After the Fall

After the Fall

A YA debut about a teen girl who wrestles with rumors, reputation, and her relationships with two brothers.Seventeen-year-old Raychel is sleeping with two boys: her overachieving best friend Matt…and his slacker brother, Andrew. Raychel sneaks into Matt’s bed after nightmares, but nothing ever happens. He doesn’t even seem to realize she’s a girl, except when he decides sh...

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Title:After the Fall
Author:Kate Hart
Rating:
Format Type:Kindle Edition
Number of Pages:336 pages

After the Fall Reviews

  • Kelly
    Jul 31, 2014

    Take one part Sara Zarr, one part Laurie Halse Anderson, and one part Courtney Summers and you have this book.

  • Kate
    Jul 31, 2014

    Well hello. Fancy meeting you here.

    9/23/15 Just a heads up that this book is now a 2017 release.

    1/22/16 Got a pub date: January 24, 2017!

    3/21/16 Updated the book's description. :)

    5/17/16 Cover!

    8/2/16 Up for grabs on NetGalley (& Edelweiss, I think)

    1/22/17 Two days until release! Goodreads giveaway happening here in the meantime:

    1/24/17: It's HERE! To celebrate, a group of writers will be matching your donations to RAINN today, up to $4000! Go to

    Well hello. Fancy meeting you here.

    9/23/15 Just a heads up that this book is now a 2017 release.

    1/22/16 Got a pub date: January 24, 2017!

    3/21/16 Updated the book's description. :)

    5/17/16 Cover!

    8/2/16 Up for grabs on NetGalley (& Edelweiss, I think)

    1/22/17 Two days until release! Goodreads giveaway happening here in the meantime:

    1/24/17: It's HERE! To celebrate, a group of writers will be matching your donations to RAINN today, up to $4000! Go to

    to help, or signal boost with the hashtag #afterthefall (and add the titles of your favorite feminist reads)!

  • Rachel  (APCB Reviews)
    Nov 28, 2016

    It's been about 20 hours since I finished this book. I've spent the past 20 hours contemplating, thinking about, and replaying this book in my head since then. Eyes, puffy; mood, despondent; fragility, very high right now.

    is an indescribably and immensely powerful book. If there is one book you read in 2017 it should be this one. This book doesn't just touch upon tough subjects, it surrounds us with these issues and makes us face them even when we wish to stay ignorant and enterta

    It's been about 20 hours since I finished this book. I've spent the past 20 hours contemplating, thinking about, and replaying this book in my head since then. Eyes, puffy; mood, despondent; fragility, very high right now.

    is an indescribably and immensely powerful book. If there is one book you read in 2017 it should be this one. This book doesn't just touch upon tough subjects, it surrounds us with these issues and makes us face them even when we wish to stay ignorant and entertained by what we read. But Kate Hart knows better, she confronts us with the problems in such a way that it really settles within us, it makes us squirm and think about our own actions and choices and the people in our lives.

    In

    , Raychel has a lot on her plate. An assault from a classmate, the threat of eviction, and her dwindling changes of escaping her hometown for college. Not to mention her two very different relationships with brothers. Perfect Matthew Richardson, her best friend since youth, and his slacker brother Andrew, her secret love interest.

    Raychel's life is messy and difficult and her assault weighs on her mind and health. When people in school spread rumors very loosely based on what they thought was true, Kate Hart does a great job speaking to the ideas of reputation and rumors. The inequality and double-standard between men and women. The definition of assault and how the victim blames herself and tries to rationalize while the perpetrator thinks he did nothing wrong. Everything was tastefully done, and Kate captures Raychel's emotions and thoughts perfectly.

    Raychel's relationships are another huge part of this book. Most of her friend group is a year older than she and Matthew are, so they are all off at college while she and Matthew finish their final year of high school. Kate explores the meaning of friendship and Raychel's complex relationships with her friends, Matthew, Andrew, Mr. and Mrs. Richardson, and Raychel's mother. The romance in this book was cute and sweet and really resonated within. Raychel found someone who wouldn't judge her and tried to understand and if all else failed he was just always there to comfort her. Raychel's friendship with Matthew really sucked me in and held my attention throughout.

    This book has a huge twist, and I urge you not to spoil yourself. It's gut-wrenching and gives this book a poignant tone.

