Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu
"When eleven-year-old Dylan Anderson is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of fifteen-year-old Ethan Jorgensen, who had gone on a bike ride four years earlier and had never been seen again. Dylan's older sister, Caroline, can't help but wonder what happened to her brother, who has nonverbal autism and is not adjusting well to life back home. There's only one person who knows the truth: Ethan. But Ethan isn't sure how he can help Caroline when he is fighting traumatic memories of his own captivity. Both Caroline and Ethan need a friend, however, and their best option just might be each other."- summary from Amazon
Just like Mathieu's previous book Devoted, I absolutely loved this one too. And like the previous book, it takes on a heavy subject and deals with it with such empathy and care. The novel goes between Ethan and Caroline's perspectives, which provides different sides to the same trauma. Ethan is going through the personal trauma of having to go through what happened to him while he was gone for four years. Caroline has the trauma of losing her autistic baby brother who, when found and returned, isn't able to properly vocalize what happened to him during those few days he was missing and making it difficult to recover and treat him. It's a quick read though because it's so compelling and seeing the friendship between Caroline and Ethan blossom is a wonderful way of beginning the healing process.
FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.