After the First Death by Robert Cormier – 4 🌟
Originally published in 1979
Robert Cormier gives you a fast paced thriller from 3 different perspectives. The first two are teens that are trying to understand who they really are. They have a few different disguises or masks, but they don’t know which one is the true them. The other teen grapples with the aftermath of traumatic event.
On the surface, the book is a thriller, a terrorist attack that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Underneath there are topics such as teen suicide, self-identification, bravery and cowardice. What makes a person bad or good? Is there such a thing as an innocent monster? Can a person not know they are a monster? Can innocence be evil? The author essentially writes a book that dwells in the mind of a teen psyche. One who question authority, morality, patriotism and what makes a good soldier.
Then you have the nature vs nurture argument. What makes a person evil? Are they nurtured that way and taught to hate? Or is the environment to blame? Is society and the world guilty of creating the monsters we see today?
This YA novel is not one to give you the answers, but makes you think about them. While you are reading, you are not just enjoying a fast paced thriller, but you are thinking about the world around you. You are thinking about the person you are becoming.