    Kate Hart is an amazing writer. She manages to find the perfect words to describe literally everything that Raychel and Matthew feel. She makes us feel anguish and regret, sadness and longing, happiness and joy. She seamlessly weaves in such powerful elements and themes in a way that don't seem preachy but rather so natural and effortless. Nothing felt forced, but Kate Hart makes you understand and learn.

    Although I really loved this book, the last third of the book lagged for me. An overwhelming sadness overtook me, so you've been warned. I might've sobbed for a good twenty minutes after finishing this book. If you guessed I'm crying as I write this review you'd be correct. Because this book is just so emotional and well done.

    Kate Hart basically smashed my heart into a million pieces with the ending of the book. She slowly starts to mend it by the last page. The end is by no means perfect which I love.

    I loved basically everything about

    . I urge you to read this book. It might not be 100% entertaining and happy at times, but it just so powerful. I think you'll appreciate it.

  • Mary H
    Jan 26, 2017

    BRB CRYING FOREVER K BYE

    Full review posted

    . Be sure to check out more of my reviews at

    .

    A copy of

    was provided in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect the contents of my review in any way.

    Wow. This book was very unexpected. A good unexpected, but unexpected all the same. Especially the part where I CRIED FOR 100 STRAIGHT PAGES. But we'll get there in a second. Also, this book deals with some hard topics, and I want to talk about them s

    BRB CRYING FOREVER K BYE

    Full review posted

    . Be sure to check out more of my reviews at

    .

    A copy of

    was provided in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect the contents of my review in any way.

    Wow. This book was very unexpected. A good unexpected, but unexpected all the same. Especially the part where I CRIED FOR 100 STRAIGHT PAGES. But we'll get there in a second. Also, this book deals with some hard topics, and I want to talk about them so trigger warning for rape/sexual assault.

    First of all, the summary is pretty dang misleading. I don't like the "she's sleeping with two boys" because really, Raychel doesn't sleep with either Matt or Andrew in either sense on a regular basis. She is, however, a girl who is comfortable with her body and her sexuality and owns it, and I so appreciate that. Raychel is smart and works hard, both in school and at work (which she has to do first to save up for college and then to help her mom with the bills), but she also makes mistakes, and again: she owns them. To verge on cliche, she is refreshingly honest, and I love her voice. I love that she lets people know when they've done something disappointing--like Andrew snarking about the no-high-school-boys rule she broke before the book started or Matt being his asshole self. But whenever she does something disappointing to someone else--being snobby about her mom's boyfriend--she sucks it up and attempts to right the sotuation. Basically, I love Raychel. She's strong in sometimes quiet ways.

    Matt, on the other hand, is an asshole, and it took me a while to understand why he is a narrator (and when I realized why, I was devastated, but we'll get to that in a bit). Matt's a good guy. He's friendly. He does a lot of extra-curriculars. He works hard for the school. But... he's supposed to be Raychel's best friend, and I never truly felt their connection. He totally white knights her unnecessarily and has this crush that made me uncomfortable given some of their interactions (taking pictures of her while rock climbing, even when he can see her underwear, allowing her to sleep in his bed without telling her his feelings, etc). And Matt is completely oblivious to both his own privilege and Raychel's more serious hardships. He gets the obvious things: Raychel's ankle injury, Raychel being drunk, etc, but he doesn't truly understand why she needs a job so badly, why she wants to get away from Carson. Matt is completely blind to these things, and it's such a contrast to Andrew who is outwardly the screwed up black sheep with bad grades and an affinity for getting grounded and a liking for weed, but who is inwardly sensitive and perceptive.

    After the Fall is undoubtedly feminist. It explores the good guy character and shows how even "good guys" can be assholes (see: Matt) and how "good guys" are sometimes not good at all because they don't understand that no means no and what consent mean and what constitutes as rape and/or sexual assault. After the Fall also exhibits a wide variety of relationships between female characters, which is freaking AWESOME. Like Raychel has good relationships with both her mom and Mrs. R (Matt and Andrew's mom), although they're not without complication or complexity. There are the good friends--Asha and Keri--and the bitchy not-really-friends-but-we're-part-of-the-same-group frenemy. These relations evolve throughout the book in real, believable ways, sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. I like that there was a contrast with two mother figures, and that, while Raychel's mom works a lot, she does care about and work hard to parent Raychel. She's present even though she's a working parent with her own life. I like that. And when Keri witnesses an attempted assault on an intoxicated Raychel, SHE SAYS SOMETHING. She gets help immediately, but then she also provides support after the fact. She shuts gossip down with the truth, and provides Raychel with a safe place after both the assault and the Big Tragedy. And there's a GLORIOUS scene between Raychel and Mrs. R that flat out discusses assault and rape, and how just because a girl doesn't say no doesn't meanshe said yes, and that rape doesn't always mean intercourse. It was so hard to read that scene, but DAMN it was also good to see it in black and white, and not only do I want to shove his book in the hands of every girl ever, this book NEEDS to be in boys' hands so that they can FUCKING LEARN THIS SHIT. Ahem.

