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Gabe in the After

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It’s fourteen-year-old Gabe Sweeney’s day to check for survivors . . . Two years after a global pandemic, twenty survivors (most of them children) have relocated from their coastal Maine island full of sad memories to a mansion on a small, neighboring island where they have school and farm chores. When Gabe and his dog Mud find Relle Douglas alone in the woods on the mainla It’s fourteen-year-old Gabe Sweeney’s day to check for survivors . . . Two years after a global pandemic, twenty survivors (most of them children) have relocated from their coastal Maine island full of sad memories to a mansion on a small, neighboring island where they have school and farm chores. When Gabe and his dog Mud find Relle Douglas alone in the woods on the mainland, they take the strange new girl across the channel to live with them. Relle changes the island with her hopeful attitude. She tells big stories and makes plans for activities like talent shows. Despite a growing crush, Gabe doesn’t quite understand the point of it all; why have a talent show at the end of the world? But when tragedy strikes, Gabe sets out on a dangerous journey to try and find other survivors where the world might be normal. Like Before. Lightly inspired by Anne of Green Gables, Gabe in the After is a moving and heartfelt story about the end of the world—and what perseveres through it.


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It’s fourteen-year-old Gabe Sweeney’s day to check for survivors . . . Two years after a global pandemic, twenty survivors (most of them children) have relocated from their coastal Maine island full of sad memories to a mansion on a small, neighboring island where they have school and farm chores. When Gabe and his dog Mud find Relle Douglas alone in the woods on the mainla It’s fourteen-year-old Gabe Sweeney’s day to check for survivors . . . Two years after a global pandemic, twenty survivors (most of them children) have relocated from their coastal Maine island full of sad memories to a mansion on a small, neighboring island where they have school and farm chores. When Gabe and his dog Mud find Relle Douglas alone in the woods on the mainland, they take the strange new girl across the channel to live with them. Relle changes the island with her hopeful attitude. She tells big stories and makes plans for activities like talent shows. Despite a growing crush, Gabe doesn’t quite understand the point of it all; why have a talent show at the end of the world? But when tragedy strikes, Gabe sets out on a dangerous journey to try and find other survivors where the world might be normal. Like Before. Lightly inspired by Anne of Green Gables, Gabe in the After is a moving and heartfelt story about the end of the world—and what perseveres through it.

30 review for Gabe in the After

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    I've loved Anne of Green Gables since I was a kid, so when I read the plot for this, an MG end-of-the-world story featuring Gabe, who was inspired by Gilbert Blythe, I was sold. Life on the tiny Maine island, where a small community of survivors live, is beautiful but also a bit lonely for Gabe and his dog, Mud. But when some newcomers arrive on the island, things change, especially for Gabe. I adore how Gabe is so unabashedly open about his feelings, especially his amorous ones, (even if they a I've loved Anne of Green Gables since I was a kid, so when I read the plot for this, an MG end-of-the-world story featuring Gabe, who was inspired by Gilbert Blythe, I was sold. Life on the tiny Maine island, where a small community of survivors live, is beautiful but also a bit lonely for Gabe and his dog, Mud. But when some newcomers arrive on the island, things change, especially for Gabe. I adore how Gabe is so unabashedly open about his feelings, especially his amorous ones, (even if they are only in his head.) The characters are all quite charming and endearing, and the author does a good job making the cast of characters inclusive. There are bits of danger, but also lots of quiet lovely moments. The ending, more specifically the last paragraph was chef's kiss. Highly recommend!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Prerna Pickett

