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THE AFTER LIFE by Daniel Ehrenhaft


by Daniel Ehrenhaft

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-59514-080-8
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Initially, the intriguing plot device of this teen problem novel is enticing, but on the whole, it fails to deliver. Will, a New York City 19-year-old living with his artsy mother, knows of his biological father but has never met him, until his stepsister’s party invitation lands Will at his father’s apartment. He’s shocked to learn that his dad is a filthy-rich aging hippie addicted to alcohol and cocaine. The following morning, a hung-over Will is dumbfounded when his stepsister informs him of his father’s heart attack and death. An alcohol-soaked funeral in Florida and subsequent return road trip to New York, both tasks to collect a huge inheritance, shape the bulk of this narrative told from three alternating points of view. Will, his stepsister Liz and her twin brother Kyle take turns revealing their inner angst and doubts about their strange and pathetic extended family. Haphazard writing hampers random stops along the journey of self-discovery until the travelers arrive in Manhattan—only to discover more family secrets. Promising but unfulfilling. (Fiction. YA)