    I think this book did a great job of tackling so much other than just the assault. Raychel's absent dad who attempts to pay child support but can't afford it. Raychel's mom working overtime and not being able to cover bills. The stresses that poverty, working parents, and working teens put on those teens. Trying to plan for college but not knowing where the money will come from. Grief. Oh, so much grief. Seriously, the last hundred pages, I SOBBED. Therapy. Survivor's guilt. There's this one line that I loved, even though it broke my heart: "I used to be part of the family. Past tense. I've been disowned. There's some stupid saying like 'It's the family you choose that matters,' but what do you do when they un-choose you?" (ARC, page 256) BRILLIANT. Heartbreaking, but brilliant and also a REALLY good question.

    One very small detail I love about After the Fall is that Kate crates a natural and realistic environment with every day details. Several mentions of tampons--Raychel keeping them in Matt's car, selling them to embarrassed preteens at the convenience store, using one after sex--and condoms--again, keeping one in the car and selling them to guys at the store, using one during sex. Mentioning how Asha is struggling in college (and that even a not-as-prestigious state college still being tougher than high school: TRUE TRUE TRUE) and has to cancel plans to study. Things like that are REAL but often aren't "glamorous" or even just important enough to include in fiction. I'm so grateful Kate did.

    I can't quite give After the Fall five stars because it's still devastating, and I really wanted it to have more of a traditional happy ending (although A++ for Raychel living her life and doing it well for herself as well as the people she loves/loved). There are some really great sweetly swoony parts, and it hurt so bad when The Thing I Don't Want To Talk About Because Spoilers And Also It Will Make Me Cry Again happens, but I will say it occurs organically, is handled appropriately, and leads to significant character development for both Matt and Raychel that may not have happened otherwise. It's just not what I would prefer because I like my HEAs to be a tidbit more happy.

    After the Fall is hugely important, and I do highly recommend readers of all genders give it a try. I think Kate is an enormously talented writer who can balance complex character development on both individual and relationship levels with a full, realistic setting and big plot points that help shape the characters in a believable if dramatic manner. Definitely get this one on your TBR!

  • Allison
    May 19, 2016

    You know those books where you read the first half and then you cry for ten minutes, and then you have to take a break until the next day? But then the next day you decide you can't keep reading first thing in the morning because you're still sad so you take yourself for a new haircut, new shoes, and a pedicure? THEN when your emotions are tricked back into submission, you feel like you're safe to read the second half of the book? THIS BOOK.

    I'm just still...like....bone-deep sad. This is a real

    You know those books where you read the first half and then you cry for ten minutes, and then you have to take a break until the next day? But then the next day you decide you can't keep reading first thing in the morning because you're still sad so you take yourself for a new haircut, new shoes, and a pedicure? THEN when your emotions are tricked back into submission, you feel like you're safe to read the second half of the book? THIS BOOK.

    I'm just still...like....bone-deep sad. This is a really heart-wrenching book in many ways. First and foremost in regards to Raychel's assault and her reactions to it and confusion over it and I just want to wrap her in a hug and make her hot cocoa and hang out with her and Asha and tell her things are shit but also that things will be ok. *deep breath* The other heart-wrenching things are spoilers but basically, this book will make you cry. Sad crying, angry crying, frustrated crying. I loved Raychel's voice and Hart's writing and *heart-clutching motion*

    The best thing this book does is clearly make the distinction between "nice guys" and good guys and I think that's an important lesson for every woman, no matter their age.

    I wanna rant about some stuff but it's all spoilers and even with the "hide spoilers" option I'd feel terrible posting them where they could be accidentally found.

    Thanks so much to FSG (FSG, I love you, look at you climbing my list of favorite imprints, you go girl!) and NetGalley for the e-arc!

  • Emily May
    Feb 04, 2017

    was a book I added immediately after reading the synopsis. How could I not? A contemporary YA about relationships and high school rumours and slut-shaming that has received comparisons to

    ? Sounds like it's made for me.

