After reading and analyzing The Aftermath, Kelly Mitchell, a senior at Newton Country Day School who will be attending the University of Notre Dame in the fall, was asked the following questions:
Who do you think could benefit from reading this book and why?
I believe this book would be very beneficial to students in middle school and high school. This book touches on many different areas relevant to students of these ages: temptation, popularity, friendship, gossip, and faith. Kids during these years often get caught up in how they are perceived, leading them to sacrifice their morals in order to improve their social status. The Aftermath shows the harm of giving into peer pressure and also reminds people that even if they turn to sin they can always seek out God to give them strength to go back to the right path.
What message does this book send to readers?
One important message was best iterated by Matt Davids when he said, “Ten years down the road, the parties, the drugs, and your high school reputation are going to mean nothing to you.” This book shows that how cool someone is in high school or the reputation one holds is very insignificant in the scheme of life. What is important is one’s relationship with God because it is through him that one gains salvation. You cannot always control what people think or say about you, so you cannot allow others’ perspectives to be your priority. God is the only one who truly knows the truth about what exists in someone’s heart.
How has your opinion of Jason changed since reading the first MLH book?
By learning more about Jason’s story, I have developed a greater level of sympathy for him. The first story shows Jason as a talented boy consumed with partying and preoccupied by popularity. I judged Jason for his reputation without realizing I did not have true knowledge of who he was as a character. I learned through The Aftermath that Jason is not a bad person but has allowed himself to give into the temptation, which constantly surrounds him through his friends and even his own brother. While Jason’s life may appear care-free from the outside, a deeper understanding reveals that he deals with a feeling of emptiness, constant rumors spreading about him, which further taint his reputation, and the pressure to live up to the standard of his older brothers. My opinion of Jason after completing the book is that he is humble, hardworking, and unfairly judged.