    Gabe in the After manages to perfectly capture a contemporary feel in a very non contemporary setting (post apocolyptic) and is inspired by Anne of Green Gables. It's a beautiful and engaging book with well rounded characters and is perfectly Middle Grade. Gabe is such a wonderful MC with a strong voice that I think truly conveys what I think it would be like to be a boy in the world after. Gabe in the After manages to perfectly capture a contemporary feel in a very non contemporary setting (post apocolyptic) and is inspired by Anne of Green Gables. It's a beautiful and engaging book with well rounded characters and is perfectly Middle Grade. Gabe is such a wonderful MC with a strong voice that I think truly conveys what I think it would be like to be a boy in the world after.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Eerily prophetic since the book takes place after a global pandemic, this one will probably please fans of Anne of Green Gables and those who enjoy stories about survival and first romances. While I liked it and appreciated how the book's protagonist, Gabe Sweeney, was depicted, I was expecting something a bit more--maybe not bleak, but more realistic. Gabe and some other youngsters as well as a couple of adults fled to a small Maine island when the virus struck, and they've learned to plant the Eerily prophetic since the book takes place after a global pandemic, this one will probably please fans of Anne of Green Gables and those who enjoy stories about survival and first romances. While I liked it and appreciated how the book's protagonist, Gabe Sweeney, was depicted, I was expecting something a bit more--maybe not bleak, but more realistic. Gabe and some other youngsters as well as a couple of adults fled to a small Maine island when the virus struck, and they've learned to plant their own food and establish routines that make them able to survive. When Gabe finds another survivor, Relle Douglas, while scouting the mainland in case there are others who made it through the pandemic unscathed, she brightens the community with her personality, stories, and projects, including a talent show. Gabe is enamored by her and her competitive nature. But sometimes he wonders if she isn't a bit careless, especially after one of the island's residents dies. It's encouraging that Gabe is so responsible and feels as though he must shoulder the load when anyone in his community becomes ill, especially since his father was a doctor. But when he returns to his home on the mainland and visits his parents' and little sister's rooms, I found it odd that there was no mention of bodies or decay or signs of the contagion. There was a reference to a sweetish smell in his sister's room, but I suspect that it would be stronger and more horrifying than that. It's almost impossible not to contrast the steps his new community took in order to survive with the actions of the military and those survivors as well as not to imagine what each of us might do in such a situation. Despite my own expectations for the book and slight disappointment in how things played out, the book is well written and full of hope and possibilities. It serves as a reminder that many of us rely far too much on the system to take care of us and that perhaps we need to learn or relearn some basic survival skills. The more I read, the more I started to understand those preppers and why they are so intent on stashing away supplies. I wish there had been more of Relle's back story included as well as more background about these survivors.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Harrison

    4.5 Stars Gabe in the After is set after COVID-19. And the global pandemic in this book moves faster and is devastating. The book doesn’t focus too much on the physical suffering — in part because the illness moves so fast, people are gone in less than a week — rather it explores the emotional aftermath. At the center of the story is Gabe, a teenager who was only 12 when he moved to the island. Now, he’s more adult than child. Sure, he still participates in school, and obeys Silvia, the sort of pa 4.5 Stars Gabe in the After is set after COVID-19. And the global pandemic in this book moves faster and is devastating. The book doesn’t focus too much on the physical suffering — in part because the illness moves so fast, people are gone in less than a week — rather it explores the emotional aftermath. At the center of the story is Gabe, a teenager who was only 12 when he moved to the island. Now, he’s more adult than child. Sure, he still participates in school, and obeys Silvia, the sort of parent of the group. But he’s also working as the island’s doctor of sorts and has worries beyond that of a normal teenager. Relle’s appearance ushers in Gabe’s first full-on crush. Author Shannon Doleski perfectly captures the confusion and joy and rush of emotion. It’s innocent and lovely and many youths will immediately relate. Doleki finished writing Gabe in the After in March 2020. By the time the book went into edits, the US had been experiencing COVID-19 for more than a year. That changed details in the book, Doleski explains in her author’s note. But it also brought clearer parallels between real life and the book: “New experiences don’t take away from our losses, but they give us hope,” Doleski says. “My wish for you, reader, is to experience hope — that beautiful, powerful thing — amid all the tragedy.” Gabe in the After is a fast-moving, emotional read that perfectly marries harsh realities with beauty found in everyday moments.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sally Kruger