    But the truth is that

    . Hart brings in many heavy topics- sexual consent, slut-shaming, gender double standards, race relations, to name but a few - and doesn't really do much with any of them.

    was a book I added immediately after reading the synopsis. How could I not? A contemporary YA about relationships and high school rumours and slut-shaming that has received comparisons to

    ? Sounds like it's made for me.

    But the truth is that

    . Hart brings in many heavy topics- sexual consent, slut-shaming, gender double standards, race relations, to name but a few - and doesn't really do much with any of them.

    drowned in its own unsuccessful messages, asking a lot of important questions but offering no satisfying conclusions to them. Whilst also trying to be a love story and a meditation on grief and loss.

    The story moves between the perspectives of Raychel and her friend, Matt. Raychel and Matt have been platonically sleeping together for some time, but it seems that Matt wants more from their relationship. However, Raychel finds herself drawn instead to his brother, Andrew, who she begins a secret sexual relationship with. Alongside this, Raychel is also trying to deal with the guy who assaulted her at a party, and rumours about her at school.

    I wasn't particularly interested in any of the characters from the start. The dialogue felt forced and weird... kind of like an adult's idea of teenspeak. Matt seemed whiny, and I wasn't even sure why we needed his perspective.

    And about those perspectives -

    has no chapters. The book just moves back and forth between Raychel and Matt's similar narrative voices, sometimes with only a few paragraphs given to their POV.

    because of it, making what should have been an important read just boring.

    The problem with reviewing this book is - what I feel to be - the huge disparity between what the author intended and what the author achieved. When it comes to intentions, I think I've got a pretty good idea what they are: tackle issues of consent, gender and race. Which sounds great. But I think if you forget about intentions and look at this book as is, you're left with something completely different.

    What you're left with is

    . A heroine who is wanted by every male in the book, a love triangle that uses sexual assault as a vehicle for romantic angst (seriously, you wouldn't believe how many rape survivors are used as romance heroines, ick), and a big dramatic tragedy that overshadows any interesting questions previously raised and left unaddressed.

    just didn't deliver for me. Despite what may have been intended, it is not so much a book about sexual assault and consent as it is a book about romance and grief that uses said sexual assault to make the love angst even more dramatic. Disappointing.

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  • Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
    Jan 28, 2017

    Raychel. As soon as I saw that this Rachel spelled her name with a "Y" I knew she was going to be annoying. And I was right. She was all up in her own head-- trying to make the reader think she "didn't want to stand out", but she was constantly playing the victim and waiting for Matt or Andrew to come save her.

    There is a sexual assault part to

    Raychel. As soon as I saw that this Rachel spelled her name with a "Y" I knew she was going to be annoying. And I was right. She was all up in her own head-- trying to make the reader think she "didn't want to stand out", but she was constantly playing the victim and waiting for Matt or Andrew to come save her.

    There is a sexual assault part to this book, and I'm certainly not referring to that when I say she wanted to be saved. It was all these other dumb things-- like constantly hurting her ankle and getting too drunk to walk and needing them to carry her and such that IRKed me.

    Matt. Oh my god could this boy get any more pathetic? There was nothing I liked about him. Not only was he a uptight goody-goody, but there was a storyline where he was like trying to be better about being respectful to women-- but then he didn't change anything in the end, so I don't really know what the point of all of it was except to make me think he was a bigger DOUCHE than I already thought he was.

    UUGHHHHGHGHWKHWOIHFNJNSK!!! The spoilery thing I can't tell you about. I found it so unnecessary and all it did for me was take the only part of the book I liked and set it on fire.

    So I guess this looks like I didn't like the book. See, that's where my feelings get COMPLICATED because

    . I liked it enough to not want to stop reading it. I liked it enough to THINK about it long after I stopped reading it. I know for sure this is a book that won't soon leave my mind because UGHHHH the spoilery things that happen are so infuriating!!!

    I wasn't super impressed by the writing (like I said the characters talk unnecessarily in their own heads a lot & say things like "nothing much happened on Monday" and "StuCo"), but there was something about the story and the drama that hooked me. I also enjoyed some of the tough conversations that the characters had about consent, treating people with respect, and it being okay to be sex positive but also okay to say no when you want to.

    The last 1/3 of the book felt like a very different book. There's an event that takes place and things change so drastically that I'm not sure I wanted so much story after it took place. I did like the ending though because if it would've turned out differently I would have SCREAMED. But I didn't scream, I was calm, and all was well.

