals; I was able to ebb and flow with their hopes and despairs. The author was also realistic in developing the characters' experiences and growth. This was truly realistic fiction not watered down with magical thinking. I can't wait to put this into my high school library.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shella

    This book has some great themes to explore- survivors guilt, peer intervention, priorities, teen alcoholism; sport team dynamics. The descriptions are great, you almost feel like you are trapped in the rubble. The friendship that is established with a stranger that Ruby met shortly before the earthquake is well developed. Effective use of flashbacks along with the dialogue bring rich character development. The final chapter brings the story full circle. With few words and chapters, the reader ge This book has some great themes to explore- survivors guilt, peer intervention, priorities, teen alcoholism; sport team dynamics. The descriptions are great, you almost feel like you are trapped in the rubble. The friendship that is established with a stranger that Ruby met shortly before the earthquake is well developed. Effective use of flashbacks along with the dialogue bring rich character development. The final chapter brings the story full circle. With few words and chapters, the reader gets a horrible glimpse into what the West Coast may be like if "the big one hits." I would have rated this book higher if the use of curse words had been avoided. I know this is marketed for YA, however, the cursing was unnecessary, did not fit the characters, and did not belong in this particular story. This ruins great themed books for younger readers that may really need to explore these themes. Yes- children have heard all these words I am sure, but that does not make it okay to model them in stories that don't need curse words to move along a story line or develop authentic characters. All of the use of curse words could have been avoided- especially F_ _ _. This part really ruined what I would consider a very strong story and easy read for many students. Without the curse words, this would be a great book to use in older middle school classrooms for book clubs or a novel study.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn Carpenter

    This book hurts my heart, like suffocating, crippling despair, when I think of what Ruby goes through in this book. I am pretty much speechless. With that said, I think this book will hold a place in my heart for a long time. It is gripping, heart-wrenching, and shows both tragedy and strength in a way that only those who live through this type of trauma can explain. Ruby is living through the "big one" the earthquake that all Californians talk about- the one they all know is coming sometime. Wh This book hurts my heart, like suffocating, crippling despair, when I think of what Ruby goes through in this book. I am pretty much speechless. With that said, I think this book will hold a place in my heart for a long time. It is gripping, heart-wrenching, and shows both tragedy and strength in a way that only those who live through this type of trauma can explain. Ruby is living through the "big one" the earthquake that all Californians talk about- the one they all know is coming sometime. While being trapped under debris and collapsing walls, Ruby makes an unlikely friendship that will stay with her for the rest of her life. This book explores the trauma of natural disasters, triviality of everyday life even when you think you are prepared, and the strength of character to make it through such unthinkable situations. This book made me bawl, which hasn't happened in some time. Tread lightly if you have experienced a trauma from natural disaster, as it can reawaken those feelings. This will be a great read- cathartic for some and traumatic for others, but important nonetheless. Aftershocks by Marisa Reichardt will be coming out Sept. 29, 2020. http://kaitlynrcarpenter.weebly.com/b...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Meulen Ellison

    All Ruby is trying to do at the laundromat is find an over-21 “loser” who might be willing to go to the liquor store next door and buy her some beer. But that’s when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hits. Ruby and the other person doing their laundry dive underneath the folding tables as the windows break and the roof falls in around them. Ruby and her new companion are pinned underneath the rubble. Ruby soon learns that the guy is named Charlie and they work to keep each other going as they hope for All Ruby is trying to do at the laundromat is find an over-21 “loser” who might be willing to go to the liquor store next door and buy her some beer. But that’s when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hits. Ruby and the other person doing their laundry dive underneath the folding tables as the windows break and the roof falls in around them. Ruby and her new companion are pinned underneath the rubble. Ruby soon learns that the guy is named Charlie and they work to keep each other going as they hope for rescue. This book was quite hard to put down, mainly because the reader is wondering how much longer the pair will need to wait for help or if they will live that long. But this survival story has alternating chapters where Ruby’s story unfolds. Ruby’s a water polo player for her high school who was having a bad day after breaking up with her best friend and badly handling the fact that her mom wants to date her coach. We learn about Charlie too. He has dropped out of Stanford after a tragic event happened to a friend. There were a few unexpected surprises in this story, which I really appreciated. I thought that I knew where this story was going and I definitely did not. This book will appeal to a wide variety of readers, not just the ones who like survival stories.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kym's Open Books

    I’m always curious about earthquakes because living in Utah, we’re waiting for our “big one” just like in the book. It’s hard to be prepared for some natural disasters and while each disasters have their downfalls, earthquakes scare me a lot due to their unpredictability. Ruby is a selfish, typical teenager who gets stuck in the rubble during a huge earthquake. A guy named Charlie is stuck too and they talk to each other to help pass the time and end up getting very close. It was easy to get suck I’m always curious about earthquakes because living in Utah, we’re waiting for our “big one” just like in the book. It’s hard to be prepared for some natural disasters and while each disasters have their downfalls, earthquakes scare me a lot due to their unpredictability. Ruby is a selfish, typical teenager who gets stuck in the rubble during a huge earthquake. A guy named Charlie is stuck too and they talk to each other to help pass the time and end up getting very close. It was easy to get sucked in and I was entertained throughout. It goes back and forth between present day and memories throughout the year for both characters and it’s a great way to get to know them. Ruby reflects on these memories and learns about herself and what is important. The story is full of many intense moments obviously during the earthquake, but many afterward also. Many are not able to find their families and the scenes of this are heartbreaking. It’s hard not to put yourself in their shoes. It was a really quick read and interesting to see what happened. I recommend this for those who love intense novels but also great character development. Thank you to NetGalley and Abrams Kids for the galley copy in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dana Stemig