    There's been a worldwide pandemic and you survived. How many others are still alive? Gabe grew up on a small island off the coast of Maine. His parents and sister died from the sickness, but he survived along with a small group in his community. There are twenty of them left, two adults and the rest children. It's Gabe's turn to check for other survivors. He rows a boat from the island to the mainland to wait by the post they placed in hopes that others passing by might stop and wait for help. Cou There's been a worldwide pandemic and you survived. How many others are still alive? Gabe grew up on a small island off the coast of Maine. His parents and sister died from the sickness, but he survived along with a small group in his community. There are twenty of them left, two adults and the rest children. It's Gabe's turn to check for other survivors. He rows a boat from the island to the mainland to wait by the post they placed in hopes that others passing by might stop and wait for help. Could today be the day? A red-haired girl about Gabe's age appears at the post. At first Gabe fears he is dreaming, but he soon realizes she is real. She tells him she has been walking and walking hoping to find someone alive. Despite being alone and exhausted, the girl named Relle has an infectious, positive outlook. She returns to the island with Gabe where she's greeted with excitement. Though Relle is welcomed by the group, there are some tense times. There's a tragic death of one of their own, a bit of jealousy when new activities threaten old traditions, and Gabe bravely volunteers to make the two week journey to check out a military base said to shelter more survivors. Author Shannon Doleski taps into all too familiar feelings about the isolation and sacrifice involving a global pandemic. Readers will easily step into the world of Gabe and the others as they accept Relle and learn change can be welcome. Doleski is also the author of MARY UNDERWATER.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Betsy Wolf

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. After the end of the world, the end of a pandemic, what kind of world would remain? The dystopian hell scape one we always expect and know in tv and literature? Or perhaps this one, where the survivor you come across has Anne Shirley vibes, and the radios reach helpful survivors? Gabe Sweeney is a 14 year old boy who was sent to a small island off the coast of Maine when a pandemic hit, along with about 20 remaining children and adults who hadn’t gotten sick. Gabe is a level headed boy growing i After the end of the world, the end of a pandemic, what kind of world would remain? The dystopian hell scape one we always expect and know in tv and literature? Or perhaps this one, where the survivor you come across has Anne Shirley vibes, and the radios reach helpful survivors? Gabe Sweeney is a 14 year old boy who was sent to a small island off the coast of Maine when a pandemic hit, along with about 20 remaining children and adults who hadn’t gotten sick. Gabe is a level headed boy growing into a man. He was on his usual route to keep an eye out for survivors and happened upon Relle, who he can’t stop thinking about. This is a coming of age story by an author who finished it in March of 2020 before the big C-19. It’s perfectly middle grade, the baddest people in it didn’t want to work to help the community. The first true love of our character culminates in a kiss. This is a hallmark movie for middle graders, though with genuine wisdom and heart, and it’s really perfect for what it is. I breezed through it and enjoyed every hopeful bit of it. Don’t sleep on it because of the romance, read it and feel positive about humanity and what can be possible.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katie Reilley

    Set two years after a global pandemic, twenty survivors, most of them children, have moved from their coastal town in Maine to a smaller island that houses them all in a mansion. Each day brings school and chores, and of course, checking for survivors. When it’s Gabe’s day to check, he and his dog Mud encounter Relle, a strange new girl alone in the woods. Bringing her back to the island, Relle fills the small community with hope. Gabe’s emotions waiver between enjoying Relle and the joy she’s b Set two years after a global pandemic, twenty survivors, most of them children, have moved from their coastal town in Maine to a smaller island that houses them all in a mansion. Each day brings school and chores, and of course, checking for survivors. When it’s Gabe’s day to check, he and his dog Mud encounter Relle, a strange new girl alone in the woods. Bringing her back to the island, Relle fills the small community with hope. Gabe’s emotions waiver between enjoying Relle and the joy she’s brought and dealing with the ever-present haunting sense of loss that Gabe’s experienced. Favorite line: page 54: “Sometimes it takes a stranger to show us bits of ourselves that we didn’t know we were missing.” Themes of grief, loss, community, hope, friendship, and first crush abound in this beautiful middle grade novel.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jodi Stewart