    I'm going to go ahead and recommend this because I do think it's worth reading. It's not boring, and I can see where some people might like the big emotional "twist".

  • Kelli Spear
    Dec 08, 2016

    It's very rare for me to be blindsided by the emotional range and depth of a book. But After the Fall did just that. After reading the synopsis, I expected a love triangle and I got that. I also got so much more.

    Raychel is poor. She wants to get out of the town she's grown up in, but everything that could go wrong seems to do so. Matt is the opposite. He leads a charmed life and is almost guaranteed to be heading to Duke next year. They've been best friends forever. Matt, however, wants more. H

    It's very rare for me to be blindsided by the emotional range and depth of a book. But After the Fall did just that. After reading the synopsis, I expected a love triangle and I got that. I also got so much more.

    Raychel is poor. She wants to get out of the town she's grown up in, but everything that could go wrong seems to do so. Matt is the opposite. He leads a charmed life and is almost guaranteed to be heading to Duke next year. They've been best friends forever. Matt, however, wants more. He just doesn't know how to say it. Then there's his younger brother, Andrew. He's the opposite of Matt in almost every way. Not so serious, a bit of a slacker. Together, the three of them comprise a sort of Musketeers gang.

    Initially, we see Raychel dealing with the after effects of a hookup gone wrong. She's questioning herself and what had happened. No one else knows and her struggle carries over into her friendships. Matt knows something is wrong, but doesn't know how to get it out of her. As things begin to fall apart further, Raychel finds solace in an unlikely source—Andrew.

    After the Fall is told from two points of view: Raychel and Matt. I felt this was absolutely crucial to the story considering each character's differing feelings. What one thinks the other doesn't realize. I completely understood her frustration with Matt, but once his perspective came into play, it helped paint him into a better light. Somewhat. I did have issues with Matt as a character. He was very opinionated and judgmental. Times when he thought he was being helpful tended to make situations worse. And I'm not saying Raychel was perfect. Not even close. But her station in life was the polar opposite of his, and he had a hard time seeing that. Andrew was absolutely my favorite character. He had a goofy charm and charisma. Where Matt tried to be serious and pressure Raychel into making choices that wouldn't work for her, Andrew just listened and offered comfort. He let her be her.

    This story is invaluable. It broaches many subjects, and consent is probably the most important. I felt feminist vibes nearly every time Raychel spoke. It's important for young women to read so they don't take the blame for something that was someone else's fault. But beware. This is by no means an easy read. The last half is emotionally gripping. My heart was in a vise. But it's REAL. That's what I appreciated most. Because life isn't always like the movies.

  • Kami
    Dec 24, 2016

    After the Fall is just not for me. I read about 50 pages and then skipped through the rest. The characters, Raychel and Matt (and Andrew), are quite whiny and annoying. They always are getting into arguements and thinking they are always right. Raychel's secret isn't that much of a secret. It's the poor girl is best friends with a rich boy and she falls in love with rich boy's brother. They date in secret but then tragedy and everyone finds out! That plot twist was pretty good and unexpected. It

    After the Fall is just not for me. I read about 50 pages and then skipped through the rest. The characters, Raychel and Matt (and Andrew), are quite whiny and annoying. They always are getting into arguements and thinking they are always right. Raychel's secret isn't that much of a secret. It's the poor girl is best friends with a rich boy and she falls in love with rich boy's brother. They date in secret but then tragedy and everyone finds out! That plot twist was pretty good and unexpected. It was also 3/4ths of the way through the book. And the ending was okay. And I do like the spelling of Raychel's name! ;)

  • oh! lainey
    Jan 25, 2017

    Have you ever encountered a 'twist' that was so mess up that you cease to continue the book?

    That's how I feel about this book.

    I'm basically too devastated.

    I just don't see how the story could go on

    after that event. And I fear whatever solutions the author managed to offer would just not do it for me.

    I was actually really enjoying it. The writing was good and everyone was a dick but I liked it.

    I also believe it must be a pretty great book to make me feel so strongly that I can't g

    Have you ever encountered a 'twist' that was so mess up that you cease to continue the book?

    That's how I feel about this book.

    I'm basically too devastated.

    I just don't see how the story could go on

    after that event. And I fear whatever solutions the author managed to offer would just not do it for me.

    I was actually really enjoying it. The writing was good and everyone was a dick but I liked it.

    I also believe it must be a pretty great book to make me feel so strongly that I can't go on...

    DNF @ 69%