Review: August and Everything After by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

August and Everything After by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Release Date: May 1st, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
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One last summer to escape, to find herself, to figure out what comes next. Fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han will love this contemporary, coming-of-age romance.

Graduation was supposed to be a relief. Except Quinn can’t avoid the rumors that plagued her throughout high school or the barrage of well-intentioned questions about her college plans. How is she supposed to know what she wants to do for the next four years, let alone the rest of her life? And why does no one understand that it’s hard for her to think about the future—or feel as if she even deserves one—when her best friend is dead?

Spending the summer with her aunt on the Jersey shore may just be the fresh start Quinn so desperately needs. And when she meets Malcolm, a musician with his own haunted past, she starts to believe in second chances. Can Quinn find love while finding herself?


August and Everything After seemed like the perfect start-to-summer read. I mean, a Jersey Shore setting, summer romance, and adventure? I don't think it can get much more summery than that! It also didn't hurt that I've enjoyed Jennifer's previous books - How My Summer Went Up in Flames and Famous Last Words are perfect poolside reading material! 

As it turns out, August and Everything After did put me in a summery mood; however, it also brought way more heart and emotion to the table than I had anticipated! 

At its heart, August and Everything After is a book about growing up, making the hard decisions in life, and learning to love not only other people but also yourself. When the book first begins Quinn   is in a state of constant indecision. She doesn't know what to do now that she's graduated, and she doesn't know how to express that to her overly driven mother and sister who think college is the only option out there. 

I found Quinn's voice to be realistic and I feel that it will appeal to readers who are in the same position as Quinn, having one monumental era come to an end and not knowing what to do next. I felt for Quinn. It's hard making the big choices after high school (been there, done that!), and it's even harder when you're still dealing with the pain of losing someone you loved. What I admired the most about Quinn, however, was how willing she was to take chances. Yes, sometimes they led to incredibly embarrassing moments (i.e. fire rescue disaster) or even heartbreak, but they also led to some great growth - moments in which I was yelling "Go Quinn!" 

I also LOVED the aunt-niece dynamic here! Aunt Annie and Quinn were two peas in a pod. I liked that Annie and Quinn both helped each other out over the course of the summer. Annie helped Quinn see that it's okay to make mistakes and take chances, but they should never stop you from growing, for reaching for more. On the other hand, Quinn helped Annie see that just because something ended, it doesn't mean that it has to be over over. Their relationship was honest and heartwarming, containing plenty of "aww" moments as well as "oh darn." 

Now for the part that I'm iffy about: Malcolm, the sexy misunderstood musician. I think we've all encountered Malcolms in our lives - boys who we know are nothing but trouble but couldn't resist simply because of how swoony they were. On one side, I liked Malcolm. He played a huge role in Quinn's summer, helping her make some big decisions. He also was pretty irresistible. I can understand why Quinn why was so taken by him. He had that sexy musician charm for sure, and he used that to his benefit.  On the other hand, I felt that their relationship was unhealthy. I didn't like that Quinn took on the savior role here, always feeling as if it was up to her to keep Malcolm's sobriety in check. That's a hard role for anyone, especially someone who is already facing a lot in their own life. There were so many moments in which I wished I could reach through the book and knock some sense into Quinn, to tell her that she it wasn't solely up to her, that it wasn't okay that he was always making such weak promises. I will admit that sometimes their back-and-forth relationship grew old; however, I appreciated the end result. I won't say too much, but Jennifer did a great job of wrapping it up. There were some shaky "oh my goodness" moments, but I couldn't have been happier by the end. 

Overall, August and Everything After is a relatable read, perfect for the summer! While it isn't my favorite book by Jennifer (How My Summer Went Up in Flames remains my favorite), it still demonstrates how great Jennifer's contemporaries are. I can't wait to read more by her! 

3.5 stars!!  


  1. I really appreciated Quinn's journey during this summer, but I had expected something a little lighter. I, like you, loved Quinn's aunt, and I was iffy about Malcolm too.

  2. I can definitely relate to not knowing what you want to do with your life, especially at 18! I also like that this book has a niece/aunt relationship, that's not one I come across often!


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