    Gabe In The After by @shannondoleski was such a delightful book! It took an end of the world, post apocalyptic story (think Alas, Babylon) and made it fun, hopeful, and endearing. Great characters, a well paced story, and lots of humor and fun, I laughed out loud a few times. This is 100% a kid friendly book. Probably written with ages 10 and up in mind, but I would easily hand it to an 8 year old. It does deal with themes of loss and death, but as part of a healing journey. It’s not heavy at all Gabe In The After by @shannondoleski was such a delightful book! It took an end of the world, post apocalyptic story (think Alas, Babylon) and made it fun, hopeful, and endearing. Great characters, a well paced story, and lots of humor and fun, I laughed out loud a few times. This is 100% a kid friendly book. Probably written with ages 10 and up in mind, but I would easily hand it to an 8 year old. It does deal with themes of loss and death, but as part of a healing journey. It’s not heavy at all. To Ms Doleski, if you read your reviews, thank you for writing this. I recognized Relle right away and was absolutely delighted to be part of her adventures in this book. (To my fellow readers, if you don’t recognize her, don’t skip the author’s note. I promise there’s an aha moment in there for you)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chris G.

    Gabe’s dad was a doctor, so when the pandemic came and Gabe was the only one without symptoms in his family, his dad made sure Gabe was on a boat to a nearby island off the coast of Maine with an adult and twenty other uninflected children. For two years they’ve been on their own in the “after;” no one else from their town survived and they have seen no other survivors. They haven’t given up hope, though, so they’ve left a marker in town and take turns checking to see if any survivors turn up. T Gabe’s dad was a doctor, so when the pandemic came and Gabe was the only one without symptoms in his family, his dad made sure Gabe was on a boat to a nearby island off the coast of Maine with an adult and twenty other uninflected children. For two years they’ve been on their own in the “after;” no one else from their town survived and they have seen no other survivors. They haven’t given up hope, though, so they’ve left a marker in town and take turns checking to see if any survivors turn up. That’s how Gabe meets Relle, whose arrival helps Gabe find a different way of looking at the future. Anne of Green Gables fans will see many parallels, others will enjoy the light romance and COVID parallels. EARC from Edelweiss.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    Anne of Green Gables meets Terminator? What??? Well, actually it's just two old friends that you used to know going through something a fair bit worse than Covid 19. The strength of this book if you didn't love the original two characters (Anne and Gilbert) is Gabe and Renne's search for hope and something to look forward to during a period of time they refer to as the After (as in after the end of the world, as they knew it). If you loved Anne of Green Gables, well, you will be in from the dedi Anne of Green Gables meets Terminator? What??? Well, actually it's just two old friends that you used to know going through something a fair bit worse than Covid 19. The strength of this book if you didn't love the original two characters (Anne and Gilbert) is Gabe and Renne's search for hope and something to look forward to during a period of time they refer to as the After (as in after the end of the world, as they knew it). If you loved Anne of Green Gables, well, you will be in from the dedication. Two things that are familiar, but not together, will it work? I think it does. Sweet with some nice messages for kids that are navigating a different kind of After, but one that is also very impactful.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennybeast

    I am a fan of gentle post-apocalypse stories -- the kind where people are rebuilding and finding ways to survive, and not necessarily facing constant danger. This is an Anne of Green Gables- adjacent post apocalyptic story. I found it odd but compelling. Very strong on the themes of grief and how to deal with intense and universal trauma. First crush love story and intense enjoyment of competition were also quite prevalent. Very hard to take on right now because the apocalypse in question is a p I am a fan of gentle post-apocalypse stories -- the kind where people are rebuilding and finding ways to survive, and not necessarily facing constant danger. This is an Anne of Green Gables- adjacent post apocalyptic story. I found it odd but compelling. Very strong on the themes of grief and how to deal with intense and universal trauma. First crush love story and intense enjoyment of competition were also quite prevalent. Very hard to take on right now because the apocalypse in question is a pandemic. Ultimately, I enjoyed it a lot, but kept waiting for an attack. Also, really appreciated the non-binary character. Advanced Reader's Copy provided by Edelweiss.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Holly Wagner

