Content Overview

Overall Content



Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking


Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty


Violence, Weapons, Blood, Crime


Potentially Intense Themes


**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 


Marisa Reichardt

A gripping YA novel about two strangers struggling to survive a massive California earthquake
When a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hits California, Ruby is trapped in a laundromat with Charlie, a boy she had her first conversation with only moments before. She can’t see anything beyond the rubble that she’s trapped beneath, but she’s sure someone will come save them soon. As the hours and days tick by, Ruby and Charlie struggle to stay hopeful—and stay alive. Ruby has only Charlie’s voice and her memories to find the hope to keep holding on. Will the two make it out alive? And if they do, what will they have lost to the earthquake? Riveting, tense, and emotionally complex, Aftershocks weaves together the terror and hope of a catastrophic event while showing the ways that disasters can change and unite us.

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) I’m always curious about earthquakes because living in Utah, we’re waiting for our “big one” just like in the book.  It’s hard to be prepared for some natural disasters and while each disasters have their downfalls, earthquakes scare me a lot due to their unpredictability.

Ruby is a selfish, typical teenager who gets stuck in the rubble during a huge earthquake. A guy named Charlie is stuck too and they talk to each other to help pass the time and end up getting very close. It was easy to get sucked in and I was entertained throughout. It goes back and forth between present day and memories throughout the year for both characters and it’s a great way to get to know them. Ruby reflects on these memories and learns about herself and what is important. 

The story is full of many intense moments obviously during the earthquake, but many afterward also. Many are not able to find their families and the scenes of this are heartbreaking. It’s hard not to put yourself in their shoes.

It was a really quick read and interesting to see what happened. I recommend this for those who love intense novels but also great character development.

Thank you to NetGalley and Abrams Kids for the galley copy in exchange for an honest review.

Detailed Content Review


F***- 4

H***- 7

S***- 7

A**- 6


D***- 5

Bas****- 1

Religious Cursing



G**- 4


Derogatory terms etc-

Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking

A young woman plans to have someone buy her beer from the liquor store. 

A young woman remembers a night on the beach with beer. 

Ever since her parents divorce, a young woman gets drunk a lot. She asked a guy to buy her and her friends beer.

On a high school sports retreat, a young woman and her friends sneak out to drink tequila with the guys. One got drunk “in record time.”

At a frat party, a freshman drank so much that he passed out and was taken to the hospital where he died. 

At a large party, a young woman gets so drunk that she falls over and can’t get up. 

A young woman is very drunk at a party. 

At a hospital, a young woman is given a shot multiple times that knocks her out. 

A mom comes in the door smelling of alcohol and cigarettes. 

A young woman is drunk at a high school practice and puking. A bottle of tequila rolls out of her bag. 

Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty

*No LGBTQ+ aspects included*

A young man says his name comes from the place he was conceived. “I can’t even think of Charleston without imagining my parents boning.”

A young woman leads a young man to her room “while our skin melded and our breath hitched.” Sex implied but no details.

“…twisted nipples and thighs left purple and bruised. I know kicks to tender spots and private parts.” Explaining pains in water polo.

A young man and young woman are kissing on the sand, she says to stop jokingly. Her friend tries to interrupt but he gets upset. The young woman is asking her friend to help her. He threatens the friend but walks away. 

A young man and young woman kiss.

A young woman and young man kiss. 

A young woman kisses a young man, grabbing his hair and pulling him closer. 

Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood

A young woman gets cut on a sharp object while in a collapsed building. Blood seeps out as she’s nauseous from the pain. 

A young woman gets a gash in her hand from digging rubble. 


Potentially Intense Themes

An earthquake makes a building collapse around two people, they endure injuries and aftershocks.

A man is hit by a distracted driver while walking. He is in the hospital for a few days when family says goodbye then his wife signs off on no life support. He dies. 

Previously, a young man died of alcohol poisoning at a frat party. 

A young woman sees a hand sticking out of the rubble so she grabs it. It’s cold and she knows the person is dead. 

At a hospital there are bodies covered in sheets in the hallways. It smells of decay. 

At a hospital, a patient needs a defibrillator, nurses are rushing in and out. One person is screaming and hitting the wall. Then the person dies and their visitor crumbles in the arms of a nurse. 

A young woman sees rows and rows of bodies covered with white sheets. 

A haggard woman comes searching for her son in a group of minors. She’s screaming his name and throwing blankets trying to find him. She howls and breaks down when she can’t find him. 

A young woman sits with a man as he slowly dies. 

A young woman sees two dead bodies in the gutter. 

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 


  1. I hear you about unpredictable natural phenomenon – not so much earthquakes but we get tornadoes here. Sounds like an interesting premise for a novel

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