    I have not binge read an entire book for a very long time. Aftershock had me so engrossed that I really couldn’t stop reading. It starts with Ruby who is a senior in high school in Southern California. She plays water polo, has a boyfriend named Lee, and she’s not speaking to her best friend named Mila. The author revealed the issue between Mila and Ruby bit by bit while keeping the story going. With a title of Aftershocks, it won’t surprise you that there’s an earthquake. This isn’t just any ea I have not binge read an entire book for a very long time. Aftershock had me so engrossed that I really couldn’t stop reading. It starts with Ruby who is a senior in high school in Southern California. She plays water polo, has a boyfriend named Lee, and she’s not speaking to her best friend named Mila. The author revealed the issue between Mila and Ruby bit by bit while keeping the story going. With a title of Aftershocks, it won’t surprise you that there’s an earthquake. This isn’t just any earthquake but the Big One. Ruby is in a laundromat at the time and she is trapped in the rubble with a total stranger named Charlie. No spoilers here. You’ll have to read this one. This is my favorite quote from the book. “We remember the last things we say to people. It’s what was on Charlie’s mind. Maybe even Mila’s. We all want to have a chance to go back and make things right again, but we don’t all get that chance.“ Finding out whether Ruby and Charlie would get that chance kept me reading. Marisa Reichardt is also the author of Underwater which received a Publisher’s Weekly starred review. Aftershocks will be released on September 29, 2020.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Katelyn

    Ruby is struggling with issues in her personal life she wants to forget, and so she skips water polo practice to go to a nearby laundromat where she hopes someone older can be convinced to buy her some beer. At the laundromat she meets Charlie, a college dropout dealing with demons of his own. When a large earthquake hits, “the big one” that everyone has been waiting for, they wind up trapped together in the laundromat. They keep each other company, forming a bond as they confess their worries a Ruby is struggling with issues in her personal life she wants to forget, and so she skips water polo practice to go to a nearby laundromat where she hopes someone older can be convinced to buy her some beer. At the laundromat she meets Charlie, a college dropout dealing with demons of his own. When a large earthquake hits, “the big one” that everyone has been waiting for, they wind up trapped together in the laundromat. They keep each other company, forming a bond as they confess their worries and regrets to each other. But as the hours pass by they begin to worry they won’t make it out alive. This book tackles everything from complicated friendships and family changes to the fight to survive in the aftermath of an earthquake. There are a lot of emotional moments, and the story handles the heavier elements well. It also takes on learning to find hope in the wake of tragedy and the aftershocks that continue emotionally after such a traumatic event and the loss of loved ones. While this is a survival story, this is more about the characters and emotional journey of such an event that brings people together rather than tense action.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Anyone that enjoys a good natural disaster or survival story would appreciate Aftershocks. My fourth graders love reading everything having to do with earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes. etc. and I would share this book with them if it wasn't for the more mature subplots. I like how the book was organized by time so you can see the events unfolding over the course of a week. I was surprised by the graphic content as the author did not shy away from the often violent and morbid details Anyone that enjoys a good natural disaster or survival story would appreciate Aftershocks. My fourth graders love reading everything having to do with earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes. etc. and I would share this book with them if it wasn't for the more mature subplots. I like how the book was organized by time so you can see the events unfolding over the course of a week. I was surprised by the graphic content as the author did not shy away from the often violent and morbid details surrounding a disaster of this magnitude. I enjoyed reading about how the two main characters supported each other and were able to reveal their darkest secrets through an unlikely and unexpected companionship. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the book beyond the earthquake (loss of a parent, alcoholism, fraternity hazing) and the understanding that the title does not only refer to the literal aftershocks of an earthquake but the lasting impact and affect it has on individuals and a community as a whole. A quick and fast read perfect for a middle school and early high school reader.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Aftershocks by Marisa Reichardt was a gripping read. I don't live in California, or in a place that deals with common earthquakes - I have only dealt with one earthquake in nearly thirty years, and it was barely a blip on the radar. Due to that, this was a situation I did not fully understand, and I had to trust the author to lead me through. After this point in the review, there may be spoilers. Marisa did a wonderful job leading the reader through the reality of earthquakes and their aftermath Aftershocks by Marisa Reichardt was a gripping read. I don't live in California, or in a place that deals with common earthquakes - I have only dealt with one earthquake in nearly thirty years, and it was barely a blip on the radar. Due to that, this was a situation I did not fully understand, and I had to trust the author to lead me through. After this point in the review, there may be spoilers. Marisa did a wonderful job leading the reader through the reality of earthquakes and their aftermath, and what it's like when things go very wrong. I expected Aftershocks to be set in one place, but it wasn't. It came as a shock, but one that I enjoyed. I did not see the plot twists coming. I thought the character growth with Ruby's feelings towards her coach were very well done. In the face of death and trauma, the things that were important before do not feel the same way later. It felt very relevant to the world right now, in the midst of COVID-19. I will definitely be recommending this novel to the teens in my library.

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