42 pages 1 hour read

Jordan Sonnenblick

After Ever After

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2010

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Character Analysis

Jeffrey Alper

Jeffrey Alper, who goes by Jeff, is the narrator and protagonist of After Ever After. He is a 13-year-old boy who lives in New Jersey with his mother and father and has an older brother named Steven. Jeff underwent treatment for acute lymphocytic lymphoma when he was younger, and much of the novel concerns The Aftereffects of Cancer Treatment. Over the course of his eighth-grade year, he also faces standardized tests, his first romantic relationship, and the relapse and eventual death of his best friend, Tad, a fellow cancer survivor.

Jeffrey describes himself as “chubby” and as “a short kid with big, round glasses” (33). His cancer treatments have caused several disabilities, including a limp and neurological conditions: “I get kind of spacey sometimes, and I miss some of the things my teachers say. That happens to a lot of kids who have had leukemia, because the chemotherapy drugs and radiation can mess up your brain permanently” (8).

Despite the hardship he has faced, Jeffrey is characterized as nice, easy-going, and determined; he also shares Tad’s sarcastic sense of humor, although he is less cynical. Jeff is naturally humble and tends to minimize his achievements, and these tendencies sometimes cross the line into self-doubt and lack of confidence.