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You Are Not a Before Picture by Alex Light pdf download

Details of You Are Not a Before Picture by Alex Light Book

  • Book Name: You Are Not a Before Picture
  • Authors: Alex Light
  • Pages: 265
  • Genre: Romance novel, 
  • Publish Date: 9 June 2022
  • Language: English

Book review:

Many writers use childhood anecdotes to craft memorable characters. Author Alex Light did not have an easy childhood, but she used those difficult experiences to craft an unforgettable antihero in her novel After the Roaring Twenties. 

Matt Crenshaw was a troubled child who found solace in bullying others and creating trouble. Matt learned to quiet his inner thoughts so he could function in the compound where he lived with his grandparents. He then went on to become a dangerous member of a resistance group. Light's protagonist has a dark side; he is not a before picture.

The book begins in the aftermath of The Roaring Twenties- an event that devastated the world but left Matt Crenshaw unscathed. The government destroyed the world's infrastructure, leaving most countries in disrepair. Communities were forced to live in compounds where the leaders dictated what each person could and could not do. 

This act of rebellion against the government failed when one of Matt's comrades died during an attempt to liberate his home country. After that defeat, Matt reluctantly joins the rebels and helps them sabotage government facilities.

Matt's first major mission takes place in England, where he joins forces with a group of college students to steal military secrets. Their attempt fails when one of the students becomes infected with a deadly virus. 

As chaos ensues, Matt saves another student by throwing him off a cliff- at death's mercy - so that he could escape alongside him. However, this act injures both men, and Matt must leave him behind while he takes care of his injuries.

Though Matt escapes, this incident permanently scars his conscience and causes him to question his loyalty to his comrades.

As Matt matures into an adult, he becomes a dangerous member of a resistance group run by his childhood friend, Dougie. Their goal is to undermine the government by sabotaging supply trains and spreading chaos among the soldiers patrolling the compounds. 

During one mission, Dougie gets captured while Matt hurries back to their base after discovering that one of their agents was killed. Though Matt rescues Dougie, their base is soon discovered and they must flee under fire. 

Although Matt manages to escape with Dougie's help, he remains haunted by his failure to save his friend.

Matt's next assignment is far more dangerous than any previous task for two reasons: first, it involves crossing into enemy territory; and secondigeneralized planning it required months of preparation instead of minutes for his previous escapades. 

Light excels at conveying characters' thoughts as they struggle with life's difficulties. In this excerpt from Chapter Twenty-six of After the Roaring Twenties, Light illustrates how Crenshaw rationalizes his actions:

The truth was that I'd learned how to dull my thoughts so I could function inside my compound home. But now that I was on the outside again- unshackled by authority - my thoughts were as raw and open as fresh cuts on my trouble-making hands. 

So here I sat on frozen dirt somewhere in Appalachia looking up at a star-strewn sky with wide eyes that saw nothing but blackness and my own misery... ....Though I'd once learned how to dampen down my thoughts so I could sneak past watchdogs without getting caught - now that I wasn't trying to hide from anyone, they came roaring back with full force all on their own....

At first glance, Alex Light's novel seems like any other autobiographical piece using childhood experiences to craft memorable characters. However, after carefully examining several quotes from After the Roaring Twenties, readers will see that Light's antihero has a very dark side- one that she learned how to exploit as a troubled child himself!

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