by Bonnie Pipkin
June 27, 2017
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.
“A raw, riveting story of love and family and the strength to stay standing when both begin to crumble. Bonnie Pipkin never flinches, and the result is a novel as powerful as it is essential.”–Robin Wasserman, author of Girls on Fire
“With quiet subtle power, Bonnie Pipkin does not shy away from portraying the harsh realities of what can happen in the aftermath of a hard decision. Aftercare Instructions is a heart wrenching story that will touch and resonate with so many young adult readers.” —Printz Award winner and National Book Award Finalist An Na
“A perfect, complicated mess of a novel (much like its narrator, Gen) that packs a powerful emotional punch while remaining compulsively readable. Heartbreaking, heartwarming, angering, and ultimately freeing and uplifting.” —Allison Seneca, Old Firehouse Books
“I read Aftercare Instructions in one sitting, in a sort of trance. Bonnie’s writing is electric, and I felt Gen on the page—her passion, her anger, her hurt, and her healing. Aftercare Instructions boldly explores the rough terrain of grief, depression, first love, and never backs down from the toughest moments. An important addition to YA.” —Tirzah Price, Great Lakes Books & Supply
“With Aftercare Instructions, Bonnie Pipkin offers a mighty, innovative, and (often painfully) real debut. Its construction—the present day in prose, the backstory in screenplay—amps up the ticking clock, making it nearly impossible to put down. Readers may experience joy, heartache, and everything in between.”–David Arnold, author of Mosquitoland and Kids of Appetite