Review: The Aftermath

The Aftermath - Kay Simone

While this started out really good, the story slowly got away from me until I got to a point where I just wanted it done.

This is a story about the romance between an 18 year old high school student and his 28 year old English teacher. Daniel meets the tattooed sexy man, when he is playing pool in a bar he got into with his fake ID. The two end up in the bathroom together with Will on his knees for Daniel, after a game of pool and lots of flirting. Daniel tricked the older Will, by hustling him in a game of pool. The loser had to give the winner a bj in the bathroom.

After this memorable night, they suddenly meet again when Daniel meets his new English teacher at school Monday morning….

Will is scared shitless when he comes face to face with the guy he blew in the bathroom. He then finds out Daniel is only 18 and not 21 like he thought.

After a couple of weeks of ignoring each other, Daniel ends up asking Will for an explanation. He doesn’t like to be ignored, and is fed up with this treatment. But Will tells Daniel they can’t be anything more than student and teacher.

When Will gets a call that Daniel has gone to the bar they met to hustle some more, he knows he has to save Daniel. When Will gets there he is just in time to rescue Daniel from being beaten up. Daniel has already taken a few punches, but nothing too bad.

Daniel ends up at Will’s apartment for the rest of the weekend and it’s clear neither man can resist the attraction any longer...

The first 50% was pretty good. I liked how the relationship developed so far. Then from 50 to 80% it was a bit boring. Nothing really happens. And the last 20% was a jumbled mess. We suddenly got all these weird time jumps (31 december, 24 december, 31 december, 26 december). It was very confusing. And of course we got the ANGST I was waiting for from the start. Not the angst I expected, but this just annoyed me more.

I was expecting someone to find out about them, not Will breaking things off because he felt he wasn’t good enough for Daniel.

(show spoiler)

And while I started off liking Will a great deal, his self-loathing really started to get on my nerves and I was constantly rolling my eyes when he polished off another bottle of whiskey. This dude was an alcoholic, but the author treated it as if it was no big deal he spent most of his days drunk off his ass.

While I expected it to be a big deal that Will was Daniel’s high school English teacher, that fact was not the main source of problem in their relationship. That was all Will and his self-hatred. Daniel was definitely the mature one in the relationship even though he was only 18.

So, while this started out good, it dragged in the middle, and was angsty and messy at the end.

This does have a HEA, but it didn’t feel all that happy to me. Might be because I was still upset over all the angst.

Oh, and I have to mention the weird 'Introduction' at the start of this story:

This book takes place in a world different from the one that you and I inhabit, where consequences are much lower than they are in reality.

Nobody uses condoms, for example. Nobody goes to jail (at least in this story, though jail of course exists in this universe) for doing bad things. As a reader, I hope that you can trust me to tell you this story and that you can suspend disbelief at some of these elements. It takes a certain level of patience and trust in me as a writer to read these fantasy elements and not be taken out of the world of the story.

If you don't want your MCs to use condoms, don't 'create' an alternate universe please. Have them use condoms, or have them talk about not using them.