    With this wonderful book, I have broken my summer reading slump. I couldn't even sleep for reading it. Everything about it was captivating, intriguing, and satisfying. The quintessential juvenile fiction. Tight. Succinct. Entrancing. This will be perfect for my collection. Yet, I worry a bit about it being a bit mature for a Battle of the Books selection. And how old do elementary students need to be to fall in love, since that is what this enchanting story is mostly about. The author's note mad With this wonderful book, I have broken my summer reading slump. I couldn't even sleep for reading it. Everything about it was captivating, intriguing, and satisfying. The quintessential juvenile fiction. Tight. Succinct. Entrancing. This will be perfect for my collection. Yet, I worry a bit about it being a bit mature for a Battle of the Books selection. And how old do elementary students need to be to fall in love, since that is what this enchanting story is mostly about. The author's note made the whole novel even better. Not being as familiar with Anne of Green Gables, I think I need to revisit the classic. I have a new favorite author. I'm so excited.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest opinion. This dystopian-ish, post-apocalyptic middle grade novel felt very current and all too real. While I enjoyed the plot, I didn’t love the book. I enjoyed Gabe’s character, but the other characters felt undeveloped. I also hated Relle, I’m so sorry! She was too much. I also felt like I was expecting more of a…point?…to traveling to the base. I didn’t get the purpose of some of the plot points. It did keep me reading, Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest opinion. This dystopian-ish, post-apocalyptic middle grade novel felt very current and all too real. While I enjoyed the plot, I didn’t love the book. I enjoyed Gabe’s character, but the other characters felt undeveloped. I also hated Relle, I’m so sorry! She was too much. I also felt like I was expecting more of a…point?…to traveling to the base. I didn’t get the purpose of some of the plot points. It did keep me reading, though, and the first half of the book was very solid. Just felt unfinished.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Betty Culley

    Once I started the book, I could not stop reading. This post-apocalyptic novel, lightly inspired by Anne of Green Gables, is beautiful and atmospheric. It reminded me of things I didn’t even realize I needed to hear— things about human kindness and resilience, tragedy and healing. Gabe Sweeney tries to make sense of the changed world he lives in, and move forward. When he finds and brings the girl Relle Douglas to the island of survivors, her imaginative and hopeful spirit instantly captures his Once I started the book, I could not stop reading. This post-apocalyptic novel, lightly inspired by Anne of Green Gables, is beautiful and atmospheric. It reminded me of things I didn’t even realize I needed to hear— things about human kindness and resilience, tragedy and healing. Gabe Sweeney tries to make sense of the changed world he lives in, and move forward. When he finds and brings the girl Relle Douglas to the island of survivors, her imaginative and hopeful spirit instantly captures his heart. A story that is both timely and timeless.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Sort of like The Girl Who Owned a City, on a post-apocalyptic island, with a character with a very strong Anne of Green Gables voice and tons of AoGG references. Props to Doleski for her deep knowledge of this classic novel and the post pandemic spin. My middle grade fantasies of an all kid community never had adults in it, though. They are super helpful, of course! Interesting book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    EARC provided by Edelweiss Plus This was excellent- action that kept me hooked, it provides lots to ponder for good discussion, and the length is perfect. A good follow up suggestion is Alone by Freeman.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Brandon

    Anne of Green Gables meets The Walking Dead. Or, as the author describes it, Gilbert Blythe meets The Road.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Freda Witt

    A YA book, but not bad

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    LOVED!!!!!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stacey P

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amber

  22. 5 out of 5

    Erika

  23. 4 out of 5

    Leah

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

  25. 5 out of 5

    N_schiele

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lira

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kasee Bailey

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anita Frambes

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

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